“I feel like this is your home. You’re inviting me in, this is cool.”
Before Grammy award-winning artist Daya took the stage in McComb Fieldhouse on April 14, she took some time to meet a handful of Edinboro students and concert staff volunteers.
She spoke with The Spectator about the tour she just finished, artists she grew up listening to and she touched on winning a Grammy.
“It was amazing,” said Daya of her 26-date tour that ended in Pittsburgh on March 30. “It was my first headlining tour ever, which was so fun. The crowds were amazing. Every single night it got better.”
Hailing from Mt. Lebanon, a small town 10 miles outside of Pittsburgh, the last date on her tour was more of a welcome- home party than anything.
“I got to play Stage AE in Pittsburgh, which is the venue I always grew up going to, so it was just wild to have people be there,” said Daya. “It was sold out, too, so that was really cool.”
This concert, put on by Edinboro’s University Programming Board (UPB), began with opener Fly By Midnight, a pop duo that also performed at Edinboro in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center Celtic Court last April.
UPB member Sarah D’Amico said they decided to bring back Fly By Midnight because the group had been well received at their last show on campus. “We thought their upbeat style would be a perfect way to get the crowd excited for Daya,” said D’Amico.
Daya performed songs from her album “Sit Still, Look Pretty,” including her hits “I.C.Y.M.I.,” “Hide Away” and the album’s title track.
As a young artist in the music industry, Daya cites several different influences for her music and performance style.
“I try to pull from a lot of different artists and make it my own (performance). I love Rihanna, I love all of her music and her style and everything. You’ll see some urban influences in my show tonight but also straight-up pop and just a bunch of different things,” she said.
“When I was growing up I listened to a lot of Alanis Morrissette and Dido – very strong female vocalists. I love soulful, powerful female vocalists. I try to kind of channel that and make it into my own unique sound.”
Just after her 18th birthday, Daya received her Grammy nomination for the song “Don’t Let Me Down,” a collaboration with The Chainsmokers, for “Best Dance Recording.” The announcement came as Daya was still asleep in her hotel room.
“It was crazy. It’s just something you can never get used to,” she said. “It was like, ‘I’m a Grammy-nominated artist’; it’s such a high honor at such an early point in my career. I was just so grateful for the support. It was a crazy day.” A fan of artists like Childish Gambino and Khalid, Daya says she would love to work with them, as well as Chance the Rapper in the future.
Following her show at Edinboro, Daya headed out to California for a performance at Coachella. “I’m performing with Griffin, our new song ‘Feel Good’ that’s out now,” she said. “I’m also excited to see Lady Gaga’s performance.”
Daya’s album is available on Apple Music and Spotify.
Kimberly Firestine can be reached at email@example.com.