Daily Bread chatted with us about his new live experience in Denver, which left enthusiastic fans anticipating the Atlanta artist’s next move.
Daily Bread, real name Rhett Whatley, is a sonic visionary hailing from Atlanta. Currently embarking on a North American tour with CloZee — and fresh off his first headline tour — he’s achieving remarkable milestones in the realm of electronic music. Following the resounding success of his mesmerizing Invisible Cinema LP, which came out on March 23, Daily Bread sold out Denver’s Mission Ballroom, creating a signature Cinema In the Sky event filled with delightful surprises.
Daily Bread’s musical essence resides at the crossroads of funk and bass-driven electronic music, seamlessly intertwined with rhythms from hip-hop. Samples from the iconic mid-2000s era are infused into Daily Bread’s mixes, tracks, and live sets. “The music I make exists at the intersection of EDM and instrumental hip-hop. I grew up in Atlanta during the mixtape era so a lot of classic southern hip-hop finds its way into my mixes,” Daily Bread explained. The lineup for the Mission Ballroom event paid homage to Daily Bread’s roots by featuring a stalwart in the Southern hip-hop scene from that time, rapper Big K.R.I.T.
Fans who purchased the Cinema In the Sky VIP PreParty ticket were greeted outside Mission Ballroom, an experience atypical of what one would usually expect at the venue. CANVAS, CatParty, and JETSET kicked off the tunes outside of Mission around 4pm. They were accompanied by local vendors, professionally trained astrologers with four intricate telescopes, as well as BoredomFighters, a music education nonprofit that encourages and teaches young people how to make music.
As the doors opened for the main event later in the evening, fans flooded into Mission Ballroom with an uncontainable excitement. The atmosphere crackled with electric energy as opening acts Motifv, Gladkill, DJ Simone Says, and Big K.R.I.T. took the stage. The anticipation was palpable as the audience eagerly awaited Daily Bread’s signature blend of funky electronic bass intertwined with hip-hop samples and other experimental elements.
We knew Mission Ballroom was going to be our biggest show to date and we wanted to do something engaging that no one has ever done there before. We shut down the outside area for an entirely separate experience that still complimented the main show. We invited some of our favorite local artists to play music on an entirely separate stage and featured local vendors. Telescopes were featured prominently on the cover of ‘the Invisible Cinema’ LP, so we brought in some big ones to make the experience that much more potent.Daily Bread
As Daily Bread took the stage, fans erupted with excitement, surrendering to the irresistible grooves and captivating sounds that enveloped the room. The visual elements, featuring futuristic space scenes adorned with extraterrestrial beings and cascading lasers, added an immersive dimension to the show. Daily Bread surprised fans by bringing out rappers Murs for the track “Riches” and Jonah Cruzz for a riveting rendition of “Applying Pressure.” The Mission Ballroom disco ball illuminated the space with enchanting patterns as the audience danced in delight.
Earlier this year, Daily Bread hosted another experience, Winter Wonderbread, a three-day event in Frisco, Colorado.
Throughout the event, he wanted to cultivate a certain theme throughout his live sets. “We fused snowboard and ski culture with electronic music,” he said. “Creatively, I wanted to use an ’80s aesthetic to pay homage to movies I love like Aspen Extreme and Ski Patrol. So to open the show, I remixed an older ’80s track, and then debuted it on the first night. It’s become one of my favorites to play out live this year, and a fan favorite.”
When asked about his general creative process, Daily Bread said, “Once I find something viable I like, I will chop, pitch, and rearrange things to form something fresh. However, lately I have been doing the opposite. I’ve been making drum beats and basslines first, and then adding samples in on the backside. Each workflow tends to yield differing results and it’s fun to experiment. The studio is my happy place.”
Throughout Daily Bread’s discography, a listener will hear many references to clouds, rain, stars, and space. “Besides music, nothing affects me emotionally as much as the changing seasons and the weather patterns that accompany them,” he explained. “I have always been fascinated by it. The stars, sun, and moon affect the seasons and the seasons affect the weather. This all influences how we feel and act. I am on an endless search for these topics when it comes to buying vinyl and samples.”
Stream Daily Bread – Invisible Cinema on Spotify.
Daily Bread’s upbringing near the Atlanta hip-hop scene significantly influenced his sound.
