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Interview: Friday

25 May 2023

Photo Credit: Adam Wilder

It’s no question that Nicole Daddona can do it all. She is the founder and designer of the “lowbrow, high fashion” clothing and accessories company Magic Society, creating iconic, playful, and maximalist designs, and one half of the production company Magic Society Pictures, who just debuted their most recent film The Mundanes at this year’s SXSW.

Now Daddona has a new title to add to that list: her new musical moniker, FRIDAY. As FRIDAY, Daddona channels her creativity in each moment and brings a sense of nostalgic fun to each track. Ranging from empowering dance tracks to emotive ballads, it’s a sound that will make you feel deeply, and listening will transport you to a world where the weekend never ends. She’s recently shared her first two singles as FRIDAY: the grunged-out rock ballad “Dear God” and “I Do It For You,” a 60’s-bubblegum-pop-inspired earworm – showcasing Daddona’s chameleon-like range in music and beyond.

Q. As a new musician, what made you want to release “Dear God” as your first single?

A. It was the first song and video that I finished. I also really like clowns.

Q. Can you describe the symbolism behind “Dear God” and its visuals? How was the concept of the music video created?

A. The song reads kind of like a diary entry. It’s about self-sabotage and the grief that goes hand in hand with it. Essentially, making yourself a fool in spite of yourself for the sake of some sort of future redemption or immediate relief from a painful situation – that knowing that I’m gonna look dumb now, but in the long run it’s for the best. I liked the idea of a birthday clown showing up to perform at a party no one’s in attendance for. It just seemed so lonely.

Most of the songs from this EP I’ve been working on have a pretty lonely undertone. I also liked the abandoned feeling of the family fun center we shot in. There’s something really unsettling about empty places that are set up to facilitate fun experiences. I think we all play the clown every now and then. It’s painful in the moment but can eventually turn into something meaningful or even beautiful like the way a really hard moment can eventually become a favorite funny story you tell at parties.

Q. How and why did you choose the musical moniker of ‘FRIDAY’?

A. I was looking for an alter ego a few years ago. I was feeling a bit weighed down by my past and wanted to embody a new version of myself that didn’t have all the hangups and past traumas I had under my birth name. Nicole Daddona just doesn’t sound like a rockstar’s name to me, but FRIDAY does. FRIDAY feels larger than life. I can envision the name on a massive billboard, that sort of thing. It’s magic to me. I was also born on a Friday and always liked the essence of the day. Friday because it’s half business / half vacation. I kind of operate in that space. And Friday’s the day of the week that ushers in the fun of the weekend. I want to be that for the world – an usher of fun.

Q. As a creative of many different mediums, how does your creative process differ with each medium?

A. Across all mediums, it always starts with an idea that feels like it just clicks. A lot of my ideas are absolutely terrible, so when one hits that really excites me and feels important, it’s pretty easy for me to recognize it. From there it branches out depending on the medium. If I’m translating an idea into a film, I’ll start to construct the story. It comes in little puzzle pieces but the more energy I put into it, the more the world, characters, and story start to focus in until they gel into something tangible that I can put on paper and eventually on film. When it comes to music, I usually get an idea for a melody or hook first. Then the rest of the song kind of downloads into me. I like to record a very rough demo on my phone and send it off to my producer to work on the instrumentals. For fashion, it usually starts with an idea for something I’d want to wear. I figure if I’d wear it, someone else in the world probably would too. My favorite part of anything I create is the research and development phase. I love making mood boards.

Q. With FRIDAY, Magic Society Pictures, and Magic Society, you’re involved in quite a lot of different visual mediums. Is there a project where you feel like your work in music, film, and clothing are all in sync?

A. Yes! They all meld together really beautifully when I make a music video or film. I love being able to make a visual representation of a song and stylize the characters and world..

Q. When did you know you wanted to start releasing music?

A. I started writing music and trying to record it like 12 years ago. I’ve written songs since I was a kid, but never thought I could actually release it and have people listen to it until about four years ago. I thought most of what I made was absolutely horrible. I don’t really like my voice, so there was some disconnect between what I was hearing in my head and what I heard in reality. Last year I had this realization that music was something I really wanted to do in a big way. It was the perfect culmination of everything I enjoyed most – dressing up, performing, writing, and creating worlds and characters. I had this thought late one night that if I didn’t do it now, it would never happen. I’d be one of those people who looks back when they’re older and wonders “what if” so I forced myself to find a producer and start to turn my ideas into tangible songs. I was browsing TikTok and came across BoyJr’s (Erica Lubman) music and was so impressed by her. I immediately reached out to her and she was open to producing a few songs for me. It was like she tapped into what I was hearing in my head. Hearing that first demo track was like a drug. It opened up a musical creative channel inside me I didn’t even know existed.

Q. What artists led you down the path to where you are today?

A. Wow, so many! Music has always been a big part of my life. It was my escape, my portal to a world of endless possibilities. I’d spend hours alone in my room listening to my mom’s old cassette tapes on a boombox. I grew up listening to oldies on Kool 96.7, this local station that played music from the 505, 60s, and 70s and it ‘s where I discovered some of the most amazing artists that have ever lived. Roy Orbison, Bobby Vinton, The Beatles, Abba, The Mamas and the Papas.

My first real concert was Herman’s Hermits my sophomore year of high school. I won tickets from that same radio station and went with this Senior I knew who was the only other person in my school who liked oldies music. He had three names, was very rich, and drove us to the concert in a vintage green convertible. I also love 70s and 80s moog music and a lot of pop music from a lot of different decades.
I’m inspired by larger than life characters – people who become iconic in their own way. I want to be part of that fabric of pop culture. My goal is to leave a lasting impression on the world, to be remembered as a true artist and performer. I draw inspiration from greats like Andy Warhol, Peter Max, David Lynch, Marc Bolan, Dolly Parton, Mitch Hedberg, and Andy Kaufman. I’m a massive Jim Henson fan, too. I’m also a big Noel Fielding fan. He’s just incredible. As for more contemporary artists – Lana Del Rey, Weyes Blood, and The Lemon Twigs are killing it in my opinion!

Q. What else can we expect from FRIDAY?

A. I have a bunch of songs and music videos coming down the pipeline that I’m really excited about. I’m also working on a rock opera film. It’s a horror fantasy. Very visually striking with hand-made sets and over the top costumes. The songs will be a little bit of a departure for me from what I’m releasing now, so that’s been fun and interesting to work on.


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