Previously, Lady Daisey’s music has been described as: “sunshine for your soul.” That might seem like hype or hyperbole. It’s not. From the moment you press play On Lady Daisey’s new album In My Headphones, you’re captivated. Powerful, sultry, seductive, soulful and sassy, describes Lady Daisey’s voice. The thirteen tracks on In My Headphones, which will be released on BBE Music, on 24th February 2014, come to life. No wonder. From an early age, Lady Daisey’s life has revolved around music. She’s almost a musical veteran.

The Lady Daisey story begins back in Brooklyn. That’s where Daisey Traynham the future Lady Daisey was born. Her parents were both musicians and were in a band. So, Lady Daisey grew up on the road. She was covering everyone from Prince, Michael Jackson and Sister Sledge. Then Lady Daisey had a eureka moment. She realised that she wanted to be a singer. That’s what she did.

Since then, Lady Daisey has toured the world. She travels light. Her motto is to keep life simple. What’s important to Lady Daisey are “love, life, inspiration and peace.” Another thing that’s important to Lady Daisey is “music.” Whether it’s been clubs, concert halls or festivals, Lady Daisey has won friends and influenced people. Travelling light, she’s spread her message of love and inspiration. She delivers it soulfully while her husband Batsauce lays down the beats. 

Batsauce and Lady Daisey are a team. They met through music. They’re both members of the hip hop group The Smile Rays. They’ve released two albums, Party Place and Smilin’ On You.  Since then, Batsauce has become an important part of Lady Daisey’s team. 

When Lady Daisey released her 2010 debut album, In My Pocket, Batsauce played an important part in the album’s success. Batsauce arranged, mixed produced In My Pocket, which was released on BBE Music. He also supplied the beats for Lady Daisey. This is the case with Lady Daisey’s sophomore album In My Headphones.

For In My Headphones, Lady Daisey penned seven tracks. She also cowrote Thank You With Batsauce. He contributed Showdown, Love Is and To Find You and cowrote two other tracks. One was Get Got, which he wrote with George Clinton, who features on Get Got. So Boog Brown on Kiss My Grits and Paten Locke of  The Smile Rays on Thank You. These thirteen tracks were recorded in a rather unorthodox way.

Rather than head into a studio, Lady Daisey recorded In My Headphones on a small portable studio. They carry the portable studio everywhere they go. So, whenever they’ve an idea for a song, they can record it. This is what Lady Daisey has been doing during her travels around America, Asia and Europe. Just like with In My Pocket, Batsauce also arranged, mixed and produced In My Headphones. Four years after her debut album, Lady Daisey returns with her sophomore album In My Headphones, which I’ll tell you about.

Without doubt, the most important track on any album is the opening track. Lady Daisey realises this and has chosen Ready. It’s the perfect introduction to her unique fusion of hip hop and Nu Soul. The first thing that strikes you, is Lady Daisey’s sweet, sultry vocal. Sometimes, she reminds me of Minnie Riperton. Batsauce supplies the hip hop. This means thunderous beats, meandering keyboards and soaring harmonies. They provide the perfect backdrop to Lady Daisey’s coquettish vocal. You’re now anticipating the rest of In My Headphones.

Kiss My Grits sees a sassy Lady Daisey strut centre-stage. Growling horns signal her arrival. They join crisp drums and stabs of keyboards. Joining Lady Daisey is Boog Brown, who lays down a feisty rap. She’s the perfect foil to Lady Daisey. Together they create a track that’s feisty, witty, sassy and soulful.

Sci-fi synths open For You before the thundering beats accompany Lady Daisey’s tender, seductive vocal. She delivers the lyrics as if she’s lived them. This she does against a hip hop arrangement. Scratches, beats and bursts of a rap accompany her. However, it’s Lady Daisey that plays the starring role.

What sounds like a clavinet opens The Way You Do. It was a favourite of Stevie Wonder in the early seventies. It’s tough sound suits the track. A feisty Lady Daisey struts her way through the arrangement. Accompanied by flute, beats, sultry saxophone and harmonies, she showcases her versatility. Veering between Nu Soul, R&B, urban and hip hop, she delivers a vocal powerhouse.

Showdown has a vintage R&B sound. Driven along by grizzled, swinging horns and drums, Lady Daisey delivers her vocal at breakneck speed. She draws inspiration from sixties soul right through to R&B, urban and Nu Soul. Using these influences, Lady Daisey makes the song her own. Power, control, and sass are her secret weapons. So are her impressive vocal range and her vast experience.