He reminisces on his high school days, stating, “I went to high school at South Gwinnett High School east of Atlanta in the mid 2000s. I went there at an exciting time when Louis Williams was playing basketball and making a huge name for himself and the school. I remember Jermaine Dupree and Bow Wow coming to our basketball games back then.”
Naturally, I am influenced by the crunk movement of the ’00s era because I was fully immersed in it at its height of popularity. However, I was also getting introduced to underground beat makers like RJD2 and Blockhead through skateboard videos I watched at the time. I ended up drawing from all these influences when it came time to hone in on my own sound.Daily Bread
Delving into tracks from the Invisible Cinema LP, listeners can embark on a journey through a rich tapestry of samples that traverse across years of musical history. For example, “Empty Like Sky” features a sample of 1970s R&B classic “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers. Meanwhile, the track “Look Up At The Stars” features a sample from Young Dolph’s 2021 release “Talking To My Scale.” When asked about how the heavily embedded samples featured in his music range across all genres, Daily Bread explains he “often looks for a feeling.”
“I do most of my record digging in Atlanta, and back in 2007 a lot of older strip club DJs were getting rid of their vinyl collections for cheap and moving to Serato,” he recounts. “I have a big crate full of obscure southern hip-hop singles with acapellas on them that I have collected over the years. I love finding creative ways to build energy with them in my mixes. Most of the time I’ll have a sample in mind when I start a track. Sample selection is a big part of my sound and I spend a lot of time just listening.“
His sound is an extremely unique blend of funk, bass-electronic, and hip-hop, with curveball elements always leaving fans wondering what’s next. When asked about conforming to a more mainstream sound, Whatley said, “I was making music for about seven years before I got on stage and thought about it as a viable career. I am grateful for this because passion is what drove me initially and it’s what still drives me today. I love the act of making music in my own way, and it’s very fulfilling for me. It’s my Daily Bread, ya feel?”
I still love finding new ways to flex big sound systems and keeping up with production trends of today. I don’t think I’d ever be motivated to make my sound more commercial in order to get bigger opportunities.Daily Bread
Another common theme across Daily Bread mixes is diligent work, as well as enjoying the company of those with whom you collaborate.
Saint Louis’ Philos Records has played a significant role in Daily Bread’s career. “It was [Philos Founder, Jordan Wengler’s] idea back in 2012 to create a label that catered to the grassroots electronic hip-hop scene popular in Denver and the Midwest,” he reflected. “My core group of friends and artists represent a crew of like-minded creators and our glue is Jordan.”
Daily Bread shares gratitude throughout mixes and live shows for his direct team, being intentional about singing their praises whenever he has the chance. “I also have a strong group of technically skilled and patient people around me that make my ideas reality. They manage my erratic creative whims and help me bring complex ideas to light,” he said. “I’m a firm believer that when inspired people collaborate on a singular creative goal then it elevates the outcome for everyone. It makes the experience special and more creatively rich.”
With a unique sound and a great team around him, the next tentpole in Daily Bread’s success are his fans. This dedicated following exuded enthusiasm throughout the Mission Ballroom show. At a Daily Bread show, you can expect fans to sport variations of bread-themed clothing, and also find the Daily Bread logo toasted on pieces of bread that fans pass out amongst the crowd. Whatley loves the support of his fan base. He says, “They are some of the best people and make me proud often. I secretly love seeing bread flying in the air at festivals.”
Daily Bread has reached new audiences throughout North America in 2023.
“This year was our busiest year to date and the most fun I’ve ever had on the road. We completed our first headline tour, the Invisible Cinema Tour, this past May and went into festival season full force,” he reflected. “My favorite part about reaching new audiences is hearing how the music impacts people in positive ways. Getting to be a part of a community of people that vibrates on the same wavelength has been extremely rewarding for me.”
After his exciting year of touring across the US, playing at festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, and North Coast, along with hosting a unique and one-of-a-kind experience at Mission Ballroom in Denver, one must wonder what Daily Bread has in store next. “I definitely aspire to throw more Daily Bread experiences in the future. We’re actually working on one now,” he teased.
Daily Bread is directly supporting CloZee’s tour that hits the road on September 28 as well as playing a headlining New Years Eve show in Atlanta. Grab your tickets via AXS.