We almost jazzed ourselves earlier this year with the smooth, sexy and sudsy ways that Spencer Day captured us both visually and aurally. So naturally, we’re standing back at full attention for the gay crooner’s Atlanta return this weekend.
After an inspiring spring performance in Roswell in early May, Day returns to Atlanta for another inspiration, a special Alzheimer’s Association benefit show on Saturday at The Loft.
We caught up with Day at the end of his European tour to chat about the “hot little number” that inspired one of his sexy originals on “Daybreak,” his fifth studio album, a somewhat surprising choice of covers (Nancy Sinatra and Blondie y’all) and why Day is donating his time to the Alzheimer’s Association this weekend.
Your style and influences range from jazz and standard to the folky 60s vibe. Did you always know this is where you would position yourself in music?
I honestly don't think I really thought too much about it. I think often, as a musician you just go with what makes you feel good. With my music, I am always trying to pay homage to the artists I really respect while still hopefully contributing something of my own on top of it all. Who knows what I'll be inspired by tomorrow. I'm already working on a jazzy cover of Blondie. Just a warning. [laughs]
There’s a great mix of covers and originals on your latest album “Daybreak,” including Peter and Gordon, Steely Dan and of course, Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.” How did you choose the cover songs?
We really just went with what felt good in the moment and came together easily. I had identified about 15 covers that I really felt I could do something unique with, but these were the ones that came together effortlessly in the moment and I've learned to go with what is working in the moment.
Are there any that didn’t?
Yes! There are probably seven covers that we didn't have time to record. But no worries. I'm excited to do another round with “Daybreak Part 2.”
“Wait Till I Get You Alone,” one of the album’s originals, is a steamy seduction. What inspired that track?
Oh just a hot little number I would often see walking in my neighborhood. No one I've actually had the fortune of meeting. I had originally called the song “Holloway Baby” because that was the street on which I often witnessed this scorching force of nature. The most I ever got back was a wink. But as is often the case, the fantasy can be the most inspiring and I'm contented to keep it that way.
A cause very close to you brings you back to the ATL for the second time this year. Can you talk about why you’re coming back?
My grandfather who raised me just passed away. He had suffered greatly with Alzheimer's at the end of his life. I know how affecting that disease can be and I wanted to lend my time and talents to the cause. Besides, I just adore [event organizer] Sheri and this is a passion we both have in common.
You’ve spoke in the past about your journey and struggles of self-realization. Does the title “Daybreak” reference the place you feel you are at in your life right now?
I really am in a very good place right now. It feels like a weight has been lifted and I'm viewing everything in a much lighter and more optimistic way. This definitely wasn't always the case with me and I believe that all of my past struggles and growth are directly related to the new found happiness I am presently enjoying. Let's hope it lasts!
I’ve read some allusion to a musical theatre projects. Anything you can share?
I am definitely heading to New York this fall. I've got a couple new projects coming down the pipeline but they are still in the earlier stages. Stay tuned.
You are currently performing in Europe. What experiences have stood out?
I absolutely fell in love with Vienna and Budapest. I got completely lost in Vienna on my bike and it poured rain down on me. I experienced a great sense of accomplishment when I finally figured out where the hell I was. After being completely soaked, a warm shower never felt so good. Budapest was an amazing city to walk around and I must've walked three or four hours a day. But honestly I've loved all of the six European countries I've visited, including my return to London, but the tour isn't quite done yet. I’ve still four more cities to go.
What’s next for Spencer Day?
Well, after I finish this tour, laundry. Lots and lots of laundry. [laughs]
Spencer Day performs Sept. 6 at The Loft at Center Stage. Tickets are $30.