Alt-pop artist, Daym, has returned with indie anthem, ‘Critical’.
The self-produced tune features catchy modern pop hooks and textures that grasp at the 90s.
The dreamy video – which was produced with director, Kevin Chiu – invites us into the nineties-themed house party and ironically, every member involved in the making of the video, is a nostalgic nineties baby.
The video features Columbia University’s hip-hop dance crew, ONYX, representing a beautified version of what every millennial reminisces about when lying in bed at night.
The singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer made his debut back in 2017 through electronic music, working alongside EDM artist, Fluencie.
Skip forward one year and Daym has supported Blackbear, GANZ and Said the Sky while accumulating influence from artists such as MØ, Janelle Monáe, and Prince.
Here at CelebMix, we are thrilled to present to you the exclusive music video for, ‘Critical’ and an interview with the artist himself, Daym.
The 25-year-old reveals the story behind his latest track when he got into music and his plans for the future.
For those who don’t know you, how would you describe yourself and your music?
I’m not special, just another someone in the pursuit of art. I’d like to use my platform like a bit of a group chat. My music is an r&b and funk-fueled, pop offshoot nestled between your collection of dusty VHS tapes. I love the 80s and 90s sonically, so that era is my main inspiration for expression. Not in the boring, regressive kind of way but something that stimulates something new. At 25, I feel like I’ve finally settled into myself and abandoned the whole egoist, pseudo-intellectual front. I sort of leaned into the past to find my authentic self. That attempt at introspection keeps me in a state of learning and seeking to find my people who can relate. I write to promote happiness, social consciousness, and empathy through resilience. Perhaps it comes with a bit of impostor syndrome, as I have a rather dystopian lens of how things are currently.
So, what’s the story behind, ‘Critical’?
I ditched the heteronormative pop love-song narrative and went with something that actually kept me awake before I went to sleep. ‘Critical’ kind of was born out of reconciliation and thinking about big picture things. The kind of things we think about staring up at the ceiling at night. I spend a lot of time being my own biggest critic, and I actually wrote the tune after having a breakdown on the phone with my mother. This song is about friendships you never had and entire social frameworks just dissolving. Not burning bridges, but having the ones that are so iced over you could never cross. I thought, if I were to die right now, am I at peace with some of these endings? Some division is emotional, financial, even systemic and I wanted to approach it with the idea that life is fleeting. We must try to bring empathy wherever we can, otherwise what’s the point, you know?
Have you written anything like this before?
No, not in this context. Kind of had to do a bit of self-inquiry, ya know? It’s my commentary on friendships, distance, and wounds we share as people drift apart.
Who do you think you musically relate to most?
MØ. She has this way of blending nostalgic tastes with the new wave of things. There’s an unmistakeable and dreamy quality I strive for that she carries. Of course I’d love to say Prince, Janelle Monáe, Billy Idol, Nao and Bowie. Even Nine Inch Nails have just as much relation to my music, but that’s rather lofty. They’re in my heart and my headphones, always.
When did you really get into music?
I got into music when I was about 11. A group of friends needed a lead singer for their band that would play the school talent show. They thought I was showy and a decent singer. The auditorium was full of students and I bailed out under the pressure! After watching School of Rock, I picked up the guitar and piano. I retreated into music after that. Instead of video games and sports, it was through music and parties where I developed the most.
What inspired the name, ‘Daym’?
Daym comes from the word ‘dame.’ I’ve always loved the idea of regal names. Queen, Prince, Lorde, etc. In addition to breaking down feminine and masculine conventions, I think there’s an ambiguity that’s fun to work with as an artist.
Who are your dream collaborations?
I’d love to collaborate with TeZATalks or Matty Carter + Ariel. Their music resonates with me. Of course, Janelle Monáe would be a dream.
What venue do you aspire to perform at?
Red Rocks Amphitheater or Madison Square Garden
Can we expect an EP soon?
There are plans for an EP. Honestly, I don’t even have the attention span to distill myself into a full album quite yet.
Where do you see yourself by the end of 2019?
On a beach.
You can follow Daym on his Instagram here and make sure you check out the single below!