Dacey on Quarantine Creativity, Falling Asleep to Bill Burr, and “Broccoli’s Keeper” [Q&A]

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Vancouver-based band Dacey is the latest act to grace the cover of Spotify's "Fresh Finds: Indie." Lead singer Dacey Andrada, guitarists Justin Tecson and Waterfall Eyes, bassist Joshfrompomo, and drummer Marco Marin are taking the Gen Z world by storm with their hazy brand of genre-bending DIY music. With a Mac Demarco-like nonchalance and a Steve Lacy-esque groove, Dacey sits comfortably at the intersection of bedroom pop and alternative R&B. 

"Broccoli's Keeper," the band's newest single (out now on Kitsuné Musique), is a woozy tribute to dro. With an effortless lilt, Andrada lays down lyrics about getting high on your typical afternoon over a jangling guitar instrumental.

I had the pleasure of catching up with frontwoman Dacey over email last week to pick her brain about "Broccoli's Keeper," creativity in quarantine, and falling asleep to the dulcet tones of Bill Burr. 

Ones To Watch: Who is Dacey?

Dacey: My name is Dacey Andrada, and I'm the lead singer of the band DACEY, I'm a singer-songwriter born and raised in Vancouver BC. I make music with elements of alt-R&B, neo-soul, lo-fi hip hop, indie, and jazz.

So, you're based in Canada, and first met at the Nimbus School of Recording and Media in Vancouver. How have your cultural surroundings helped shape the music you make today?

I'm a second-generation Canadian, I was born in Vancouver BC, and was raised in a Filipino household with both music-loving parents. As a kid, I grew up listening to my dad's music collection, which consisted of burnt CDs, cassette tapes, concerts pre-recorded onto VHS tapes, and vinyl. We had an array of genres, including artists such as the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Jackson 5, Etta James, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, the Beach Boys, and Amy Winehouse. 

I was a four year old who stood on top of the family coffee table as if it were a stage, entertaining guests with my fake Britney Spears headset microphone. It wasn't until grade school that I realized I was mostly drawn to, and most passionate about Motown, Jazz, R&B, and Funk. In high school, I played bass in jazz band and sung in jazz choir, which contributed to my growth of very niche jazz music. 

From then on, I slowly started writing my own music around the age of 11, progressively discovering my style in writing as the years went by. At the beginning of high school, I began listening to new artists that were in and changing the game. I gradually grew my love for hip-hop, neo-soul, indie alternative, and immediately fell in love with the music of Tyler, the Creator, Kanye West, Anderson .Paak, SZA, Hiatus Kaiyote, Mild High Club, Mac Demarco, and Thundercat.

When did you realize music was something you wanted to seriously pursue?

Growing up, I've always had a passion for music. So ever since I was little, I've always wanted to be a performer. It wasn't until after high school, I realized right away that the dentistry route wouldn't be for me, I then started performing all over Vancouver.

How have you been staying busy in quarantine? Have you picked up anything new?

I've been recording for our upcoming EP, It is currently in the process. I've picked up biking, hiking, and long walks. Last year while I was still in school, it had been hard for me to stay physically active because I would always be in the studio either recording or producing for my classes. I would say I have been the most active this year due to quarantine (which isn't a bad thing lol).

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Walk us through your songwriting process. How has social distancing affected your creativity as a group?

Usually during band practice or whenever we all get to be in the studio, either one of us would come up with a chord progression, then we all add our parts and jam it out. I would then take a recording of it, bring it home, then write to the piece. Otherwise, I would come up with a chord progression first, sometimes the lyrics would have already been written, and bring it to the
studio to show the band, then jam it out until we see fit. Since quarantine started, it has slowed down our creative process and our workflow, since we weren't really able to meet up as much to make new material. However, we're slowly getting back into the groove and grinding it all out.

What's your go-to "interesting fact" when you do icebreakers in class?

I like to sleep with podcasts from my favourite comedians on. I can easily fall asleep to Bill Burr. 

"Broccoli's Keeper" is such a fun name - how did you come up with the idea for the song, and more importantly, who is Sir Pablo?

"Broccoli's Keeper" is derived from the term brother's keeper. It is a metaphor for a person who's in charge of the kush. I was inspired by the song "Addicted" by Amy Winehouse, and I sort of based the song around her's and especially around my experiences. It's just about how greedy you have to be sometimes with your dro. Sir Pablo is anyone who mooches off you way too often, and is a weed fiend.

Are there any artists you would like to tour with or collaborate with in the future?

So many! I would love to collaborate with Tyler, the Creator, Anderson Paak., Tame Impala, SZA, Kali Uchis, Steve Lacy, and Mac Demarco one day! I feel like I'm missing someone…

What's next for Dacey?

We've got a new single coming out in September! We've got our EP coming up in the next few months, can't really pinpoint a specific date, but it's real soon! We've also got a music video for "Broccoli's Keeper" dropping.

Who are your Ones To Watch?

Hamb Sun, an artist also based in Vancouver! He's super dope, and his style is really unique. He really makes it his own.

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