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Day Sulan Finally Finds Herself On Shirley’s Temple

June 3, 2024

Read the full interview on SheenMagazine.com!

If you follow Day Sulan on social media, you already know what type of time she’s on. Not only is she an amazingly talented recording artist, but Day Sulan boasts one of the most charming personalities paired with her unique sense of humor.

Born and raised in Compton, California, Day Sulan is a true definition of a rose growing from concrete. Growing up in the hood, Day had to learn early on how to fend for herself, especially when it came to the reality of her household. From working jobs at Ross and California Pizza Kitchen to stripping at Crazy Girls, Day’s hustle has never faltered.

Mixed with both black and Vietnamese, Day Sulan carries her own beauty both inside and out. Her recent transformation from twerking to now covering herself up speaks volumes to her current state of mind, with hopes that fans would listen to her music versus look at her body.

You may have previously seen Day Sulan mobbing with YG and his 4hunnid imprint, but now she’s completely independent and ready to step into this new chapter of her artistry.

https://youtu.be/dDaSu67eh0w

On the 65th episode of Shirley’s Temple, I sat with Day Sulan to discuss her mental health transformation, sobriety, self-care practices, taking attention away from her body and into the music, past life as a stripper, and more.

 

Growing up in Compton, what did you want to be growing up?

Why do I feel like no one’s ever asked me that? What I initially wanted to be, this is gonna sound crazy. I bounced between a veterinarian and a mortician. Have you ever seen NCIS? The people that be dissecting the bodies? That’s definitely what I thought I was going to be doing.

Did watching those shows make you want to do it?

No I hated those shows. I just had a fascination with dark stuff. Tim Burton is my favorite director, so I just loved dark creepy things. But it wasn’t till I got older and I started seeing things in real life and almost passed out. I said oh, that’s not gonna work. [laughs] It’s not gonna work for me.

I know your parents were strict, I have traditional Asian parents. They had an alarm on my house so any window or door you open, the alarm would ring.

Honestly, I was too scared to sneak out. I was too scared to be outside. I went through the same traditional Asian mom. Very, very strict. I could barely go to the mall and hang out with my friends. It was indoors and nothing. That’s what it was.

At one point, I rebelled and discovered alcohol and weed. It was a wrap.

Probably when I hit high school, I started going through my little rebellious phase. I found marijuana. It eased my soul a bit, being a little bad kid cutting school. But I had a very interesting school. I had a lenient school, there was a period of time where some days were on and some days were off. I’d tell them like hey, I got school this day, this day. But I really wouldn’t have school and I’d just be kicking it. My mom gon’ see this and be pissed. [laughs] My first time saying that out loud.

Congratulations on being sober! What inspired it and how do you feel?

I was coming to a point in my life where it was a dependency. I look back on the timeline and I’ve always had a vice. I had a vice since I turned 17, 18. It didn’t stop since high school. I realized I was going downhill and something switched. If I don’t catch this now, I’m gon’ fall down a really bad rabbit hole. I had to make sure that I could step away and I could stop everything. I’m not really dying, fiending for it to where I can’t let it go.

Good for you. Was it hard in the beginning? 

Ooh, so hard. The first 3 to 6 months, I went through a fiending stage. I was crying, I was hurt. I felt like I needed it like I really did it.

Was it the weed or the alcohol?

Alcohol at that time, but it was alcohol mixed with vaping, hookah. I was dipping and dabbling. Shrooms aggressively. Aggressive shrooms, microdosing daily. Let me make sure I can control this.

Shirley’s Temple has a focus on mental health. How are you feeling? How’s your mental state?

I feel great. I feel amazing. I’ve come a long way. I’m proud of where I’m at, how far I’ve come. Being able to really be at peace and speak from a point of love and a calm I can’t explain.

You’ve been homeless, you’ve been suicidal, I’ve been there too. To see you now, so naturally exuding the energy, that inspires me. Did you have a spiritual awakening?

Oh yeah, there was an ending of a cycle. It was another traumatizing relationship and all arrows were pointing to me. That’s what it takes. It takes for you to look in the mirror like okay, why am I attracting the same thing? Why’s the same person or the same thing keep happening? What’s not changing? What’s the same thing that I’m doing that’s not working? That’s what really led me to eliminate the alcohol, really start working out like crazy and focusing on not only my mental, but physical. Really honing it all in, but it took trauma. Things that hurt that I was refusing to let go of to get to the point of finding this version of myself.

Growing up, were you ever educated on mental health? 

