Photos by Mary Tio
As a part of UCLA Radio’s Camp Flog Gnaw coverage, we have had the incredible opportunity to interview some of the hottest names in the world of alternative R&B. My partner in crime, Mary and I kicked off our second day at the festival with a giddy kick in our step as we got ready to interview a pioneer in the industry of music and fashion – none other than the lovely DAISY WORLD!
Ria: I was doing some research, and I saw that you aren’t only a musician but also a designer! How do you bridge together your love for music and fashion in your career, and how has that come to be for you?
DAISY: I feel like it’s all in the name – DAISY ‘WORLD’ accidentally became an umbrella term for music, fashion and whatever else I do under this. It’s in the name, it really is a world – a sonic world, an aesthetic world and it may become other worlds as well. Especially when it comes to any sort of visuals I’m doing. A lot of my album covers feature things that I’ve handpainted, for example the ur soggy single cover has a shirt that I painted. For my single I’m releasing on Wednesday, I made these pants that say break it off as that is the name of the song. I try to intertwine it as much as I can, especially in music videos I often wear stuff that is my own brand. My merch too, I would say that it is more my brand than simply merch, you know what I mean? Fashion is important to me, so I feel like it’s intertwined everywhere.
Ria: That’s great! I feel like it’s always so fun to see artists not only make merch, but also make fashion that is significant to them as an extension of who they are and their art.
DAISY: Totally! I don’t want to just make merch that I think someone else would want to wear, but I want to make merch that I would also personally wear. Which is why it feels more important to me – it’s not like a t-shirt that says my name. Like the merch I’m selling here [at Camp Flog Gnaw] is stuff that I originally hand-painted and then printed that on a t-shirt. I wanted to be cool!
Ria: That’s so cool. I heard that you designed a pair of jeans and Benny Blanco reached out and said “gimme those now!”
DAISY: Yeah, I actually made a custom pair of jeans for him. He hit me up and was like “I want hot sauce pants!”. It was the first pair of commissioned pants that I’d made, which then ended up becoming my business. Like now, I do custom clothing for everyone, but he was the first person to be like “I want you to make me this specific kind of pants”. There’s this bottle of hot sauce that I drew his face onto too, and I love doing that stuff.
Ria: It’s so interesting to see how artists can combine this under their umbrella. It’s not just DAISY WORLD as an artist and musician, but also as a fashion designer and more. How did you create this world, and how did it come to be?
DAISY: It just happened, it was very natural. There was no blueprint beforehand, it was just kind of everything fitting into place. I had a DEPOP shop, which was called @daisyworld and that was the first thing I called DAISY WORLD (my fucking DEPOP store). When I needed a name for my clothing business, I was like “it’s DAISY WORLD!”. Within a couple of weeks of starting the clothing business, Tyler hit me up and said he wanted to feature me in a song. I was like “I need a solo artist name, what is it going to be?” I’m looking around and I see the pants that I’m making for Benny and I was like oh, it’s going to be DAISY WORLD! It all just sort of fit together in this way, things coming together naturally.
Ria: It’s good because it’s such a distinct name! Like oh it’s a world, DAISY WORLD – it intrigues you, causes you to think about what’s inside this world of yours. I remember in my senior year of high school, I listened to the song you were on with Tyler (RISE!), and I was like DAISY WORLD? That sounds intriguing, I’m curious!
DAISY: Yeah and I have it in all caps too! Just to be like *mimics a big picture frame with hands*
Ria: This is more of a fun question – if your music was a visual art piece, what would it look like? It could be anything, from mosaic to canvas and more!
DAISY: I would say it would be a multimedia installation! Fabrics, paintings, a bunch of little tchotchkes on a shelf, on a wall. Something that incorporates everything into one thing, it would ultimately end up looking like my room (which looks like a museum itself!).
Ria: So it’s Day 2 of the festival, what sets have you particularly enjoyed and what sets are you looking forward to seeing this weekend?
