REGION — It has been three years since British R&B star Daley’s dropped his debut album, “Day + Nights,” a rich tapestry of soul, electronica and pop that became a staple of adult urban contemporary radio stations across the country.
The 27-year-old singer/songwriter is back, recently releasing “Until the Pain is Gone,” the lead-off single from his upcoming sophomore album entitled “The Spectrum.” The song, which features R&B legend Jill Scott, is already climbing the charts and setting the tone for what has been one of the more highly anticipated follow-up efforts in recent years.
San Diego fans of Daley are in for a treat as his tour, The Undeniable Tour, with which he shares the billing with fellow soul singer Leela James, makes a stop in San Diego at the House of Blues May 3.
“We are just having fun, you know, getting out there and connecting with the fans, catching up really, and getting people ready for the next phase and letting them know that the album is on the way,” Daley said on Monday.
The tour, which started has four West Coast stops this week, has so far been a success, he said.
“It’s been great, it’s been fun getting to tour around the country and been great to play the new single, and getting to touch base with the fans and letting them know there’s an album on the way, it’s been good for both of us,” he said. “I’ve been introduced to her sound, and she’s been introduced to my sound, so it’s been a good run for us.
“We are both very different artists, but we both have very compatible audiences, so it has been cool,” he said.
While keeping details of the upcoming album close to his vest, Daley said he’s spent the last few years pushing himself into different spaces in terms of the album’s sound.
But Daley said one thing that won’t change is the “soul,” which is at the core of his music and at the heart of some of his biggest hits, including “Alone Together,” his 2012 duet with Marsha Ambrosius and “Look Up,” the 2014 hit single produced by super-producer Pharrell Williams.
“I definitely wanted to approach the songs in a similar way and write from an honest place and a relatable place,” said Daley, who lists Prince, Chaka Khan, Sade, George Michael and Radiohead as some of the biggest influences on his sound. “But the experiences I am writing from are different from the last one, I’ve lived more life since the last album and experienced different things. The first album was, you know, focused on heartbreak, but I think the theme of thins one is a little more open, there’s a broader view of love on this album.”
One of the experiences that colors the album and one song in particular was the death of his longtime manager in 2016.
“He really helped me to get my start in the music business and helped me believe in myself, so it became a natural thing that he would have a presence on the album,” Daley said. “It was my first time experiencing loss in my personal life and it put a lot of things into perspective for me, so it definitely contributed to my whole perspective on the album.
“I’m not revealing any song titles yet, but it will become apparent for sure,” Daley added.
Another person who influenced Daley’s sound heavily was Prince, the music titan whose passing rocked the world in 2016. He’s the one artist who Daley said dead or alive that he would want to collaborate it.
While he won’t be able to collaborate with him, Daley said his tour performance will include a Prince tribute.
“I definitely wanted to pay homage to him on the tour,” he said.
Daley, who has performed in San Diego several times in his career, said he’s eager to reconnect with the fans here, whom he said have been very supportive of his career.
“There always seems to be music lovers in San Diego, I definitely have a really cool core group of people who have been supporting me out there,” Daley said. “Wherever I go, the audiences are very similar, they appreciate certain things about music, whether it’s vocal performances or relatable songs, emotional songs, stuff like that, and I feel like I attract that type of audience.”
For Coast News readers who can’t make Daley’s Wednesday performance, the tour makes stops in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and Las Vegas. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit daley.tv/shows.