prodigal hip hop homecoming tour

by jack diablo
Hometown hip hop legends, Lady Daisey and Batsauce have been living and working in Eurpoe for the past year and a half. Having made waves with their group the Smile Rays featuring another local emcee, Patten Locke, they’ve been able to take their funky style of soul-inspired hip hop out of Jacksonville and make a sizable splash whose wake has been felt across the European Union. Since their relocation, they’ve been extremely busy. Daisey is pursuing her solo career with the help of Batsauce, who has also done production work with such notable acts as Mr. Lif, Akrobatik, and many others.
The husband and wife duo (formerly known as Heavenly Noise) features the laid back grooves of Batsauce’s beat production coupled with Daisey’s soulful vocals. Like a cold glass of sweet tea on a hot summer day, their music intoxicates and elevates, brightening the dreariest of days with a healthy dose of Florida sunshine. Perhaps that signature warmth and positivity is the reason they’ve found so much success across the pond.
Even though they’ve enjoyed popularity and acclaim from their European audience, the group maintains strong ties to their hometown and has booked a month-long homecoming tour throughout the month of October. The “In My Hometown” tour kicks off at the A3C Hip Hop Festival in Atlanta followed by a host of local shows at venues like Club TSI, Eclipse, Starlite and various Florida State College at Jacksonville (formerly FCCJ) campuses. Before returning to their current base of operations in Berlin, they’ll play other cities in Florida and end the tour with the Hip Hop Helloween show at Shantytown Pub.
Daisey and Batsauce took some time out of their busy schedule to talk with EU about the upcoming tour and what the future has in store for these intrepid musicians.

EU: For those familiar with your work as the Smile Rays and Heavenly Noise, what is different about what you are currently working on?
Daisey: Really, it’s the same thing as Heavenly Noise, we just changed the name because it was easier to promote.
Batsauce: Compared to the Smile Rays, it’s just all Daisey as far as the lead vocals. The beats are very much the same, the production’s the same. So it’s just focusing on Daisey as a solo artist.

EU: Daisey, your vocals are jazzy, funky and incredibly soulful. What put you on to this particular style?
Daisey: I would have to say Batsauce is my hugest inspiration as far as that goes. In my past I did rock, I did folk, my parents were in a disco band so I have a lot of influences from all over the place. But it’s really when I hooked up with Batsauce that he hipped me to a lot of the more old school Aretha Franklin and stuff like that so my style changed up quite a bit once we started making music together and now I’m feeling it.

EU: Batsauce, where does the inspiration for the beats come from and where do you find your samples?
Batsauce: I guess my inspiration just comes from music, just good music, not necessarily just hip hop or soul but really any kind of music from anywhere. I get my samples a lot of times from whatever I’m listening to but I also play music. I’ll sample a video, I’ll sample a record, it doesn’t matter. I’m always trying to manipulate sound so really anything that makes sound is fair game.

EU: What prompted the decision to relocate to Europe and how does performing there compare with the US?
Daisey: What got us over here actually was the Smile Rays. We put a European tour together and we had a couple of festivals we were booked at, and just through networking and spreading the word, I was also able to get Lady Daisey sets and do some booking for that as well. Originally, we thought were only going to be here for a couple of months but things just started picking up and snowballing and the next thing you know, it’s been a year and a half and we’re still here. It was music that brought us over here.

EU: Do you plan to stay there permanently?
Daisey: I don’t know that we plan to do anything permanently other than make music and stay together. We don’t really know where we want to grow our roots yet, we’re still exploring the globe and figuring out where that next magical place is going to be.

EU: You guys are coming back to Jacksonville to play a month’s worth of shows in and around your hometown. Tell us a little about the tour.
Batsauce: It’s mostly in Jacksonville, we’ll go as far as Atlanta and Tampa, Miami. But really we just hit every place we’ve played before and just making the rounds. We’re really glad they remembered us and wanted to have us back. We’re really looking forward to it and excited about doing all these shows and seeing our friends and family.
Daisey: And we’re also going to be doing a couple of Smile Rays shows over there too.

EU: What plans do you have for the future and will we be hearing more from the Smile Rays anytime soon?
Batsauce: I think you will definitely hear stuff from us in the future, we have plans to do stuff. Time and space providing, we’re going to get to that. We definitely have plans to do another project, we just really wanted to focus. Patten is working on his solo project and Lady Daisey has been working on her project and I’ve done gigs with some people. Really this year was about putting our best foot forward as solo artists and then come back with the Smile Rays and see where we can take it from there, maybe in a new direction.
With over a dozen shows scheduled in the South East, a majority of which will take place in Jacksonville, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch Lady Daisey and Batsauce this October. Just make sure you don’t let these dates pass you by.