"More musicians and tech people are wearing ear protection than I've ever seen before" - Inaya Day
Tinnitus is one of the most significant dangers those working in clubs face, particularly those onstage. This past year All Ears has interviewed a variety of talented DJs from across the globe, selectors who have spun at the world's most respected nightclubs, but today we talk to someone with a completely different perspective on the issue - Inaya Day, one of House music's most successful vocalists. The New York local's voice has been placed centre stage on a whole host of dancefloor-igniting, chart-climbing tracks from house's golden age.
Day's performative journey has stretched further than most Spotify accounts do. Having grown up singing in churches and studying musical theatre, she went on to work as a session musician and writer, performing alongside everyone from Queen to Michael Jackson and writing for Randy Crawford and Missy Elliot. It was only after firmly establishing herself that she took on House music, lending vocals to various 90s and 00s chart hits, such as Mousse T's 'Horny' and Mr Timothy's 'I Am Tha 1'. She is also our only interviewee to have performed in a leading Broadway role; career limitations are not in this woman's periphery!
Do you suffer from tinnitus?
Once in a while if the music is too loud, my ears ring afterwards. But not permanently.
When do you notice it and what do you find helps prevent it?
I notice ringing after being near loud music without wearing my ear plugs. I sit in silence for a while and that helps to subside it. When I have my ear plugs in, I'm ok.
What ear plugs do you wear and why?
I usually wear Uline reusable earplugs because they facilitate 3 levels of sound reduction.
When studying at the High School of Music and the Performing Arts or University of Bridgeport, was there any mention of protecting your hearing?
When I was in high school, there was mention of ear protection and I learned what tinnitus is. But, no mention of ear protection when I was in college.
Have you seen a shift in the perception of hearing protection since starting out?
Yes, indeed I have seen a shift. More musicians and tech people are wearing ear protection than I've ever seen before. More people are becoming aware that damaged or impaired hearing is a present danger in our industry.
Is there anything you think that could increase awareness and prevent more people from damaging their hearing (without stopping people having fun that is)?
Yes. Having a basket of disposable earplugs at the door of every venue or have someone hand them out. People like free stuff so maybe they'll be more inclined to protect themselves if the plugs are readily available.
On another note, what are you working on at the moment?
At the moment, I'm working on a secret cover project of an iconic artist's songs re-imagined. Also, I'm rehearsing with my dancers for Jersey City Pride festival, working on a Los Angeles production with the band that I'm in (45 Riots), and preparing for my performance with Ultra Nate' at the Amsterdam Dance Event on October 19th at Club YOLO. Gonna be amazing!
What's your favourite event you've played at this year?
My favourite event this year was the Seattle Pride Festival at The Cuff Block Party. Such an awesome crowd and so many awesome artists.
Time for a plug, anything you want the people to know about?
YES! My current single with Guy Scheiman, 'SPECIAL LOVE' is out now on most digital platforms that sell music including iTunes! Grab it and tag us in the video or pics! THANK YOU!
Intro by Will Soer