Lucky Daye is taking the music industry by storm, and the 2020 Grammy Awards too.
The first-time nominee, who earned four separate nods from the Recording Academy this year, chats with E! News about his debut studio album and sources of creative inspiration in an exclusive sit-down interview ahead of Sunday night's show. After more than a decade in the business, the rapper-singer-songwriter says "it feels good" knowing there's an audience out there who appreciates his "truths and [his] honesty."
Having earned multiple writing credits and contributed background vocals to artists like Keith Sweat, Ne-Yo, Keke Palmer, Trey Songz and more, Lucky released Painted (a contender for Best R&B Album at the Grammys, with two of its tracks up for additional titles in Best R&B Song, Best R&B Rap Performance and Best Traditional R&B Performance categories) in May 2019. Speaking about music that has informed his work, the 34-year-old tells E! he's "inspired by it all."
"Seventies, eighties, nineties and current hip-hop," he adds, citing Michael Jackson, D'Angelo, Lil Wayne and Kanye West among voices that resonated with him from an early age. Still, in his own pursuits, Lucky says he aims to create something entirely new.
"I just try to put some ingredients together and make something futuristic. I just want to be ahead," explains the Grammy newcomer, who experiments with both sound and structure on Painted.
"Real Games," the track nominated for Best Traditional Performance, clocks five-and-a-half minutes start to finish and showcases Lucky's rap skills much as it does his falsetto. During his sit-down with E!, he calls the melodic funk epic his "personal favorite" out of Painted's 13 installments because it's "different."
"I went left," he smiles. "I like going against the grain."
Find out how the stage name "Lucky Daye" came to be—plus, hear him describe the real-life emotions that gave way to his album's twice-nominated track, "Roll Some Mo"—in the full clip above!