A few months ago, Daya was a normal 16-year-old, going to high school in her native Pittsburgh – until her infectious song “Hide Away” started taking off.
Following a summer of touring to promote the breakthrough single, the singer – who recently turned 17 – dropped her music video for the Top 40 track, and PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at the clip.
Here are five things to know about the singer, who’s working on the follow-up to her self-titled debut EP.
1. She still has to do the dishes and take out the trash when she’s home with her parents and four sisters
They keep me pretty grounded, actually – they make me do chores like a normal person (laughs).
2. She’s not going to normal high school anymore so she can focus on her music
I’m taking an online course to finish up, but I’m not like the everyday [student] like my friends are. They’re all focused on AP classes and applying to colleges and everything and I’ve been traveling nonstop. It’s been a huge change and a lot of fun for me, but it’s been a huge change for me from just sitting in class. My friends are like, “Where in the world are you right now? What is even happening with your life?” But they’re so supportive.
3. She heard her song for the first time on the radio while celebrating another milestone: getting her driver’s license!
I had just gotten my license, and I was alone in the car, and it came on on one of my favorite stations growing up, and I was freaking out. I had to pull over to the side of the road, like: ‘Wow, is this really happening right now? This is insane.’ I didn’t know what else to do. Like, ‘That’s my voice!’ And every time since then, it hasn’t been any less crazy. It’s still been a pinch-me moment: This is my voice on the radio sandwiched between my favorite artists!
4. Her breakthrough single, ”Hide Away,” came together in the eleventh hour of a writing session
It was written during a last-minute singer-songwriter session that I was asked to do in L.A. with a bunch of other writers who had been in the industry for a few years now. We were talking about relationships and high school, and I kind of had this mindset going into it: I was never really one to be chasing after a boyfriend or always have to have one, so it was more like, find yourself first and then maybe settle into a stable relationship. But I was never really like, “I need to depend on this person for happiness” or whatever, because I’d always had my own goals and ambitions to go after. It’s just about finding that right person and waiting until they come, and get a relationship built on trust and acceptance.
5. She knew she was on her way to ”making it” when she performed on the Today show
I was like, “Is this real? Is this actually happening?” Because it was my first TV performance. And I got to meet Kathie Lee and Hoda!