Q&A with the multicultural musician, Daada

We sat down with emerging transnational talent Daada to chat about her most recent release, ‘Moonlight’, music, and more. Daada’s music bridges continents and cultures. The German-Colombian-born, Tanzanian-raised artist makes multilingual pop music that blurs the borders between Pop, Afropop and Latin, weaving stories in English, Spanish, Swahili and German. The word ‘daada’ is derived from Swahili for ‘sister’; paying homage to the multicultural universe that holds Daada’s music and to sister- and womanhood: cornerstones of her message. Daada recently went viral on TikTok and Instagram in Kenya, amassing over 500K views on two videos of her singing. Her music has earned Spotify and Boomplay editorial playlisting, airplay and interviews in Europe, Africa and Latin America from the likes of RBB Fritz (DE), Radio Eins (DE) and Global’s Smooth Chill by Global (UK), attention from digital & print media (i.e. The Citizen (TZ), RBB Kultur (DE), Verdadera Locura (ES)) as well as a nomination by Amazon Music Germany Breakthrough & All Hands on Deck as Top-6 Newcomer. In 2024, Daada will be releasing a second EP created between Berlin, Bogota and Nairobi.

Watch the music video for ‘Moonlight’ and read our interview with her below:



Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

Art is this universal language that everybody and nobody understands. It’s part of humanity. I feel really grateful that I have my connection with music and I can’t imagine not having it. Music consumption is the base of my food pyramid and music making is what gives me the most purpose in life.


Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

Sometimes words that come tumbling out and I just have to find the perfect sound to catch them in. But it’s more common for me and even more magical when some really nice chords come first and they are what lure the ideas out of me that are hiding or too shy to come out at first.


Does your material feature any collaborations? 

Not on this EP. But there are some collabs coming this year!


What’s on your current playlist?

Ooo, currently lots of Omah Lay, Amaarae, Karol G and most of Mon Laferte’s album, Autopoiética.


Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

There’s a song on the EP called ‘Song For You’ that was actually inspired by a moment I had on stage at the first festival I ever played last year. I got on stage and was nervous but I saw familiar faces in the audience and I suddenly felt so grateful and reassured. I feel so much love for my audience when I play and I feel a lot of love from them too. When my best friends make it too, they sing my lyrics and it’s the most beautiful feeling.


What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

Embracing fusion!


Take us through a day in the recording studio.

The process differs. In the past I have always written songs alone in my bedroom, but for most of this EP it worked like this: in the afternoon [we] just start fooling around with things while we talk about life and sounds and somehow one thing leads to the next and we’ve built a beat that we’re tweaking and spitballing together and that I’m putting words and melodies together as they come to me. I don’t take many breaks because once there is a flow, it’s hard to stop. So all of the songs on the EP came about in either one or max two afternoons. It was quite magical. I hadn’t finished many songs last year and had been focusing more on live arrangements, getting gigs and rehearsing, that when I got into the studio in October there was so incredibly much on my mind that wanted to come out into songs.


Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

It’s been a constant thought inside me since I started writing my first songs at seven years old. I remember at the age of nine or so spending hours on end in a corner of my bedroom, hypnotised by the way you could string chords together on the guitar and create explosions of emotion and then string words together and create poetry that released thoughts I didn’t even know I had. I think it was during songwriting processes and especially after finishing songs I was proud of, that I most strongly knew that was what I wanted to do forever. Nowadays I still get fresh impulses of that feeling when writing and also after gigs.


What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

My capo.


Any emerging artists on your radar?

I recently discovered a German artist called Frytz who I like a lot and how he submerges you in feelings. I also love Njerae from Kenya – her song ‘OTD’ was stuck in my head for weeks.


What gets your creative juices flowing?

Time and space to digest things. I usually need a few weeks or sometimes even months after I go through something to be able to fully access it emotionally and be able to create music from it. But also just a really juicy chord progression or bassline triggers a lot of creativity for me.


Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I think my ultimate favourite set up is just me and my guitar on my bed with my notebook. Some other essentials are my mic, interface and garageband for putting down ideas. I also like to play around with my loop pedal and my kalimba.


Any side projects you’re working on?

For now just music!


How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

It’s been a long road. I started singing before I can remember, then started learning violin at five and started writing songs a few years later. I first got into a professional studio when I was 12 or so and my school headmaster, who had heard me perform my original songs at school recitals, organised for me to go record them with a friend in the UK. A few years later I started putting little things I made on Garageband on SoundCloud (they’re still up there) and kept writing and writing songs. I performed them over and over again at open mics and recorded some here and there throughout school and uni at every chance I got. Last year I focused a lot on performing and striving for bigger shows and played my first festivals in Germany. I’ve also started letting go of my guitar a bit more and working with different producers and also embracing a lot of where I’m from in my sound.


Break down the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

I’ll be dropping an EP containing the music I am most proud of thus far. It’ll be trickling out from now until it is fully out early summer. I’ll also be performing at some festivals in the summer and putting out some more music later in the year too.


Famous last words?

When in doubt, add vocal harmonies.


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