Since releasing his 2011 mixtape, Those Who Wait, UK singer Daley has become synonymous with a contemporary sound of music that’s fresh yet reminiscent of soul music’s yesteryear—“future throwback soul” as he’s dubbed it. At only 23, he’s managed to work with with some industry heavy hitters—Marsha Ambrosius, David Banner, Jessie J.---and sign a deal with Universal Republic Records. Just weeks shy of his appearance on Centric’s upcoming show, CultureList, CentricTV.com caught up with the singer to talk music, fashion, and his gravity defying coiffure.
Outside of your music, fans are always talking about your hair. How long does it take you to do your hair and what products do you use?
It [doesn’t] take me too long. When I’m doing it, it maybe takes me about half an hour. I just use a lot of hairspray. It’s really simple. A lot of hairspray and it’ll last me for a few days.
Is there a specific brand that you use?
I don’t think it’s a brand you can get out here. Maybe I should mention a U.S. brand (laughs). Actually they do have out here. TRESemmé! It’s like a freeze-hold. You spray it on your hair and it ain’t movin’.
You cut your hair and you style it yourself?
No, I don’t cut it myself. But, I style it. I didn’t roll out of bed like this!
And the spectacles—do you need them or are they just for style purposes?
They are for style purposes (laughs). But I have a very long face so I need a little something.
Okay, I guess that makes sense (laughs) As far as fashion’s concerned, are there any stores or designers that you like?
I wear a lot of black. I like to be as creative as I can within that color. [I like] interesting textures and [clothing with] slightly subtle, unusual features. I’m really into Alexander Wang and there’s a brand called Unconditional, it’s a UK brand from London but I think you can get it out here… I just like interesting stuff.
So if you had to pick a color outside of black—that you would wear —what would it be and why?
It’s difficult. I just wear black all the time. I guess anything else with black (laughs). As long as the main [color] is black we can vary the colors.
If you could describe your style in one word, what would it be?
And you would describe your music the same way?
Musically I think it’s hard to kind of sum it up because I feel like I explore as much as I can musically and creatively. The term that seems to be sticking is “future throwback.” Everything I do is kind of soulful and a nod to the throwback stuff. But I’m really trying to do something that sounds like it’s from now. I’m not trying to be retro. I just want to take what’s good about it and bring it into now. That’s kind of what I’m trying to do.