Artist Spotlight: DACEY

A group of passionate Nimbus students are making bumpin’ RnB hip hop

The members of DACEY are preparing to release their first official record this summer. (Aly Laube)

Dacey Andrada started her musical career by singing along to VHS tapes of live concerts in her childhood home. Even then, she and her family knew she would go on to do something with her voice, and that didn’t change as she got older. Over a decade later, when she met her current bandmates at Nimbus School of Recording, they shared that excitement about her talent and set forward to start a project that challenged and excited each of them as musicians, students, and audiophiles: DACEY

The group is full of born-and-raised Vancouver locals, aside from their Italian-born drummer, Marco Marin. Guitarist Justin Tecson and vocalist Dacey Andrada are both 19, while bassist Joshua Akow is 20, and guitarist Nathan Chan is 21. Marin is 28, placing each of them at a different point in their lives and their careers.

Still, it’s easy to get the feeling that, regardless of whether they met in Kindergarten or college, the members of DACEY were bound to play music together. All five of the musicians in the indie RnB fusion group met at Nimbus—a serendipitous moment, considering the quintet had never actually shared a classroom before—and fell into starting a band naturally. Collectively, they share a love for classic rock, an obsession with sound, and the constant drive to perform and test out the skills they’ve learned in school.

“It’s a very inspiring place to be with so many other musicians, people who want to collaborate, people who are ambitious—it’s one of the best places you can be as an up-and-coming musician because it’s such a nurturing environment,” says Akow. “Having access to facilities and studios, always being in the same space makes it really easy to be like, ‘What’re you doing after class?’”

“The more you do it, the more you want to keep doing it,” adds Marin. “It keeps you hard-working and everybody’s going in the same direction.”

Each of the members of DACEY are trained producers as well as composers, and all of their recordings are mixed by the band and mastered by their engineer, Brock Mcfarlane. While they just released their first official single, “Sidewalks”, the five-piece has been gigging in the local scene since October and will be putting out their first record, an EP, before the fall. 

Made streamable last month, “Sidewalks” is led by a swinging bassline and a charming early 2000s throwback vibe. It opens with a cheery low-fi sample that ebbs and flows throughout the track, true to their self-given labels as low-fi hip-hop enthusiasts, and ticks all the boxes of a classic DACEY track: warm production, a steady pulse, and Andrada’s melodious, soulful lilt. 

The style of “Sidewalks” might not be indicative of the rest of their debut, though. According to the band, the six-or-seven-track record is set to be somewhat eclectic, featuring rock ballads, funk elements, slow jams, and more. 

“It’s still fusion, for real,” says Andrada. “Most of the songs that I wrote for the EP are kind of heartbroken. It’s definitely, ‘I don’t like you anymore. You did me wrong.’ That’s the moral of the album, basically.”

Bouncing back from a toxic relationship and coming out the other side stronger is another theme that Andrada feels shines through on the upcoming EP. 

“We’re using a lot of RnB instrumentation, we’re trying to make it sound more hip-hop-y, so we’ll take those songs and record it and try to make it sound more like samples,” says Akow. 

Fans can expect to see a music video and a live session from the band sometime in August. DACEY’s next show will be on July 27 at Cannabis Culture, as part of an event that will be happening from noon until 8:00 p.m. Check out their social media @daceytheband to stay up to date.

Listen to DACEY’s Sidewalks on Spotify