No. If anything, I grew up in a polar opposite environment where that was boxed in and taught that it wasn’t important. The one time I did open up to someone at my school, I ended up in a mental asylum. Because I told the woman I was suicidal and some things that were going on, the police showed up in my house and they took me to a psych ward.

How old were you? 

  1. I can’t even say it was eye-opening at that time. It was all trauma. It was all adding to depression. But we here now, and we’re in a great space. I’m happy about it.

Have you processed that? Because I’m sure it took a lot of time.

I had to forgive not only the environment I was raised in and the people, but myself. Because I didn’t love myself at all. I didn’t know how to, I wasn’t raised around love to understand it how I do now. It took years, it took me reading. I stepped out of my comfort zone, I started reading personal growth books. I took a lot of time to myself, the vices took their hold of me because I was running for so long. Sobriety really cut it like yeah bruh, look at yourself. What we gotta address? It’s beautiful though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBpxkG-X5S0

 

You know what I’ve been vibing to? Your last single “Soul Tie.” First of all, you’re in your singing bag and I love it. It matches your energy.

We found ourselves, we just showing the world now.

Did you start out rapping?

It’s funny, the first song I ever really wrote was a song where I was singing. It was a singing song and I did a hook or a verse in the song that was rapping. That was the first song I ever wrote. From there, as I grew as an artist and had more sessions, I found that melodies came to me easier with melodic stuff. Rapping was cool, I was good at it. But I wasn’t sinking in the same as I sunk into R&B or a pop record. It took time, music has been a journey for sure.

Not many people can get signed in a year, two years. It was quick for you. 

It was so quick, and I found out I was good at music the same time everyone else found out. From there, I knew I would not stop pursuing this one thing. Here I am, vibing and thriving.

A lot of artists fantasize about the idea of being signed, how was your experience? 

It was a great experience for sure. I learned a lot to where now me being an independent artist and having control over what I do, navigating different conversations with different relationships and different people I have, definitely grateful for the experience. Being able to be blessed with the game up front and really learning through being in it, instead of the opposite way around.

How does it feel to be an independent artist? 

It’s complicated. It’s a lot, but I love it. I definitely love it. It’s a challenge, but I’ve always loved a challenge. But I like that my life and what I have going on, what I put out, it’s on me. And the only way I’m gonna fail is if I don’t move. If I don’t have forward movement, if I’m not building my relationships, if I’m not working on the end goal of getting from A to Z.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRRqR5rRRec

 

What’s your favorite song you’ve done with YG?

It was probably “Hit Em Up.” No, I’m a liar. It is “Might Be” from the group project we did.

Who else was on that record? 

At the time? It was all of 4Hunnid and everybody that was on the label. It was myself, it was Mitch. It was D3, it was YG. It was everybody.

How was it being the only female? 

Hard. Oh my gosh. I can’t say I was the only female. My day to day at the time and the head woman in charge, they were women. But they weren’t necessarily in the thick of it. But it was cool. The energy just flowed. Especially at that time period, I was young, lit, outside. Activated. Couldn’t tell me nothing. It was a great time.

What was the best memory?

All the little house situations. The family vibes. It’d be all of us. We’d either cook, have some type of food, then it’d be some type of game night. We’d be recording and vibing. It was cool. The studio houses were probably my favorite part. Just vibing, getting to know each other more.

How was it opening for YG on the Red Cup Tour? Were you nervous? 

No, I actually wasn’t. I was so ready to get outside and perform, really master this other piece of what I love in doing music. Of course, the nerves were there before walking on stages. But I took each performance like nah, I need to get better and better. Master this, really embody and show people who Day Sulan is. It was natural.

You said: “I’ve always loved music. Music was an escape from my household and my everyday life. I was really depressed when I was younger, the only thing that got me through was my CD player I used to walk around with. We used to go to different places and I wouldn’t fuck with nobody. I’d literally have my headphones in, listening to music like don’t talk to me.” The Eminem Show was that for me, did you have an album…?

Eminem was the same for me. It wasn’t a specific album, it was specific songs. It’s not a big one, it’s called “Beautiful.” Bro was resonating with my soul. How he started with the song was “I’m just so fucking depressed, I just can’t seem to get out this slump.” Then he went into it. You being in my shoes, you’d feel how I feel — but you’re not and you’ll never understand it,  because you’re not that. As a young lad, that song has gotten me far. Even to this da, that and reggae music. Him and Stephen Marley. Them two, brought my soul out of the darkness every time. Found light.

