“I’m on such a high right now, this is insane,” Daya tells Billboard just hours after receiving possibly the biggest news of her career thus far: Her song with The Chainsmokers, “Don’t Let Me Down,” was nominated for a Best Dance Recording Grammy.
The nominees for the 2017 Grammys were announced Tuesday morning (Dec. 6), when Daya — the youngest artist to earn a nomination this year at just 18 years old — was still sleeping. After receiving multiple phone calls and texts from her manager and publicist, she finally decided to answer to see what the ruckus was about.
“I had just woken up, so I was like ‘Is this part of my dream? I can’t tell.’ And I was so ecstatic I texted all my friends and literally did a lap around my hotel room. I was completely alone but had the energy of like 30 people,” she says. “It was a moment, for sure.”
Despite relishing the moment alone initially, Daya’s mom was just down the hall, so she quickly ran to her room and hugged her in excitement. As for her song mates, though, their celebration still has yet to happen — even though she had just seen The Chainsmokers the night before. “We didn’t talk about the Grammys because I guess they were probably nervous about it and it wasn’t even on my radar,” she admits. “We totally just dodged that subject, but they’re probably on such a high right now. They deserve it.”
Once they finally do get the chance to commemorate their achievement together, Daya knows that the chart-topping “partiers” will have a proper celebration. “I’ll tag along, maybe,” she laughs.
Ironically, when Daya was first approached by guys about singing on “Don’t Let Me Down,” her mom was pretty hesitant to have her teenage daughter work with the seemingly wild pair. “She saw one of their music videos and it was a threesome, and she was like ‘I don’t know if I want you doing a song with them,’” she recalls. “For the first couple of weeks I was like ‘No, this is such a gonna be such a good song, you have to listen to me.’ She realized a couple weeks later that this it was going to be amazing. Then she [met them, and] loves them now, they’re like family.”
Daya’s persuading certainly paid off, and if “Don’t Let Me Down” does end up winning, she’ll be sure to thank her mom for giving in — as well as the other people who have gotten her where she is. But after being in the presence of some of music’s biggest names, she jokes, “I’ll probably accidentally thank Beyonce in my acceptance speech if I win.”
While she’ll obviously be paying the most attention to who wins the Best Dance Recording category (in which she feels Flume and Kai‘s “Never Be Like You” will be the biggest competition, as it was one of her “jams” this summer), Daya is also excited to see how Chance the Rapper‘s six nominations fare.
“I’m really, really excited for him to get the nod for [Coloring Book] in multiple categories. Because he’s independent and I’m independent too, so that gives me hope for indie artists in the future,” she says. “He’s kind of paving the way for independent artists.”
Chance may serve as some inspiration for Daya and her future endeavors, but her own Grammy nod certainly helps give her the push she needs going into the next year of her already super-successful career. “I’m always trying to set the bar really high, but this is something that I can’t forget,” she says. “It’s made me reflect on this past year as a whole, like, ‘Wow I really have accomplished something.’ Usually I’m very hard on myself, so it’s a big moment for me. It’s reassuring.”