DAISY: I was really looking forward to seeing Turnstile this weekend, and they delivered exactly what I was expecting so that was incredible! I loved seeing Ice Spice as we were talking about. Tyler is always amazing. Today I’m really looking forward to seeing Dominic Fike because I loved his last album and a guy that I know is playing guitar for him so that’s gonna be awesome. SZA obviously, I haven’t seen her play in a really long time so I’m super excited for that.
Ria: Since UCLA Radio is a student-run radio station that aims to uplift artists not only at our school but also in the LA community, we were wondering if you have any messages or advice you would give to up-and-coming artists. It can be a lot to balance, especially when you’re a student and you’re trying to create music as well – I’m sure it’s the same when you have a clothing business and music and other things to balance as well!
DAISY: I have so much advice
Ria: Yay amazing!
DAISY: I would say don’t let your self-consciousness and self-doubt get in the way of creating. People would see me and I’m playing a festival that is my absolute dream to perform at, and they would go “She’s got it locked down! She knows who she is, she’s got so much confidence” and whatever. But that’s absolutely not the case. It’s really hard to navigate being an artist who feels comfortable being so vulnerable and putting themselves out there, and then also battling this other piece of them that constantly goes “What you’re making is trash, no one cares about you, you look like a fucking idiot”. I guess I just want people to know that you need to learn how to fight against that, rather than letting it overcome you. That is a piece of life as an artist and I don’t want that to deter people from continuing to create their art and believe in themselves.
Ria: Thank you so much, that’s great advice. We’ve interviewed some other artists and they’ve said something along those lines. I feel like it’s so easy to get into your own head and be like “oh I won’t be able to do this, it’s too much”. The self-doubt and self-consciousness is so real.
DAISY: Totally! Especially when you’re making something out of thin air, you’re creating something that no one else has made before and you have to feel strong enough to be like “this is worth something”. It’s up to you to decide how much it’s worth also, and that’s really important as well. No one else is going to give you any more respect than you give yourself.
Ria: I agree, that’s wonderful advice! Is there anything else you want to chat about, or anything you want the world to know?
DAISY: I would like to say that we are releasing my album date finally – it’s coming out on February 2nd and I will be playing a show at The Roxy that night as a release party. So prepare thyselves!
Ria: Oh we’ll be prepared, we’ll turn up! You don’t have to tell us what the album is about, but give us a little teaser on what the album is trying to encompass and the vibe it’s giving off.
DAISY: It’s very much about growth, learning who you are and being accepting of that person in my entirety. All these things are me, and that’s okay, and I can exist just the way I am – I don’t need to change to be a better version of myself.
Ria: How was the creative process of building this album and tying it together?
DAISY: It was also very natural! Me and Albert, my producer, were one day just like “Oh shit we have enough songs for an album, like should we start doing that? Putting them together and finishing these demos?”. And we said yes! It all just happened very seamlessly, very naturally. It was honestly very easy peasy and beautiful in that way.
Ria: What do you hope the world takes away from your album?
DAISY: I hope that they learn something about themselves – I feel like a lot of these songs are me speaking about situations that I went through and what I gained through the situation instead of complaining about it. I hope people can hear these songs and go “Oh shit! That’s what’s happening to me or has happened to me and yes, there is a brighter side to this and there is something I can learn and grow from”. Instead of just being like fuck everything, you know?
Ria: Totally! I feel like it can be so easy to get caught in that negative thought spiral, like “oh this sucks!”
DAISY: Yes, the spiral! Literally! I hope that people listen and are like “Oh, I can take something away from this and implement it into my life”, and I just hope that it makes people feel comforted, honestly.
Ria: Yeah, providing comfort and also reminding people that sometimes you need these experiences to grow and learn.
DAISY: Exactly! Learning about yourself, and how you deal with things throughout life.
As we get the opportunity to spotlight incredible talent, we would truly appreciate your support in helping the artists we interview by checking out their amazing work! Catch the new music video for DAISY WORLD’s latest single, break it off, right here and be sure to keep an eye out for her new album coming this February 2nd!