Today we're looking to a different industry for style inspiration. If you don't recognise the stage name Daya, trust us when we say you'll want to know it by the end of 2017. She features in the Chainsmokers hit 'Don't Let Me Down' and we're calling it—this 19-year-old musician is one to watch. Read on for this month's Girl on the Rise.
With engineers for parents, it comes as no surprise Grace Tandon's mum and dad were initially hesitant on the idea of a music career for their daughter. You'll probably be more familiar with her stage name, Daya, and perhaps even her Instagram account which is currently sitting on a healthy 516K followers. She has a coveted deal with Interscope Records and a love affair with remaining authentic and connected to her purpose as an artist. Pretty rare for a 19 year-old, right? It is safe to say this rising star is here for the long term, but it isn't just the music industry paying attention.
Who What Wear Australia was given the opportunity to interview the singer in Milan as a guest of Swarovski in September. The brand's seasonal ambassadors—including Daya—were all in town to celebrate the new #BrillianceForAll campaign, which wonderfully aims to empower and beautify modern women throughout the world.
A fresh new voice for her generation, keep reading to find out why Daya is one to watch.
WHO WHAT WEAR: You are the youngest ever musician on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. How do you feel about that?
DAYA: It was so crazy because it’s validation outside the music industry, Forbes is universal. It’s wild to think they thought of me and that I even made the list, and especially being the youngest musician on it. I feel like it motivates me, I want to do more this next year and be successful within the next few years.
WWW: Your success story is quite unique in the sense you started to gain traction before you were signed, which is really interesting.
D: I was indie for the first two years of like my professional career before I signed Interscope. Before that I was with a very small label built around my project, and my song went to radio before I had 200 followers on Twitter. It was kind of a reverse of how it usually happens. Usually, you have a huge social following, get the label to sign you and work on songs.
WWW: What do you wish you'd known about the music industry?
D: My way of getting into it was so different! I think to know your artist identity is the most important thing. A lot of people try to take that away from you as soon as you first start, because they want to make you into pop star and have full control of your creative scope. Acting naturally and being authentic and real to my audience is very important to me.
WWW: How do you describe your artist identity?
D: To be real and to make music that young girls and teenagers can relate to. Which I hope will be showcased in my next album.
WWW: It’s an interesting time in music but also in fashion, social media and publishing. It’s not so much about how many followers you have, but connecting with individuals and communities that identify with your view of the world.
D: People see so many quick climbs to success through the internet and social media and but they go away so quickly! So I think people are now in search of something that is long lasting and sustainable.
WWW: You’re on the road quite a bit. How do you stay healthy and do you have routine in terms of what you eat or how much you need to sleep?
D: I’m actually really bad at those things! I’m terrible at sleeping, I always have anxiety about what's happening next or the next day so I’m really bad at sleeping. Eating, however, I always try my best each day.
WWW: Can you tell us a bit about your current relationship with fashion—at 19 do you have a style identity or is that something you’re still kind of figuring out?
D: Yeah, I love fashion. I feel like it’s an essence of my expression through music and through art. I think it’s part of everyone’s identity, so I’m definitely still trying to hold my specific style. I would describe my street style as a combination of cool, edgy and relatable while mixing in high end pieces.
WWW: Tell us about the next handful of years for you, are you thinking ahead in terms of where you want to be, and what are your aspirations as an artist?
D: I’m currently making my way through a five year plan. I have been recording a lot the past year and I will have new music coming out really soon. I’ve also been working alongside Swarovski on the Holiday campaign, which I’m really excited about. The team has been amazing and I’m really happy to be working with them.
Opening image: Getty Images