On a Saturday in OC’s legendary Chain Reaction parking lot, 20 year-old Daylin Patton aka Day stands outside of his manager’s car shuffling between taking swigs of New Amsterdam and fulfilling last minute ticket requests for his first $10 show.
“You wanna eat it when I eat?” he snarks at a member of his entourage after he hesitates to retrieve the rapper’s luggage from backstage. Obliging, his friend heads to the back room in the venue reserved for the talent. Just one member of his entourage, Day’s remaining squad includes his hypeman, dancer Raymond Nava, his manager Katie, girlfriend and collaborator Ari and a few of her friends. They’re a good looking, diverse group that show the impact Hip-Hop and R&B made on today’s youth.
Once things are sorted out, Day heads to the backroom to rehearse the songs he’ll be performing during his 30 minute set. To prepare, he paces, rhythmically, backstage with one Apple earbud in rapping his verses with as much vigor he can muster before the adrenaline takes his onstage energy up a level. Eventually, Day sits down with Ari to rehearse what can be considered his biggest song, a cover of Fat Joe and Ashanti’s “What’s Luv?”. At the time of the show, the video, released on Twitter, had just reached 17,000 likes and 11,000 retweets.
In Burbank, two weeks after his show Chain Reaction, Day is in the studio with platinum-record winning engineer Anthony Falcone, the mentee of legendary engineer David Argon. The Cypress native is geeked to find out he’s the first to bless the mic in the newly renovated studio on Hollywood Way.
“Wait, I’m the first one?!” he yelps. ‘“That’s a lot of pressure!”
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Ari is along with Day to lay down their first vocals for their upcoming single. She, too, is overwhelmed by the grandiosity of the studio that’s seen the likes of T.I., YG and more. Several times she finds herself on the verge of tears, fawning over the facility, equipped with a 30 year old SSL 6000 board. Most of Ari’s portfolio is comprised of YouTube covers of ‘90s R&B hits that shape her vocal approach. Together, Day and Ari aren’t much different than frequent collaborators and rumored lovers Big Sean and Jhene Aiko. The up-and-coming duo are in talks to produce their own joint album that might follow the lines of Sean and Aiko’s R&B-tinged “Twenty88”.
The album concept is right up Day’s alley. Of his influences, which include Tupac, Dana Dane and Slick Rick, he often looks to the bubbling TrapSoul subgenre in an attempt to master his sound. Guys like Tory Lanez, Bryson Tiller and other rising stars such as K Forest and Tyus are on Day’s mind when he slips into a music writing zone; a place he’s been exploring for just a year and a half. Before making an attempt at Rap, Day was playing point guard at Monmouth College in Illinois on a partial scholarship. Soon though, the out-of-state tuition became too expensive and Day was back in Orange County, enrolled at Cypress College pursuing a degree in business and communications.
However, before Day went east to pursue hoop dreams, he gained a slight buzz tweeting poems covering topics from love to everyday struggles. Now, with the recent-got digital buzz, a wildly charismatic Day finds himself excited about the prospects a successful music career could afford him; talking about possibilities leaves him silent, searching for words. Ready to take his career to the next level, Day must first tackle the task at hand; recording his first song with Falcone. Before heading back to down the I-5 to what he and his crew call Juice County, Day wants one more to chance to absorb what it is to be on before he can eventually put words to his dreamed successes.
“Is it cool if I hear it one more time… on the big speakers?”