Born and raised in New Orleans, Lucky Daye unifies all the foundational elements of NOLA music with touches of jazz, blues, and gospel, and he creatively blends them into his own lusty form of new classic R&B. The 2022 Grammy winner recently dropped his latest album, Candydrip, a loungey, kickback collection of songs with sounds of throwback hip hop and hints of 2000s neo-soul. On the single “Over,” Lucky sings about an on-again, off-again love affair, which sets the mood for this easy-to-enjoy summer album.
Fresh off of performing in Los Angeles for CNN’s “Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom” alongside the likes of Chaka Khan, Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton, and Earth, Wind & Fire, Lucky is expanding his audience beyond R&B fans. Introduced to the world by “American Idol,” Lucky gained a strong but still seemingly underground following. While enjoying wide acclaim, he’s kept his devotion to his musical roots.
Recently, he teamed up with noted musicians like Imani Lauren, aka “Sax Bae,” an HBCU-educated saxist from Philadelphia. On the topic of being self-taught on the instrument that now has her collaborating with one of the hottest names in R&B, Lucky Daye, Lauren tells REVOLT:
“I took a semester at Lincoln University and I saw a saxophone player at a jazz concert. I was playing the keys myself. The jazz director said, ‘You go here? Hey, you need to come on down to the jazz concert!’ So, I went in there and then a guy on a tenor sax stood up and killed it. I just was like, ‘Oh my god.’ So, I went home for the weekend, called my mom, like, ‘I need a saxophone immediately,’ and she called my grandma. They made it happen — they got it for Christmas. And, I started teaching myself and I’ve been playing for four years now.”
In “The Link Up,” Lucky also works with Sherie, a vibey violinist from Atlanta who says, “It’s literally been a blessing to work with so many other diverse faces. So many other African American artists and talent because we empower each other … we hype each other on. And we’re like, ‘Yo, let’s do it’ and it just … feels like a united front that we all get to come together and do our thing and celebrate each other, celebrate life, celebrate music.”
Madison Calley joins “The Link Up” and is best known as an ethereal harpist with over half a million followers on Instagram. Calley is often seen playing her rendition of R&B and hip hop hits on the harp, surrounded by sunlight while using her beautiful, lush houseplants as the adoring audience.
For Black Music Month, Lucky discusses why it’s important for him to continue to create with Black women. “What makes certain things like collaborative efforts with Black women so special is the fact that you get to see the harmony between the two sides. Everything that we do is a statement for us becoming better people,” he tells REVOLT while filming “The Link Up” in collaboration with Xfinity.
Lucky not only collaborates with female musicians, but the now-Atlanta-based singer/songwriter also has an intimate, almost melancholy dance moment in “The Link Up” with soloist Jasmine Perry of the Los Angeles Ballet. “I was trained classically in ballet, but this is the music I listen to at home. This is what I dance to at home, now to be able to incorporate the two together for projects like this feels very at home — even if they’re historically generations and generations apart and cultures worldwide apart. You know, they can still live in one space. I was actually really lucky to be in a school that had a parent professional ballet company. So, I didn’t know early on that it was a predominantly white art form. But I did have the pleasure and the great opportunity to watch a lot of dancers of color when I was young,” Perry tells REVOLT on set for Black Music Month.
Lucky echoes Perry’s sentiment on seeing diverse faces in creative spaces such as music and art. He says, “It’s important for us to hear each other because we see ourselves in each other … to be a part of that and to be able to have any type of influence, I’m just grateful to be a part of it.”
Known as The Queen of Memphis Jookin, Elise is also on the set of “The Link Up” to bring youth and showcase Lucky’s fanbase not only has a diverse taste in music but bridges age gaps. Elise tells REVOLT, “I started dancing when I was seven, my grandmother passed away and … I couldn’t express myself because she was like my best friend who I talked to. So I started jookin’ and my mom put me in classes, and I started teaching myself. Dance … brings music to life. So, being able to do it with Lucky Daye is really, really dope because I listen to his music all the time. I just love the way he sings and it just flows through my body.”
Lucky summarizes his experiences on collaborating with Black creatives in every aspect for REVOLT’s Black Music Month on “The Link Up” with Xfinity. “It’s not just me. It’s so many other people on my team, like the collaborative fashion from the video … from the music … the audio. From the way that we move every single thing … assistance from everybody. I kind of feel like I should give that credit to them because I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. I think it’s beautiful,” he expressed.
Watch a behind-the-scenes “The Link Up” special exclusively on REVOLT TV and the REVOLT App on July 11 at 10 p.m. EST.