Interview: Baby Dayliner

Baby Dayliner‘s last album Critics Pass Away was released in 2006. For the last decade plus, the world has been missing his synth-pop programming, hip hop swagger, and blue-eyed soul croon. Seemingly out of nowhere, he recently announced a return to music by releasing the You Push, I’ll Go EP. We got a chance to catch up with Baby Dayliner to talk about what’s changed since last decade.

Ten years ago, you decided to quit the music business. Why?

After packing out shows for some years I felt I wasn’t on to the next step- getting on decent tours six months out of the year. Booking agents were scared of me. Meanwhile I was getting ever more DJ work, and so just concentrated on that. I never exactly “quit” though. I’d pop out for shows, and there were records always on the burner.

Was there a moment or event that spurred you to return to releasing music?

I just remembered that it was a good way to spend my focus, and also after all that time fans would hit me up about new music. I felt I was still relevant, so to speak. So I approached Brassland again about releasing more music, and they were still into it, which I’m grateful for.

Do you feel like your relationship with music has changed since Critics Pass Away?

Yes, definitely. I very much know my own voice, and production styles now. I’m much less nervous, and more free-flowing. I don’t feel the need to control every note.

Bring me into your songwriting process. What comes first: music, melody, lyrics? How do you develop it?

Usually starts with a piece of music I’ve produced. And then a phrase will come to me from the muse. And then from there everything else gets fleshed out.

Was it odd recording music again? How has your recording process changed since the last album?

I never stopped recording fully, so, nothing awkward was felt. Sometimes I write everything in the vocal booth now, and then rearrange and re-sing once finished. And my ear is better. My mixes are sharper.

On the new EP, you work with Blockhead. How did you two meet? How did the collaboration come about?

Blockhead is one of my besties. I’ve known him for over twenty years. And we’re pick-up basketball fiends. I’ve mixed half of his albums too. He’s a prolific producer and always has a surplus of music at the ready. It’s great fun and practice to collab with someone, cos you make something you wouldn’t normally on your own.

What would be your dream collaboration as an artist or producer?

Oh man. One of the guys who came out of the trap scene would be awesome, like Metro Boomin, Mike Will, or Zaytoven. In fact what I learned from them I trappified “Don’t Ghost Me” by. The majority of the production on that song is Blockhead but I gave it the 808 trappy edge. Other than them, off the top I’d say Diplo, Calvin Harris, Skrillex and DJ Snake. Those guys can make serious records, but also have demonstrated a good sense of humor too, which I appreciate. Ultimately, my biggest dream would be a Daft Punk produced record, though.

I’d love to sing with Florence, or the guy from Future Islands, or D.R.A.M or keep it weird with Lil Yachty or ILoveMakkonnen.

After the release of the EP, what are your plans? Touring? Maybe a full-length?!?!

Getting on a tour would be great, yes. Not sure how much I should say here, but all the 3 EPs coming out this year were formally an album, but Brassland and I decided to release it this way. In any event, more music to come for sure!

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