Did someone inspire “Soul Tie?”

Ha! Someone absolutely did inspire “Soul Tie.” It’s forever love.

It’s so beautiful to be able to write a song that’s just inspired by what happened to you.

Absolutely, that’s the only way I do know how to vent. I’m still working on it to this day. But if I get a beat and it flows through me, that’s the best way I can show someone or tell somebody how I feel. Without being face to face being like “so what do you like about me?” Well. [laughs] There’s a lot to love. It got awkward because it seemed like I don’t care, but I really do.

Was this journey all self, or did you ever go to therapy? 

I started therapy, therapy helped. I’m still in therapy. Therapy started every other week, then it went to every week. Once I really started to understand things and really put different things at peace and at bay, it went to every other week again. I’m able to manage it better now for sure, but therapy definitely helped a lot.

How much did you make on a good night stripping and on a bad night stripping? 

Ooh. So on a bad night as a dancer, you can come up negative. You have to pay a house fee. You’ll lose your house fee, whatever you had to tip out. You might have bought an outfit that night that was $300.

How much is the house fee? 

Depending. Honestly, the house fee can be as low as $5, but go as high as $500, $600 and above. On a night that is guaranteed money.

Did you go negative a lot? 

No, absolutely not. That’s why I was a dancer. One thing about me when I was in that world, I worked 7 days a week. So if I lost one day, I was gon’ make it back on one or two, 3, 4, 5. I wasn’t gonna let up.

What I really respect is you really put in the groundwork and learned to work the pole. Was that hard? ‘Cause a bitch ain’t strong enough.

Honestly, I was so unhappy back then. But I found as I kept watching, it turned into an art to me. I realized I could be a stripper and shake ass, or I could damn near become one of these women that are flying and going upside down. If I’ma do this, I’ma do it in the most beautiful way. I’ma learn the art and find the ballerina in this. Once my mind was set on it and the money was good, it was a light switch. I never stopped. I started going to the clubs early, I’d practice and come up with a routine before the club would open.

Were other girls doing that?

Nah. I was the girl that I would never take days off. On the days where there wasn’t any dancers, they knew to call me because I was always gonna pull up. You could never tell me to come make money and I wasn’t gonna go. Please. I said no one’s working? Bet. I’ll be there.

What was the most you made then?

It’s been so long. $3K to $5K. It was crazy, I remember I went to Detroit at one point to dance and watched people throw $35K in the air on two women. I’m not gon’ lie, that was my first moment of experiencing envy and jealousy. Now why the hell am I not on that stage? Crazy. Wow. It looked like a thunderstorm of money. I’ve never seen such a thing. I was sitting there, I was 19 in awe. What am I doing wrong? [laughs]

Did you save the money or did you spend it?

When I was young, it wasn’t a saving game. It was more so I’m making an insane amount of money and I was on a path of figuring out what I wanted to do career-wise. I was into modeling, this, that. I was spending though, because I knew I knew how quick I could get it back.

The last time I interviewed you you were on OnlyFans back then and you had made $56K in the first month. Were you posting the same photos on Instagram? 

Hell yeah, I was a fraud. I was a scammer. [laughs] But hear me out, back then I was doing separate content. But it was still very much lingerie, basically the same thing I was posting on Instagram.

Talk about your decision to walk away because I think it’s super admirable.

I’ma be honest with you, I walked away and I walked back. Now let me tell you why.

Are you back, should we promote your OnlyFans? 

We are back, but here’s why. Being an independent artist, you have to fund everything. For me to be dumb and walk away from free money that at that point can fund the end goal. These men sell drugs to pay for their albums, women sell pictures I guess. I’m still not aggressive, still much conscious of my career. But especially me being this version of myself and I’m over fully clothed, very much on brand with things. It funds the career.

Talk about the conscious decision to take the attention away from her body. 

When I parted ways with the label, I got tired of being known for my body. “Oh, she know how to throw ass.” I knew there was this flower in me growing. This version of myself that was begging to be seen, outside of my physical. I need people to understand I do music, I’m talented at this and I’m great at it. There’s more to me than skin and what you’ve seen. I need people to lock in and really take me serious. I need to take myself serious. It was a decision for myself as well. I was also in a relationship. When you get in relationships, you tone it back. I got tired of being known for “she’s hot, she’s sexy. She’s visually, aesthetically something I want to see.” Nah bro, I want you to hear me. I want you to damn near close your eyes and stop looking at me to feel me.

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