Day was born on December 30, 1984 in Edmonds, Washington. She moved to Southern California at age three, and grew up in and around San Diego, California, with her family. She began singing at a young age at the First United Methodist Church in Chula Vista, California. Day also began taking dance lessons at age 5 (a discipline she continued into her 20s).
She attended Valencia Park Elementary School which she credits with fostering her interest in performing arts. At age 12, Day was introduced to the sounds of prominent jazz vocalists like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dinah Washington, all of whom she counts as early influences on her sound.
Day attended the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts where she graduated in 2003. On July 11, 2019, Day was inducted as an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
After high school, Day worked about 20 different jobs including one as a children’s entertainer. In 2010, Stevie Wonder’s then wife, Kai Millard, noticed Day performing at a strip mall and brought her to the attention of her husband. Day received a call from Wonder himself soon after.
No immediate partnership was formed, but the two reconnected around a year later. Wonder introduced Day to producer Adrian Gurvitz at that time. Gurvitz would eventually collaborate on Day’s debut album a few years later.
Day was signed in 2011 to a development deal with Buskin Records founded by Jeffrey Evans, who Day asked to be her manager in 2013. Later Day & Buskin earned a record deal with Warner Bros. Records in part because of the popularity of her numerous unplugged covers and mashups on her YouTube channel, most of which were filmed in her sister’s bedroom in San Diego.
Her covers include Jessie J’s “Mamma Knows Best”, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”, and Muse’s “Uprising” among others. She was also known for mashups including one that patched together The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa” with Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” and another that combined Amy Winehouse’s “He Can Only Hold Her” and Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)”.
During that time, Day was also working with Gurvitz on around 40 original songs. Other producers and contributors to what would eventually become her debut studio album included Raphael Saadiq, Questlove, James Poyser, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and The Dap-Kings. Day performed at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and caught the eye of director, Spike Lee.
He volunteered to direct the video for her single, “Forever Mine”. Day has also performed at the 2015 BET Awards,the closing ceremonies of the 2015 Special Olympics, the Essence Music Festival, and on television shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Good Morning America, and numerous others. A wiki excerpt