That reintroduction officially came in the form of "First Time," Daya's first official solo release in over a year, and her first since landing a new joint record deal with Sandlot Records and AWAL. The track, a sunkissed, tropical dance anthem, sees Daya fully embracing her sexuality, experimenting with her sound, and kicking off a new era of her recording career.
"It feels like I'm in a space where I'm more comfortable with myself," she says. "I've gone through a lot of growth personally, and life, just experience-wise and relationship-wise. I'm in a place to kind of be more vulnerable, and talk about my feelings in a more vulnerable, personal way."
Even her new music video for "First Time" sees Daya letting loose and getting creative -- directed by the singer's girlfriend Clyde Munroe, the video follows Daya on a roadtrip, where the star lets herself run free through massive fields, explore deserts, dive into an ocean, and even race on a dirt bike.
Daya says that she actually had never driven a dirt bike until the started shooting the video. "I was actually going to ride a proper motorcycle at first, but that obviously was not something that you can learn in 20 minutes," she says with a nervous chuckle. "It was just super-organic and fun, and the first time that we've shot together as a couple, like our first proper music video, so it was super exciting."
Having an organic work environment is part of the reason the star decided to make her switch from Interscope. The singer says that after collaborating over the years with producer Jacob Kasher (professionally known as J Kash), she decided she wanted to take control of her platform by signing an independent deal with his record label, Sandlot Records, in partnership with AWAL Recordings.
There are a lot of reasons Daya says she ultimately made the move. But the two most important to her were freedom and control. "It's crazy how lucky I am to be in this situation. I'm not taking that for granted -- the fact that I have this history and this career already built up for myself, and I already have this platform, I'm just excited that I can also have the freedom to do what I want with it," she says, "It's about ownership, about control, owning my message and owning my sound. I hope that people can connect with that and relate to that, because I feel like that's something that's unfortunately such a rarity in the industry."