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Daisey Traynham: Jacksonville's Sweetheart of Alternative Soul

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Daisey Traynham: Jacksonville's Sweetheart of Alternative Soul

Daisey Traynham's style has been described as "old school meets new millennium."

Photo © Britt Traynham

Meet Daisey Traynham:

Daisey Traynham, "Jacksonville's sweetheart of alternative soul," as she's known, is what you call a “triple threat.” She’s a top-notch web designer nationally recognized by GirlGeeks.com. She’s got a set of pipes that allows her to belt out sounds never expected from her petite, 5’2” frame. Oh, and she plays guitar too.

Performing solo, as part of the duo Heavenly Noise with husband Britt (aka DJ Batsauce), or a third of Smile Rays with Britt and MC/DJ Therapy, Traynham has a trademark voice that comes off both soulful and playful simultaneousl, perfectly matching the deep but free-spirited life she lives.

Her Sound:

Traynham sings with a voice that one reviewer calls “a perfect mesh of old school and new millennium, like if Billie Holiday and Macy Gray were to collab.” Her duo with husband Britt, Heavenly Noise, has a sound described as “somewhere between Janis Joplin and Run DMC.” Britt creates alternative soul, hip hop and downtempo beats at his home studio, while Daisey provides vocals.

Where to Catch Her:

Traynham performs Saturday nights at Starlight Cafe in historic Five Points, where she recently held a release party for her new CD, "Lady Daisey & the House Guests." But you'll have to move quickly. The couple are packing European tour that begins with the Benefizfestival in Germany. Free spirits that they are, the couple can't say just when they'll return to the River City.

Escape Artists:

Traynham’s childhood was spent on the road. Raised in a Winnebago that housed her parents' top-40 cover band, she grew up on stage, pelting out her own unique renditions of popular 1980s fare from Cyndi Lauper to Sister Sledge.

“Music has always been a part of my life and I’ve always had a passion for it,” she says. “But I never for a second thought I’d do anything big with it. It was just a fun-around-the-campfire thing.”

In fact, for a fleeting moment, a film career was an option. When Traynham was nine, her family parked the Winnebago and took up housekeeping on a boat at a Fort Lauderdale marina, a setting of the 1983 flick “Smokey and the Bandit Part 3.”

“One day, I was catching shrimp in the marina, totally dirty and I saw this sign that said ‘casting office,’” Traynham recalls. “In my complete innocence I said, ‘Hey, you guys got any parts in this movie for a cute little kid like me?’”

The next day the scruffy little girl from across the bay was cast as the kid who blew up Buford T. Justice’s patrol car.

Fast forward to a Tuesday night at downtown Jacksonville's Voodoo Lounge-freestyling DJs and open mic poetry. The DJ that night was Britt Traynham.

“I had had a couple of beers and was feeling a little ballsy, so I grabbed the mic and started singing,” Traynham says. “Later, Britt handed me his phone number and said, ‘Let me know if you want to hook up and make a heavenly noise.' But the next day, I lost my voice. I went totally mute for a month. So we just hung out for a while and absolutely fell in love. A couple of months down the line I said, ‘Hey, how about that music?’”

Soon, the two became Heavenly Noise. In 2004, they became Mr. and Mrs. Today, they indeed make heavenly noise as a duo, as solo entertainers, and as part of The Smile Rays with fellow Jacksonville DJ Therapy. They have become a vital part of the region's indie music scene, garnering praise and playing gigs throughout the South.

True to form, Traynham is itching to see more of the world. The couple recently sold or stashed the bulk of their worldly possessions in a storage unit and is living a minimalist lifestyle while they prepare for their “great escape” to Europe. The idea comes via The Smile Rays’ record deal with Berlin-based Jakarta Records.

“We’ve always been told, ‘You guys need to go to Europe. They’ll eat you up out there,’” Traynham says. “So we’re going to do that for a few months, pal around, do our music and see where the wind takes us.”

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