The Need To Grow: A Conversation With Onlybyday (Interview)

shot by Kanata Clarke

Throughout the years, onlybyday also know as DaShawn Watson has shown growth and consistency. The Broward County emcee has been featured as one of our artists to watch back in 2019. He is shown that he has an immense of amount of skill and potential within his artistry. Songs like “Blood Red” shows that his lyrical ability is top-tier and deadly. “White Jeep” shows he can write not just bar-heavy raps but songs that feel good and warm. It has always been exciting to see what he will do next.

Although 2020 has been a year of disarray for most people, there’s some that have found this year to be a year of growth within themselves. DaShawn Watson is going through a transformation within his artistry and most importantly himself. He now goes by the name, onlybyday. While the name signifies a separation from his true himself and his artistry, he also a deeper meaning within his transformation. “I do not like the feeling that I’m not progressing. Truthfully, it is like, I want my name and all of this to signify that I am growing. I’m in a stage of elevation.”

Onlybyday returns to speak about his latest release, “Pink (Over You)” where’s completely vulnerable. A track that speaks about being more honest with others. As well as his other track, “Red” that’s aggressive and shows his savvy wordplay, let alone opening up about his frustration of being an artist.

In our latest conversation, onlybyday speaks about his need to grow, his latest clothing line called daywear, wanting to go by onlybyday and so much more.

First off, I want to ask you how your mental has been this year?

This year, boy! It’s been a fucking roller coaster: It’s been a lot of changes, a lot of shifts, a lot of growth, and maturity. It’s really just been a lot.

The last time we talked was about 2-3 years ago. What has changed about you since then?

My perspective. My perspective on things. It is so funny too because even back then I’m probably sounded so sure about myself. I would even say now, I know enough to know that I know nothing. I know nothing…

Literally people would talk to me and say, “oh you’re so sure of yourself” and I don’t disagree with them, like I am. But if look back in retrospect, I’ll be like, “Dude. Boy was I so wrong.”.

What makes you so sure of yourself?

I’m a very confident person. I live off confidence. In the moment, like in best it’s all through confidence. That’s like my internal flame. That’s my internal motivation and drive. Through my self-confidence, I can achieve anything, I do anything. I can just do whatever I possibly believe and it’s through my confidence.

Now where does that confidence come from?

It’s comes from a lot of places. It comes from arrogance. Sometimes it is doubts from others. It can be just from my own internal will. Very much so that confidence literally just comes from whatever I put it towards. Whatever I latch it to, whether it’s internal or external, it doesn’t take long, and I can just- boom! Be in that confidence area. But on the same note it doesn’t mean it’s always the best in real world applications.

With Covid-19 causing a disarray in the music industry, what makes you feel like this is a good time release music?

Just personally, I believe there’s a time for everything. There is a divine time in essence. Literally, there is a time for everything and there is no right time for anything. I do not believe it. I did before in the past but now that I am older and wiser, I do not believe in it. The right time is always fleeting. There is never a moment in which truly, where like “oh this is the best time to do some shit”. Truly for me this one just felt right. This is the one where I felt like got all my pieces together. It was not even about something transpired and I was able to look around and assess. Everything clicked in this moment..

“The message I would like to convey is to know yourself. Know who you are and not who you think you are.”

Right. Sometimes I feel that if you try to wait for the right time, it may be too late, or you waited too long.

You will end up waiting forever. There’s a difference from patience and stagnation. Patience is like the understanding of saying “hey this isn’t the right situation yet. This situation doesn’t benefit me right now. Having myself acting early on it will shoot myself in the foot. That is patience. Then stagnation is like waiting for certain a moment, that’s just different. It’s kind of like a fear of action and there’s a line between the two.

Both songs you dropped are colored titled tracks. Starting off with Pink, what transpired in your life to create this song?

I wrote that song from like a year and some change ago. That’s not even recent song at all. I just had it for a while. It was more so just realizing that “Over You” [PINK] is just one of those songs that say, I’m not the good guy. It was more so in the light of just understanding that honesty could’ve went so much further than anything else. Problems could have been prevented. Situations could have just been handled better with honesty.

Are you getting with honesty?

Definitely. That’s not even a doubt in my eyes. I’m just finding out that being honest as possible and being as straight forward as possible prevents every future problem that can come about.

With “Red” which symbolizes being determined and anger. I do hear a sense of frustration. It’s like you’re saying, “I’m tired of y’all sleeping on me. Now it’s time to let y’all know”.

Yeah definitely. Red is like it’s either you feel me, or you feel me and that’s that. I’m a fire sign, a Leo, and all these kinds of things. However, in my opinion, I just be chilling in person. I make jokes, I’m a funny guy but, that’s when the music is where a lot of that energy is channeled and exerted outwardly.

For those songs did you do your own production, or did you get help from someone else?

I did the production on “Over You”[PINK] and my boy VinnyFuego did the production on “Red”.  He sent it to me, and I hit him back a day later and he was like, “are you serious right now?”

How often do you work with other producers?

As of recently, a lot more, and I am so grateful for it to be quite honest. I’m extremely grateful because I didn’t in the past. In the past I did a lot of art by myself and I’ll take blame for that because I was kind of shut off from certain things. Now I have been working with a lot more people. I am grateful to just have people around who just give a f***. Who really just see potential and want to take part and contribute in ways that they can, that’s just something I desire for a very long time and I finally have it coming to fruition and I’m very appreciative of it. Because there have been times where I wanted to do it so badly.

