Liverpool is a special place. It’s not just the team, it’s the whole city.” Dayzy’s eyes narrow slightly when he’s talking about his hometown. Up to this point in the interview, he’s been pretty breezy: open, jocular, quick to flash his broad, trademark smile. Now though, when asked about what makes people from Liverpool so special, he’s deadly serious.
“There’s a bond between Scousers”, he says looking directly into his laptop’s webcam, locking eyes with me from 150 miles away, “It's so deep rooted within ourselves, within our minds - we’re like family.”
The 22 year-old rapper and spoken word artist loves being Scouse. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dayzy moved to Toxteth with his family at five-years-old and was hooked. The Merseyside sense of community, love of creativity and avuncular attitude to life (“we’re just friendlier”) were the pillars around which a young man evolved. His love for his city is evident even in the few centimetres of screen around him: a Liverpool home shirt hanging proudly behind him alongside merch from Lost Art – the city’s iconic skate shop.
Dayzy is the latest talented musician to come out of Merseyside, producing a healthy range of smooth melodic rap records. He cut his teeth at the youth centres in his area, taking advantage of legendary local community space Toxteth TV to explore his burgeoning creativity. There he experimented with theatre and poetry before deciding to take his musical dreams more seriously. TTV wasn’t the only Scouse institution in his life, of course. Dayzy was five when Liverpool FC went 3-0 down in Istanbul, when Gerrard got a goal after half-time and then dragged his team to the greatest comeback the Champions League has ever seen.
After that, there was no going back.
Nando, Daniel, Raheem, Phillipe, Bobby, Hendo, Sadio, Mo. Names that Dayzy learned to love and a club that slowly began to dominate his life. Although he only lived a 15 minute drive away from Anfield growing up, he felt compelled to get closer to the action. A job behind the bar at the home of England’s most successful team – of his team – put him at the heart of it all. He learned the songs, the jokes, how to read the tide of emotion that would pour out every matchday.
“It helped me get to know who I was as a fan”.
Then, this year, he went one step further. As part of Liverpool FC’s partnership with Converse, which celebrates the creativity of the club’s beating heart – its supporters, Dayzy was invited to help showcase his city’s creativity. VERSUS caught up with him to learn more.
VERSUS: How would you describe what you do?
Dayzy: I’m an artist. Rap and spoken word are my main things but I consider myself an all-rounder.
How did Liverpool specifically influence you creatively growing up?
There were a lot of youth centres with creative things to do around when I was growing up. There was this place called The Catalyst which is basically a place where you can just learn to do music for free. I was there for like two hours a day, every day, just doing music. Another big help was my family. They were all already into music and theatre so it felt natural for me too.
How did you find your own voice in a busy environment like that?
I wouldn’t say I’ve found it yet! I feel like I’m still working on myself. It was only during lockdown actually, when I had a bit more time to dwell, to look inwards, reflect on what I really wanted. That’s when I started pursuing music seriously.
Why did you choose music over acting or anything else?
It just resonated. I feel like when you’re acting, you’re living someone else’s story. With music, it’s about yourself. I already had that taste of self expression with the spoken word so music was a natural step.
What’s your favourite Liverpool FC memory?
2005 definitely gave me the most joy, if that makes sense? The other one that springs to mind is the UCL win in 2019. I can remember that one more clearly. I was working behind the bar at Anfield that season and the atmosphere was mad.
What was it like working at the stadium?
It feels like you’re part of a big family. Lots of people drinking, a lot of people listening to music, everyone just vibing. Even on our worst days when we lost or drew, people were still positive.
How does that bond between Scousers inform what you create?
I mean, without that, I wouldn’t be me really. I feel like I’d be a completely different character. It’s part of my identity.
How would you describe your style?
One word really sums up my style and that’s comfort. I like matching my colours as well. I feel like that really solidifies a look.
What did it feel like as a Liverpool fan, and someone that grew up in Liverpool, to be a part of this coming together between your club and an iconic brand like Converse?
Super excited and happy about it, obviously. I’ve never had the opportunity to be able to show my city off to this extent, or tell my story of creativity. It’s been a positive journey all the way through from the start to the end. It’s an honour to be able to support my city and knowing that, five-year-old me looking at me now would be so gassed. I’m proud.
What would you say is your favourite piece from the Converse x LFC collection?
The varsity jacket for sure. As soon as I saw it I was like, “I need it”. The polo shirt and the shorts are very cool too.
How would you style the collection?
Baggy jeans, or a pair of baggy tracksuit bottoms for sure. Then I’d have a scroll on Pinterest for some style inspo that matches the vibe.
What’s your big dream as an artist?
I wanna make it. Not just in music but as a whole creative persona, a bit like a Virgil. I also want to give back to where I’ve come from. My Mum goes back to Congo a lot to help out and I find it very inspiring.
If that’s the big dream, what’s your next step?
To go on a mini tour, release my EP that I keep telling everyone about. Maybe even have a listening party at Toxteth TV.
The Converse x Liverpool FC collection is available from converse.com.