From Cult-upringing to Cult Following, Lucky Daye Heads Towards the Mainstream


Written by Kolin Miller

Without a doubt, my favorite discovery this year is the artist Lucky Daye. If you love a modern twist on traditional soul-funk or “Neo-soul” as us kids are calling it, then today is your lucky day(e). 

Painted – Lucky Daye. It’s stupid how much talent saturates this record. The sonics spill out into a lush atmospheric canvas which is splattered with Daye’s melodic and harmonic paint – not a single dull point amongst the entire album, which is outstanding given the current norm of releasing quantity rather than quality.

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Rare is the word I would use to describe a project such as Painted which doesn’t stretch a single second too long or too short. The last project I felt this way about was Smino’s NØIR – a record which hasn’t left my daily rotation since it dropped last winter – too often I dive into a new album and about halfway through I’m checking how much I have to go through until it’s over. This isn’t to say that I get bored of albums unless its outstanding, but more often than not, artists – or their teams – seem unable to cut unnecessary tracks out or to filter what makes it onto the album and what is slated for a separate release with any sort of discrepancy. /Rant over, my point is, Lucky Daye debuted with a hard KO to my ears with his first full length album, and I am more than ecstatic to see what success awaits him in his future. 

According to his Wikipedia page, the RCA signed artist was born and raised in an extremist Christian cult which barred him entirely from listening to any sort of secular music…sounds somewhat familiar. Anyways, once he left the cult, he was fully immersed in a world of music, once completely alien to him – and he absolutely fell in love with the greats from soul, r&b, and funk. 

For those of you who were forced to watch American Idol growing up – I assume nobody under the age of 30 kept up with that show willingly except to watch the infamous “funny” and “totally real” auditions – you may recognize Lucky Daye as a former contestant

Aside from his pursuit as an American idol, Daye was a successful songwriter and background vocalist, with credits as “D. Brown” on tracks by some industry A-listers such as Trey Songz, Ne-Yo, Keith Sweat, Boyz II Men, Mary J. Blige, and many more notable artists that I’m probably forgetting. 

If you have a hankerin’ for sonic hanky-panky, give Lucky Daye a listen here. Seriously, I don’t say this often, but this dude is my favorite discovery of the entire year, here’s hoping he’s yours too. 

Notable tracks from the album (in no particular order):

  • Late Night

  • Extra

  • Real Games

  • Karma