Hello fine readers! Our interview takeover with C Squared Music continues! Today we have some thoughts to share from publicist, graphic designer, and musician Aliyah Daye.
Tell our readers all about yourself! Where are you from and when did you get started?
Hello everyone! My name is Aliyah and (sings) I grew up in an Indiana town… well a city! West Lafayette to be exact, otherwise known as Purdue-land. Honestly it might sound like a cop-out but I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t doing something music related. Some of my first memories are from group voice lessons as a young child, and singing in the children’s and youth choirs. It took me a little longer to decide that I wanted to work on the back end of things, and before college I definitely wanted to just *not* go, and just work as a vocalist somehow.
However, I think my parents knew it would be very difficult to do that, and thus encouraged me to go to college for *something*. My brother noticed me making my own window clings for my favorite bands, and suggested that I go into graphic design. Well, brilliant! From then onward, my goal was to be a graphic designer at a record label, and I got a degree from Purdue University in graphic design. Even before that I was the type of person who joined their favorite bands’ Street Team and plastered their flyers everywhere! I have always loved sharing my favorite music with others.
What are your goals?
In life? Mainly to just be an authentic person with integrity, to always tell the truth, to be a better friend and family member to the people I love. Boring stuff like that hah. In music? I want to be as involved with it as I can, and help bring those underground talents to the forefront of as many people’s minds as possible. I have goals as a musician and vocalist as well. Beyond improving on my harsh vocals and keyboard skills for my band Shield of Wings, I just love to sing, so maybe doing some more covers for my YouTube channel will be in the future!
Do you have a day job?
I do! I work as a graphic designer in the marketing department of a blank apparel distributor. You know the place you order your band shirts from? Well, they get those blank shirts from us (hopefully, for the fans’ sake, not JUST the cheap heavyweight cotton ones!) Having a warehouse like my employer’s with a bunch of t-shirt brands allows your printer to order everything from one place, and usually get it within a day! I still feel like it is connected to the music industry in a very tangible way.
How do you balance your work and personal life with C Squared?
I’ve only been with C Squared for a few months, so right now I am still figuring out how to balance everything. Generally, I try to fit most of my PR and freelance design work to a couple hours in the morning, and an hour or two in the evening, with some emailing and other tasks that can be done on my phone on lunch breaks at the office. On weekends I dedicate as much free time as I can to these things. It is a lot of work but I am so happy to be doing something I love!
What do you consider to be the best investment you've made, career wise?
Probably the unpaid internship I scored at the record label I worked at for 5 years. I am a hard worker and it was not long (I think less than a week) before they actually let the new graphic designer they just hired go, and brought me on full-time instead. I felt sorry for that designer, but I always hope they got an opportunity that was a better fit for them! Working at the record label was an incalculably valuable experience, and I learned so much about the industry there. It was also a bit disillusioning; I was very naïve going into it. But that disillusionment was necessary to get an accurate picture of what is going on.
Also, music lessons, vocal, instrument, and a songwriting class I took as a teenager. I have so much respect for those local music teachers, they deserve to be paid more for what they do. You don’t need a celebrity coach to learn extremely valuable things about your instrument.
What's the worst or least helpful thing you've ever spent money on in
your career in the music industry?
So many things. Used microphones, interfaces and equipment that weren’t working properly anymore, WAY too many t-shirts and physical CDs for an EP for my college band that I spent WAY TOO LITTLE on producing…so many things. But honestly those things were all learning experiences, so you could say they were helpful, in their own way.
What kind of merch do you purchase most often as a music listener?
I am kind of a minimalist, but I still have SO many CDs and band T-shirts (I love a lady-fit tee or tank.) I generally stick with those basics, but I recently decided to start a new battle vest so I’m keeping my eye out for sick patches! I would love to be able to collect vinyl, but we simply do not have the space for that at our current home.
Which online music or social media platforms are most helpful to you?
I love Instagram but I am sad to hear it is moving to a video-based platform instead of photo sharing. Something about scrolling through beautiful and personal photos is much more relaxing and enjoyable to me than the overstimulation inherent to video apps like tik tok. I also enjoy twitter, and how it just feels very casual and chatty.
What does "making it" in the music industry mean to you?
I think “making it” to me would be, I already have! I am doing what I love, and by the time this is published I may have even helped with PR for some major long-time idols of mine like Sarah Jezebel Deva! I have plans to grow from here. But, for “really making it,” I would love to be able to do this full-time, and that all depends on my ability to help support my family financially.
To learn more about budgeting, band finances, and more, order Money Hacks for Metalheads and Old Millennials in paperback and ebook formats: https://amzn.to/3lCsFdq