After years of false starts and behind-the-scenes work in the music business, Lucky Daye found the means and confidence he needed when he spent much of 2018 holed up in the L.A. studio of producer Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II. Results like the spacy, string-laden “Roll Some Mo” and the propulsive “Extra” were unique to say the least, as the artist himself soon realized. “I make left-handed music,” Lucky Daye told Apple Music, an apt description for the often astonishing sounds that emerged on a series of EPs starting in late 2018. Together with his 2019 debut album, Painted, the releases showcase a performer and writer blessed with both a remarkably fluid tenor voice and a rare ability to combine the richest virtues of old-school soul and funk with modern trap and R&B. These elements are all part of a musical journey that started with the church music the youngster born David Brown grew up singing in New Orleans’ Seventh Ward. Though he showed early promise in a 2005 appearance on American Idol and earned credits on tracks by Ne-Yo, Trey Songz, and Mary J. Blige, it wasn’t until he connected with D’Mile and DJ Camper that he was able to realize a vision that’s equally steeped in the vanguard ‘70s sounds of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder and the alt-R&B abstract flows of Frank Ocean. Released in 2020, an expanded and even more stylistically extensive edition of Painted proves that he is ever willing to put a new spin on seasoned ideas—including his own.