Grace Martine Tandon, better known by her stage name Daya, is a promising American singer-songwriter, and ace instrumentalist, whose singing career took off after she released her first self-titled EP, ‘Daya’, in 2015. The single “Hide Away” from the EP reached the 23rd spot on ‘Billboard Hot 100’. Daya demonstrated her latent music composition skills when she started learning to play various instruments including classical piano, guitar, ukulele, saxophone, and flute from the age of 3. Daya had mastered playing these musical instruments by age of 10, much before she realized her vocal talent. She joined the ‘Accelerando Music Conservatory’ in Pittsburgh, at the age of 11, to hone her singing skills. The owner of the music school, Christine Chirumbolo and her colleague, Gino Barletta, a producer and songwriter, encouraged Daya to relocate to Los Angeles so that she could work towards a successful singing career. Following the stupendous success of her first EP and effective alliance with ‘The Chainsmokers’—a dancing duo—where she lent her vocals for their number “Don’t Let Me Down” she embarked on a countrywide music tour. During the tour, she performed as a supporting act for ‘Jack & Jack’ a budding hip-hop duo. Winning a ‘Grammy Award’ in February 2017 for the soundtrack “Don’t Let Me Down” has been the crowning glory of her professional singing career so far.
Daya’s singing career received a boost when made the shift from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles along with her parents, Hans and Christine, so that she could train at Inside Access. Inside Access was a music workshop instituted by Christine Chirumbolo and Gino Barletta that offered opportunities to budding singers and musicians to fine-tune their intrinsic skills. She also attended Paramount Recording Studios, where she collaborated with the likes of Noisecastle III, Britten Newbill, and Brett McLaughlin.
After the lyrics of her first single “Hide Away” were composed and the song recorded, Daya was introduced to Z Entertainment’s Steve Zap who played a key role in promoting her. Daya who was just 17 when she met Zap was not very confident that she’d be able to make it as a vocalist and started attending high school. However, Zap took a liking for the song and founded his own recording label ‘Artbeatz’ in partnership with Barletta in order to endorse Daya.
“Hide Away” was launched on 22 April 2015 and got a good reception, especially online. Several bloggers heaped encomiums on the single and wrote positive reviews, most notable amongst them being Perez Hilton and Tyler Oakley. Billboard’s Jason Lipshutz branded the song ‘a gorgeous act’ and uploaded the same on the official site.
Daya debuted on television in August 2015 by crooning her first single on the program, ‘Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda’. She launched her self-titled debut EP, ‘Daya’ on 4 September 2015, which consisted of 6 tracks. The six which opened at the 161st position on ‘Billboard 200’ peaked at number 40 on the chart for pop songs.
After the digital version of ‘Daya’ was well-received, Target Records, a Denmark-based independent recording label arranged for releasing the vinyl records and CDs of the EP. Physical recordings of Daya’s first EP were up for sale from October 30, 2015 onwards. In February 2016, she partnered with ‘The Chainsmokers’ and sang “Don’t Let Me Down” that ultimately attained the number 3 spot on Billboard Hot 100.
The song “Don’t Let Me Down” was her first rendition that ranked amongst the top 3 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100 Chart’. The 2nd single from the EP “Sit Still, Look Pretty” opened at the 100th position but eventually went on to finish at number 28. Daya received an invitation from the White House in 2016 to perform at the Easter Egg Roll, and she along with her family was warmly received by President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama.
“Words”, the 3rd single in Daya’s debut studio record ‘Sit Still, Look Pretty’ was commercially released on 15 November 2016. She was nominated for Grammy for the number “Don’t Let Me Down” and eventually won the award under the category ‘Best Dance Recording’ on 12 February 2017.
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Daya was born on 24 Octobern1998, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Hans and Christine Tandon. She spent her growing up years in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Her paternal grandparents migrated to US from India when India was still under British rule. She first went to St. Bernard School and thereafter transferred to Mt. Lebanon High School, earning her graduation in June 2016.
Daya received a lot of support from her parents both of whom are engineers, and had formed a family band along with her sisters which didn’t last long enough. Her stage name ‘Daya’ is actually a Hindi translation of her actual name ‘Grace’ which means ‘sympathy’ or ‘compassion’.