Chances are, you’ve sang this loudly while sitting in traffic:
Boys seem to like the girls
Who laugh at anything
The ones who get undressed
Before the second date.
I bet you would be shocked to realize that it wasn’t penned and performed by someone who is only 17.
Grace Martine Tandon who is known by her stage name Daya (Hindu for compassion and kindness) is a 17 year old rising pop star from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the age of 3, Daya began to learn the piano, eventually converting to jazz piano at the age of eleven. By this time, she had also learned to play the guitar, ukulele, saxophone, and flute. On April 22, 2015 her debut single “Hideaway” was released. It hit #23 on Billboard’s Hot 100. She signed with Artbeatz and her debut EP Daya (released on September 4 2015) debuted at #61 on Billboard’s Hot 200. Her debut album Sit Still, Look Pretty was released on October 7, 2016.
Song by Song Review
“Dare”: The first track off the album is full of dark horse vibes and a girl who even though young is wise beyond her years and knows who she is and who she wants to be and isn’t afraid to share that in this track. It’s a track that asks the listener to dare her to prove something to you, knowing full well she’s already going to exceed everything they are limiting her with. Contains electronica influences, a subtle use of vocal harmony, a mild rhythmic syncopation,and prominent percussion.
“Lengendary”: Originally from the Daya EP, it discusses living in the moment with someone. It features electronica influences, prominent percussion, and major key tonality.
“I.C.Y.M.I”: This track standing for “in case you missed it” is catchy and hashtag-worthy with it’s message of being totally over someone but they keep trying to hit you up. It features electronica influences, prominent percussion, and a subtle use of vocal harmony.
“Thirsty”: We’ve all met a member of the opposite sex who would not take NO for an answer and they were making you lose your cool (not to mention your appetite) with how “thirsty” they were coming off. Almost like the Daya version of Meghan Trainor’s “NO,” except this one contains electronica influences, mild rhythmic syncopation, and prominent percussion.
“Love of My Life”: With Carribean-style rhythms and influences, this track is catchy with a loud “HERE’s WHAT I’M ABOUT” message with lyrics like:
I could like you ’til the day that I die-ie-ie-ie (ie-ie-ie, ie-ie-ie)
But, I’m looking for the love of my li-i-i-ife
“Hideaway”: Daya, who walks out and is bold in her standards, in this bouncy track, Daya bemoans the lack of standards when it comes to her male dating pool, and wishes for a man who actually respects her.
“Cool”: The newest synthopop promotional single off the album, this track has the feeling of just sitting back and cruising while holding hands in a car with an unknown destination which is a perfect metaphor for a healthy relationship: exciting and thrilling but should be stable like a car ride down an empty street. Features r&b influences, romantic lyrics, and intricate melody phrasing.
“Sit Still, Look Pretty”: The title track off the album and the song that made me sit up and pay attention to Daya as an artist. It’s like the 2016 answer to a song that was popular in 1997, Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.” It’s a girlpower anthem taken to the next level with the track starting out with whistling on the backtrack. Girls shouldn’t have to be treated like objects or toys but instead of have their own lives and their own goals and ambitions and not be afraid to pursue them. It also makes me think of a post that Alicia Keys shared on Instagram and I had to repost it because it was totally on point.
“Talk”: I had this song on repeat from the first time I heard it because it is a lot like Pink’s “Just Like Fire.” It’s like a total purple in my hair anthem. It’s all about being who you are and not caring what people think and jumping out of the boxes that people try to place you in. Grace co-wrote it with her team, which makes me like it even more. Features of the musicality include electronica influences, extensive vamping, a vocal-centric asthetic, and a subtle use of a horn section.
“U12”: This song reminds me of the song version of the 80’s movie Sixteen Candles. It’s about having these feelings for someone who everyone seems to have an opinion about but you are letting them know that you don’t care what anyone says as long as they want to fall in love, you are ready to fall with them. Originally featured on the Daya EP.
“Words”: Rhythmically, this is my favorite song off the album because it has Latin influences and romantic lyrics. It’s about feeling close to someone but not wanting to say “love” yet because words only get in the way.
“Back To Me”: A synthopop ballad of always feeling second best to someone you continue to put first and how you have to come back to who you are, realize your worth, and walk away in confidence knowing someone better will come along but learning to love yourself in the meantime. This is another favorite off the album but was originally featured on the Daya EP.
“Got The Feeling”: Carribean rhythms and influences make up this track with layers of vocal harmonies during the breakdown.Lyrically, you see a song about liking someone but not loving them but still like being around them, almost like a fling.
Ain’t no keepin’ us from doing what we love (we love)
‘Cause we love it too much
The final track off the standard version of the album comes with a strong final statement from Daya, someone who’s young in years but wise beyond them and not afraid to be all that she is and tell others that they are free to due the same. Thank you Daya for standing up for the youth everywhere (especially young women like yourself) who dare to set the standard instead of meet it. And thank you for staying classy in the process!
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— The Smart Cookie (@TSCPhiles) October 16, 2016