Emerging Artist: Daley

I was going to write about something decidedly serious and throw some (decidedly much deserved) shade at a certain artist whose name rhymes with “Cacklemore,” but I’ve decided to follow the “promote what you love, instead of bashing what you hate” route instead.

You can thank British R&B singer Daley for the sudden change in editorial direction. I had the distinct pleasure of seeing him in concert for the first time Wednesday night and as a result, this Grinch’s heart has since grown three sizes.

As you can see, Daley is a classic case of looks being deceptive. He’s got a unique style that falls somewhere between “emo prepster” and “real-life Jetsons character” that might make him easy to dismiss as a serious artist – until you hear him sing Maxwell’s “Pretty Wings”:

Holy falsetto, Batman!

If covers don’t impress you, rest assured he can hold his own when it comes to original material. He has some enviable songwriting chops that only enhance his vocal prowess:

And game recognizes game. Daley has yet to release a full-length album and he has already collaborated with the likes of Marsha Ambrosius, Gorillaz and Jessie J. His upcoming album, Look Up, features production from Questlove and Skateboard P himself . You can check out his collaboration with Pharrell in the eponymous single below:

The immediate take-away from the concert? “DAT BOY IS GOOD!” – however, I knew that going in and the live performance just solidified my assertion. Something that surprised me was that the distinct lack of chill exhibited by Daley’s Chicago stans. Listening to his music, you wouldn’t expect his concerts to be rowdy, but our cousins showed up and showed out in a way that brought great energy to the show and surely made Daley feel all warm and fuzzy on the last night of his U.S. tour.

I could go on, but I’ll just let the music speak for itself. You can visit Daley’s YouTube page  for more silky vocal goodness, and you can get a free download of his “Songs That Remind Me Of You” EP when you sign up for his newsletter on his website. If you like what you hear, check for his full-length debut Days & Nights on February 11.