Interview daine: “I forget people gas me up so much!”

Finding the sweet spot between emo and hyperpop, the Aussie teen is already reaching for the stratosphere.

“I’d hope that they were an alien,” daine decides, reflecting on how she’d describe herself to someone who’d never heard her music. “And I would show them all of my cover art, and I would just give them the words ‘future emo’.”

She might be aiming to send her hyperpop-indebted genre clash into extraterrestrial realms but, back on planet Earth, the 18-year-old Australian has a fully-realised vision for what’s to come, too. “Music and visuals are equal to me, I don’t think that music’s more important, which is really bad to say!” she laughs, “because I am a musician, and I’m meant to be all about the music, but I’m not. It’s more holistic, for me.

“When I’m writing songs I use visual cues, I never write about personal topics. Like ‘Salt’ and ‘Bloody Knees’: they’re quite graphic, they’re more emotionally evocative,” she continues. “I want my music to paint a picture. Sometimes it’s just emotional vomit, but my favourite songs are definitely the ones where I’m painting visually with words.”

Apart from the visuals, daine notes that being “super emo” is the red thread that ties her music together. “I think I’ve always written music like that; I’ve always been doing something a bit emo-leaning, even when it’s not super obvious, and I feel so blessed that I have quite an emo fanbase. I wasn’t expecting it at all, but if you know, you know!”

“Sometimes it’s just emotional vomit, but my favourite songs are the ones where I’m painting visually with words.”

Now, the singer is moving further towards the marvellous meeting point of emo and hyperpop with every release, helped along most recently by one very important member of her fanbase – Bring Me The Horizon icon Oli Sykes. “I had no idea he even followed me!” she says giddily, “and then we finally did a song, which was really fucking crazy.”

That collaboration - September’s game-changing ‘Salt’ - marks the beginning of a turn towards the alternative for the singer that’s seen her hailed as a new genre-hybrid icon, taken simultaneously under the wing of 100 gecs’ Dylan Brady and Oli’s rock kings. daine, however, is taking it in her stride. “I forget people gas me up so much! I just wake up every day and walk my dog and watch TV… It’s very insular, launching a career from my bedroom, but it’s kinda cool.

“The goal is to create a little world,” she enthuses. “I don’t really like solid routines, and I always wish that I existed in a fantasy world, so I think music is my space to create that and live that. I want it to be an escapist space for other people; I find it really flattering when people tell me they find my music and visuals really immersive.”

And as she continues her steady real world ascent, what’s daine got coming for us? “There’s definitely a big jump in evolution. I go through eras, so I’ll get back to making crazy shit soon,” she grins, “but some songs are gonna be coming out that feel very nostalgic and teenagery. It’s like, post-hyperpop, very futuristic, but youthful. I think there’s an innocent quality to it.”

As featured in the October 2021 issue of DIY, out now. Scroll down to get your copy.

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