Do you feel that working with other producers has helped your artistry? 

Entirely. In the past, I would do a lot by myself and as cool as it sounds, it’s like just because you can do everything doesn’t mean that you should. I’m trying to be way more intentional with my energy just having people around me who can carry their own, and also be great in their own regards. It is just so cool to me.

“Stagnation is like waiting for certain a moment, that’s just different. It’s kind of like a fear of action…”

Is there a song or project that you like as you wish you can go back to and change?

Everything and that’s not even a joke. Everything is so funny dude. Don’t get me wrong the last big project I put out is Some Things Just Feel Better, which is really a big project of mine. I love it for what it is and I’m greatly appreciative of it, but I can still look back and be like, “Damn I could have done that different. On the project there is a song called “4me” and I look back and I’m like, “DaShawn, why the f*** did I have that song? Why did I have that song on there?” People like it but I’m just like, “DaShawn why did I put that on there?”

Not only did you drop new music but also your line of merch, called daywear. What sparked the idea of daywear? Is there a story behind it or is it just merch?

So, here is the thing. I have never fit in, in my opinion. It has never been that way to me in my eyes. I never really belong to anything or anywhere. So, I have just been like, alright cool I’m just going to make the things that I belong to. I am just going to create the spaces in which I can be myself. It is just cool to me because it’s like I just never have. Making the clothes for me, which is something, where I was like, I knew I was always the guy for designing. I have done that since 9th or 10th grade when I started. Now I’m just over here like, “Yo! You have this gift that you’re really f****** good at. Why am I sleeping on myself?

For me, daywear which relates to my name, Onlybyday, represents the things that I do by day. The logo for daywear is the Moon and the Sun. What that is about to me is about creating balance. In my eyes, the moon needs the sun to shine light throughout the day.  The sun needs the moon because who’s going to shine light at night when the sun isn’t available ? It’s really just about creating balance in life where things belong. It is a space where I can just be me.

 I really enjoy when artists take time into their merch.

Yo, I put time into these into these things, The designs and everything it’s so funny to me bro the things that I think are regular or I didn’t like I’ve had people look at them and say like dude that’s so f****** hard and I’m like oh so you like this and they’re like yes this is hard as f*** it’s like literally I just need to get out of my own head I need to just step out of the way. 

So, I was snooping around your Twitter and I saw someone say, “Are you simply putting yourself through some destruction for more inspiration?”.  I then, saw your response to that and you took that personally. Can you speak up on that?

That was my friend, Lisha [Lustfullisha].  I want to shout her out because that is my friend and I love her, and I care about her. She is a ridiculous artist, so I want her to be plugged. But yeah, that was just funny to me because I am kind of in the stage where truthfully speaking like, you control everything in your life. The things in your life you control. The problems that you deal with, the things that you go through, ultimately you control that to some extent. You do not have to be somewhere you don’t want to be.

Speaking of onlybyday, what made you want to have transformation from being DaShawn Watson to onlybyday? 

You know there’s nothing wrong with my name and my opinion. I very much so love me. I am me entirely. I know I have no problem with that.Jjust personally I felt like I kind of need it a separation of two. I needed something that was very like, this is DaShawn and, this is the art. I just wanted something to really signify that I’m in a new stage of my life. DaShawn is cool and everything, but I wanted the art to be situated. I very much so wanted to be like, “Yo this s*** is different.”

Do you really feel like there is a big transformation within you?

Yes, hugely. It’s not even a joke. There’s a huge transformation. Honestly, I’m growing. It’s not comfortable but that’s how you know that you’re going in the right direction. I think as humans we think familiarity is good. We think that what we know is good, what we know, won’t hurt us anymore than what already hurt us. We think that the unknown is new and, the new is bad. The new can be 10 times better than what the old is. I just want to grow, ultimately. It’s just been in my mind that I just want to grow. I do not like feeling that I’m not progressing. Truthfully, it is like, hey I want my name and all of this to signify that I am growing, that I’m in a stage of elevation.

With your music, what is the message you would want to push to the people?

The message I would like to convey is to know yourself. Know who you are and not who you think you are. Know who you are because there is a difference. There is our false self and then there is our true self. Truly take the time to know who you are. I just want people to understand that you can create your reality. You can create your dream and happiness. You can create everything in life that you want and it is all possible. Life is short. People do not realize that your words hold weight. You talk ill of yourself, you gon’ create exactly what you’re looking at. So, that is something I really want people to understand.

Is this how you want to end 2020 or do you have other plans to drop more music or something else by the end of the year?

By the end of the year maybe something a little small but nah. I am already planning what I want to do in December. I probably will not be recording in December. I’ll be finishing up a project that I want to finish. It’ll be everything that I’m doing now but so much different and bigger. So much bigger. The clothes will be bigger, the music will be bigger, and better. Visuals will be doper. I got a lot; the clip is loaded.

 Now what are your plans for 2021?

To be that n**** inside and out. I can confidently feel like I’m that n**** outwardly but I want to feel like that inward and outwardly. It is just the truth.

Stream “Pink (Over You)” and “Red” here.