Born in Nigeria, raised in the burbs of Atlanta, inspired by his old man and Steve Jobs to program computers, and downright deadly on the microphone, rapper, singer, and artist Daye Jack really made the most of his first 20 years. After relocating from Nigeria to Atlanta at the age of six, he split his time between playing soccer, slinging computer code, singing in choir, and listening to the likes of Eminem, OutKast, and 50 Cent. Achieving a Computer Science scholarship to NYU (“I want to be the black Steve Jobs,”), Daye traded the Big Peach for the Big Apple.
n 2014, he cooked up his breakout mixtape Hello World during a winter break and uploaded it to the internet. Off the strength of the project, he signed his publishing to Grammy Award-winning super producer Max Martin [Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake] and inked a deal with Warner Bros. Records—personally scouted by the legendary Mike Elizondo [Dr. Dre, Eminem]. Releasing 2015’s Soul Glitch EP, he drummed up kudos and looks from Billboard, Pigeons & Planes, Pitchfork, XXL, and Complex who touted him among “25 New Rappers to Watch Out For.” Simultaneously, he collaborated with everyone from Killer Mike (“Hands Up”) to Tori Kelly (“Expensive”) and Ariana Grande (“Sometimes”) and joined packed tours alongside headliners as diverse as Lukas Graham and Pell. Along the way, Daye worked on his next evolution, 2016’s Surf The Web EP in Los Angeles.
We jumped at the chance to talk to Daye Jack prior to the show Friday.
Getting a Computer Science scholarship to NYU is very impressive! Do you still code for fun?
I haven't written code in almost a year. I put everything on hold when I dropped out of NYU, moved to LA full time and dedicated all my time to songwriting. I never want to half ass anything. The reason I started programming was to be like a Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk. To make something dope, useful, and that has a positive impact on people's lives. Right now, I want to do that with music but my sights are still set on taking on the tech world someday. I want to create fubu of startups.
When you released your breakout mixtape in 2014 did you think you would have made it so far so quickly?
I had no idea anyone outside of my close friends would hear it. I had a listening party in my dorm room with some film students that helped shoot my first videos, I would've been satisfied with that.
What can fans expect at the show?
I perform solo on stage, with a pad controller that I use to trigger songs and adlibs. I have a set of Siri cues too, Siri's my hypewoman.
What is next for Daye Jack?
My plan is to put a new tape in the next month. It's about the search for answers you have as you enter adulthood. The journey to "find yourself" filled with angst and confusion. I'm excited to drop it and play more shows, rocking out 2017.