She Got sees Lady Daisey joined by former Funkadelic star George Clinton. She’s not nervous. Far from it. This seems to bring out the best in Lady Daisey. Her vocal veers between tender, coquettish and sensual. Then when George enters, his grizzled vocal is powerful and full of character. It’s as if he’s lived a thousand lives. They prove a potent partnership. Especially, with bursts of horns punctuating the arrangement and the fact the drums aren’t as loud. Later, George vamps above Lady Daisey’s vocal, reminding us of what’s he’s capable of. Soulful, funky and dance-floor friendly, it would make a good single.

Tender and breathy describes Lady Daisey’s vocal on We Will. The arrangement features just a standup bass and drums. They provide an understated backdrop to Lady Daisey’s tender, seductive vocal. Mostly, it’s jazz-tinged and soulful. Briefly, her vocal become a mini rap, as she demonstrates not just her versatility, but her ability to bring a song to life.

The arrangement to Fruit almost marches along to the tune of the drums. The rest of the arrangement is best described as dramatic and hypnotic. Lady Daisey’s vocal soars. It’s wistful and mysterious. Horns, percussion and rolls of drums accompany her. So do harmonies. They’re the finishing touch to this mini soap opera.

Stabs of growling horns open Love Is. They’re joined by harmonies and bursts of drums. They signal the arrival of Lady Daisey’s breathy, lovestruck vocal. She brings the lyrics to life. The rest of the band compliment her vocal. However, you’re captivated by her heartfelt, tender vocal. 

To Find You finds Lady Daisey fusing hip hop and Nu Soul. Her vocal is best described as a soulful rap. She draws inspiration from Erkah Badu and India Arie. With crisp drums and keyboards for company Lady Daisey delivers a needy, soulful vocal. Full of sadness and longing, she paints pictures with her lyrics. All the time, she’s combining Nu Soul, hip hop, urban and electronica. 

From the creaky door that opens Attic, it’s obvious Lady Daisey is going to tell us a story. Just like on other tracks, her lyrics have a strong narrative. She paints pictures, so much so, that you can imagine her “dancing in my attic, drowning out the traffic.” With piano, beats and percussion for company, Lady Daisey delivers a vocal masterclass, where jazz and soul combine seamlessly. The addition of the trombone proves the finishing touch to the track.

Cascading harmonies, crunchy beats and effects accompany Lady Daisey on Full Circle. A melancholy piano line and cooing harmonies prove the perfect accompaniment to Lady Daisey. They seem to drive each other to greater heights. The sound effects, including what sounds like waves breaking on a beach work well. 

Thank You closes In My Headphones and sees Lady Daisey take her bow. It’s a fusion of R&B, urban, hip hop and Nu Soul. Lady Daisey unleashes a celebratory vocal. Accompanying her is Paten Locke. This seems to spur her on. She goes on to deliver a joyful vocal, combining power, passion and soulfulness.

So, that’s the story of Lady Daisey’s In My Headphones. It features thirteen tracks, where Lady Daisey fuses Nu Soul and hip hop. She also adds to her musical mixing pot jazz, R&B, soul and urban. This demonstrates just how versatile a vocalist she is. She’s just as comfortable singing other styles of music. If her brand of hip hip and soul was ever to fall out of fashion, then Lady Daisey could change direction. That’s something many artists have struggled to do.

Previously, when Nu Soul was flavour of the month, once the genre’s popularity fell, artists were left high and dry. That won’t happen to Lady Daisey. If her hip hop infused brand of soul falls out of fashion, another career awaits. She could sing other styles of music, including classic soul or jazz. Indeed, I’d like to hear Lady Daisey with an old school band behind her. Especially, with strings, horns and backing vocalists accompanying her. So in a way, Music In My Headphones is just a taste of what Lady Daisey is capable of. She’s a versatile singer. Her CV demonstrates this.

Indeed, Lady Daisey could have a long and successful career ahead of her. Proof of this is her CV. In My Headphones is her second solo album.  She’s also released two albums with The Smile Rays. Her voice can be heard on recordings with Qwazaar, Typical Cats, Asamov and Marc Hype. Lady Daisey has opened for Sharon Jones, Mayer Hawthorne, Chali 2na, Roxanne Shante, Bahamadia, The Perceptionists. Then there’s appearances at festivals around the world, where Lady Daisey has played alongside The Roots, Method Man, Atmosphere, Muse, Typical Cats, and Souls of Mischief. That’s quite a CV. For Lady Daisey the future looks bright. The next chapter in her career begins on 24th February 2014, when her sophomore album In My Headphones is released by BBE Music.


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