Listening to Dayna’s music involves an incursion into the most remote places of the human soul by the hand of her beautiful voice. Dayna is a musical delight that has a soothing effect on our worries. Seriously, I know it from my own experience. During the show I was not able to remember any of the problems that some hours before were beating my mind. After the regular five minutes of delay, she appeared on stage only accompanied by her two guitars, a whisky, some tea with honey to relieve her cold and an “Obama” t-shirt. With or without a cold, anyone who was not moved by her voice that night has no heart at all. Her wails some times and her whispers others, resounded in the Patio La Favorita’s walls. Jazz, country, soul, Nina Simone, Sam Cooke and Stevie Wonder feed her genuine sound. A sound which Dayna does not like to label or classify. An interesting tour by her long musical career focusing on her last album: “Secret Canon, Vol. 1 (2012)”. A record that explores inside the blues and jazz genres. Dayna’s music is a little gem that unfortunately not a lot of people know how to appreciate.
After the show I was able to ask her a few questions. Still moved by her voice, she received me in her “dressing room” (to call that rickety and tiny place somehow). She sat in the toilet, with a toothpick between her red lips, and looked at me with her expressive and clear eyes waiting for me to shoot. Fifteen minutes of chat were enough to know that she was talking to me from the heart, as her music does.
1) When did you start in the Music world and how were your beginnings?
I started twenty years ago, playing in bar shows in High School (playing cover songs) and then I started full-time when I was in my early-mid 20’s.
2) Which are your main musical influences?
Yeah, loads of them: Leonard Cohen, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Dinah Washington…
3) Do you have any kind of ritual at the time of composing? And before starting a show?
I just need to be very much alone and cut off from Twitter and Facebook.I need to go out into the woods and get away from distractions…Nothing special before the show. I think nobody needs to do something crazy before it…people work everyday and don’t do it. At the end it is my daily job and it is a really good one.
4) What’s the last record you bought?
Some country stuff: a Janey Johnson’s album…It is a tribute to Hank Cochran.
5) A record for a Saturday night.
David Bowie: “Changes I” or Stevie Wonder: “Innervisions”
6) A record for a Sunday morning.
Sam Cooke: “Nightbeat” or Willis Alam Ramsey: homonymus album (a little bit of country, jazz, blues…)
7) After so many years of career, is there any special audience or place do you remember? Any venue where you would love to play again?
Yeah…Alicante (Spain). We played a gig near there in an ancient cave with some lights hanging down and a beautiful echo…My manager’s mother died and he had to leave the tour, so we did the show for her. It was very spiritual. I would love to play again in Amsterdam: Cafe Paradiso. It was an old church and the sound is amazing…I have never had a bad show there.
8) I have read you do not like labels very much…But how would you define your music?
I do not (haha). It is other’s stuff.
9) How do you see the current musical panorama? Is there any band or artist that make you get excited?
Mmmm actually very few. People like Amy Winehouse, Iron&Wine, Keren Ann and well, a lot of underground bands and musicians.
10) Do you think your music has gone through an evolution since your first album until this last one?
Yeah sure. If you do not evolve, you die. You evolve as a person as well. You are a different person when you are 20 or 30. So if you evolve, your compositions and your way of writing do it as well. It is unavoidable. When you are in your 20’s you have a great deal of passion and a lot of things to say. When you are in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, you have more wisdom, you are more sure about who you are and you are not very easily influenced. Actually I do not like very much my early compositions.