Lucky Daye Is Building His Own Algorithm

The R&B hit-maker is preparing to speak his truth...

Lucky Daye is Grammy award winning hit-maker, but he originally grew up in a Christian Church in New Orleans – one that, ironically, prevented him from listening to popular music. Singing in a choir from a youthful age, Lucky and his family eventually left the Church years later and with that the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that devastated the city. Leaving for Tyler, Texas with his family before relocating to Atlanta and Los Angeles to pursue his dreams of becoming a solo artist. Lucky Daye was determined to create a life for himself. Linking up with producer D’Mile, a significant name throughout his career, granted Daye fifteen studio sessions, twelve of which appeared on his break-out project ‘Painted’ back in 2019. The rest is history. Now writing songs for Beyoncé and Mary J Blige, Lucky Daye has become a house-hold name within the realm of R&B. 

It’s been two years since the release of his previous album ‘Candydrip’ and between then, a lot of growth. Reputable for his hybrid R&B sound, he’s continued a journey to push the genre’s boundaries. Lacing elements of blues and soul, to name a few, throughout the 14-track project, ‘Algorithm’ is a seamless listen that details the human experience. From feel-good moments to the pulling of heart strings and killer guitar solos, his refined penmanship, use of contemporary production and nostalgic fillers with long-time collaborator D’Mile, has curated a timeless album that’ll leave you wanting more. With a feature from the UK’s golden girl RAYE and further help from Bruno Mars on fan favourite ‘That’s You’, ‘Algorithm’ is a must spin. 

CLASH got the chance to catch up with Lucky Daye prior to the release of the album; from collaborating with RAYE, working with Bruno Mars, and the motivations behind the project. Tap in below to see what he had to say.

Let’s talk about the album, it’s incredible I’ve been fortunate to listen to it already it’s amazing. Tell me a bit more about the title ‘Algorithm’ and why you chose that? 

I chose ‘Algorithm’ because I wanted to highlight what R&B was in my own algorithm. Everything I’ve ever heard that sounded like R&B to me, whether it was soul or blues. I wanted to bring it to life in my own way. This album from beginning to end is different versions of what I feel R&B is. It’s everything that makes me. I wanted to become one with the algorithm and with the music. 

Did you have an idea or theme in mind when going to create this album? What was the main motivation behind it? 

The main motivation? I was trying to figure out what I was going to do! [laughs] We just know when we get in the room, it’s going on the album. We had to bring our A game and not take any misses. It’s easy to keep it on the straight and narrow when I’m working with someone like D’Mile. I wanted to be confident going into it. Like with every other album, I write to myself and to God. 

This album to me feels very performative and by that, I mean ready for the stage. It has a lot of old-school and nostalgic elements in it. Not to mention a killer guitar solo on ‘Soft’ amongst some amazing instrumentation that would sound incredible live. Sonically, how did you want to approach this album? 

Sonically it was about not going too far into any box, we wanted to be the mould and not try to fit in. 

You have one feature on the album with RAYE on ‘Paralyzed’, who has been absolutely smashing it recently. Could you tell me how this collab came about? 

RAYE came out to LA; I think she might have been on tour at the time. I kept in touch, and we eventually got in the studio, I had two options of songs that I wanted features on. RAYE really liked the sound of ‘Paralyzed’, and she started writing to it in the studio. In the moment, I didn’t want to bother her or interrupt her. I left her in the room for about five minutes, she kept listening to it in loop and said, “I’m going to take this home! You’re killing it and I need to make sure that I’m on a level eating too” [laughs] We just used the rest of the time to vibe and go to the beach. She took it home and came back with that magical verse. We took it straight to the studio; she’s incredible. I didn’t even know she was going to get this big in the time that we started doing it! 

I know, she’s flown! The song is beautiful. 

Yeah, it’s all about the song and the talent for me. 

Another song on the album ‘That’s You’, you actually worked on with Bruno Mars. What was it like working with him? 

Bruno has been teaching me stuff since ‘Just the Way You Are’ [laughs] I’ve been watching Bruno for years, I’m a student. He came to the studio; he had an idea that he woke up with at 4am and we flushed it out. I’m just happy that my peers like me, can let me create and give me the space to do it. We are actual musicians, we’re the technical, nerdy, and scientific music makers. I love working with people like that. I understand that some people are here to entertain us, but I like working with real musicians. 

In comparison to ‘Candydrip’, how do you think ‘Algorithm’ differs? Do you think you’ve grown a lot since that time? 

I’ve levelled up! I’ve levelled up in my mind, as a person, and musically. Between ‘Candydrip’ and this album, I’ve been through a lot. I cleaned out my house, not my physical house, but my temple and everyone around me. I wanted to get myself right, make smart decisions, and confident courageous moves. I wanted to make God proud, as well as myself. It’s supposed to be fun! 

One name I’ve noticed that’s fairly frequent throughout your journey is D’Mile. You’ve been working together for some time now. What do those studio sessions look like? 

We can work anywhere! We never put a bowl on the way we work or any presentation. We never plan a certain date, it’s more like “Yo, when you free? I’m gonna need a block of two weeks!” We actually made the skeleton of this album in two weeks, after that we would take it home and do whatever we want to do. Whether it’s suggestions or fixing little things. 

You’re extremely gifted with your penmanship; you’ve written songs for some huge names as well as yourself. What do you do in order to keep this as sharp as you can? Have you always read for pleasure…?

I’ve always been into poetry, and I guess I like reading. When I read as a kid, I used to sing the book. I read in melodies. I used to make songs just by rhyming the words [laughs] and that’s how I came up. My Mother didn’t like the way I spoke to her so she made me write everything down that I wanted to say, anytime I had any problems I would start writing. I used to fire people in letters! 

Damn! 

It just sounds better! [laughs] I’m too direct and say what I feel as opposed to what they could take. 

So being vulnerable for you has always been easy because that’s what you’ve been doing since you were little with your mother…

Exactly! It’s just about knowing who I am talking to. I had to learn how to be aware of them before I spoke. I never knew if they were going to be able to handle the way I spoke or the way I move. I’m very empathetic about that!

Putting the music aside, what do you like doing for fun? What keeps you grounded?

Everything! I wake up and I work out, I train with my friends or I’m in the studio if I’ve had a dream that’s on my mind. Or the homies might come over and we play 2K or play basketball because they talk a lot of trash! That could turn into boxing gloves very quickly! [laughs] 

What more can we expect to see from you this year? Have we got any shows in the UK coming up? 

I’m going on tour in July! Everything is going to be the best I’ve ever done or had. I am very excited. I have a European run after America, I’m very excited for that. I miss it out there!

Lucky Daye’s new album ‘Algorithm’ will be released on June 28th.

Words: Elle Evans // @ellevans98

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