Interview: Daley Sheds Light on Second Album ‘The Spectrum’

After dropping his first project in 2014, British singer Daley returns with the release of his sophomore album, The Spectrum. The album consists of 13 tracks including the lead single “Until the Pain is Gone” featuring R&B songbird Jill Scott. The song has seen much success on the charts, cracking Top 10 on the Billboard/BDS chart and the urban AC radio chart.

“It was one of the first few songs I wrote for the project,” Daley told Rated R&B in an interview. “It’s kind of an amalgamation of different experiences I have been in with different relationships.”

For Spectrum, Daley got to work with some of his favorite producers including Andre Harris (Michael Jackson, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige), xSdtrk (Usher, Jessie J, Jennifer Lopez), The Stereotypes (Fantasia, Chris Brown, Bruno Mars), along with some others.

Rated R&B recently caught up with Daley for an exclusive interview about The Spectrum. Check it out below.

RATED R&B: Your new single “Until The Pain Is Gone” featuring Jill Scott is climbing the Top 10 on urban AC radio. Congrats on that! Tell us about that record.

It’s kind of dealing with a situation where two people are in love but just held back by negative experiences and kind of trying to admit to each other how they feel.

RATED R&B: How long did it take you to write it?

The song itself I wrote in a day. I didn’t get Jill involved until later when I revisited it. When I was writing it, something made me think of her. I don’t know what it was. She just kind of came to mind while I was writing it and I kind of stuck a pin in that. I had the pleasure of meeting her in London when I opened up for her show and I sent it over to her. I said, “I just want to get your feelings on this and see what you think.” She loved it and did her thing on it.

RATED R&B: What’s the meaning behind the title of your album, The Spectrum?

DALEY: I came up with it, from a musical perspective, when I started exploring this album. For some reason — I don’t know what it was, maybe it was just the current musical climate at the time — I was just feeling like I should make an album with a certain sound. I was thinking I should do this kind of dark, spacey R&B thing. But when I started writing, it dawned on me that it doesn’t encompass everything that I am and what I do in my live shows. I would be so limited by doing that, so I started to feel like it needed to be a range of things: the dark stuff, the feel-good R&B songs and something that would translate really well live. In my head, the word ‘spectrum’ kept popping up in all different areas; so it’s my musical spectrum. It’s a range of what I do. When a word keeps coming back to me in different scenarios, I feel like it has a relevance to me and hopefully to other people. I like what it represents and I have a graphic design background, so I just like the fact that I get to use all the colors in the promo and I’m not wearing black all the time (laughs).

RATED R&B: How would you describe your process creating The Spectrum compared to your first album? Did you approach it differently?

DALEY: It was a similar approach but this time it was different because I had parted ways with Universal. I wrote the bulk of this album in between deals, which was very scary in some ways and liberating because I wasn’t really working with deadlines. After going through some label bullshit, I was just like “I want to get back to doing what I do,” so I had the time to go in with the producers that I like and that I have good relationships with and write about things I want to say. I had the space to do that on the first album as well but there was more label involvement. Also, it’s just what I have experienced over the last couple of years — things that I have lived through. You just get a different perspective on things. I lost someone who was very close to me — my manager at the time, the guy who kind of worked with me for my whole career. We built a lot of things together. That put everything into perspective because it was my first time kind of losing someone. That put so much into my perspective of what matters and what doesn’t matter. Having toured so much, I just had a better idea of what kind of album I wanted to make when it came down to it.

RATED R&B: Do you have a favorite song on the album?

DALEY: I really do love every song. I feel really confident there’s no filler. I wanted every song to be almost an essential song. A song that sticks out to me, though, is a song called “True.” It was just a song that really struck a chord. When I wrote it, I felt very satisfied that I expressed something that was very important to me. It’s just the notion of being true to yourself and that life is short and kind of live in the moment and live in your truth. I felt like I needed to write it. After I wrote it, I felt physically better.

RATED R&B: Have you picked your next single?

DALEY: Well, there’s two that we’re looking at. I think I know what it is, it’s just whether I want to go in a more uptempo director or whether I want to keep it chill. I kind of don’t mind which one we go with to be honest. I think it would be cool to do the slightly more energetic one because that’s not what people usually hear from me. So, we’ll see.

RATED R&B: How would you describe the R&B music scene in the UK compared to the US?

DALEY: It sounds bad, but I don’t know if there is an R&B music scene in the UK anymore. There is and there isn’t. There’s definitely amazing R&B artists in the UK but I don’t know if there’s a scene because they’re not supported. They’re not really given many outlets. Even the outlets that used to give them some kind of shine now kind of backed away, which is very frustrating. Like, there’s an award show called MOBO Awards, which is Music of Black Origin. It may be equivalent to the BET Awards here where we champion music of black origin, so R&B would be a massive part of that. They kind of backed off from it a bit. So that stuff annoys me.

In the U.S., R&B is more engrained into the culture. It’s the birthplace of that genre. So, people embrace it wholeheartedly. I think in the UK, it could be so much stronger if there was support for it.

RATED R&B: Agreed. It’s kind of similar to the U.S. in a sense that R&B isn’t getting the spotlight like it used to.

DALEY: It’s so strange because all of the popular music at the moment is so rooted in R&B and soul. There’s all this 90s throwback. It feels so weird the root of the genre doesn’t always get the support it needs. I also think a lot of artists need to reconnect with the feeling of R&B and not just the style or lifestyle of the song. I think people just got to reconnect with the feeling. That’s kind of my take on it.

RATED R&B: Do you have anything else coming up that you would like your fans to know about?

DALEY: We are in the process of locking in a tour for the fall. I can’t wait to get on the road and play the album. I think it’s going to translate really well live. We’re looking at October and November for that. And yeah, just picking the next single and visuals.

Stream Daley’s new album The Spectrum below. It’s available now.

Keithan is the founder/editor-in-chief of Rated R&B

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