Rising Music Star Day Kornegay: “I’d like to give my laser focus towards making sure that people have equal access to opportunities, and are truly treated equal, all the way around”

Yitzi Weiner
Sep 27 · 6 min read

I think the most amount of good that we can seek right now is true equality. Without saying anything specific, I would give my laser focus towards making sure that people have equal access to opportunities, and are truly treated equal, all the way around. So, while I can’t point to one specific cause that would be the general direction that I would go in, I would focus on fairness and equality.


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Thank you so much for joining us Day! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

When I was a kid I was completely surrounded by music. I had every form of media that was available at the time and there was always some music to be played. There were many instances that lead me down this career path. My first solo in my church choir was when I decided I wanted to be a singer. My aunt playing hip hop while babysitting me or my self taught grandfather playing guitar and singing old spirituals certainly had a hand in it. But if I could pin it down more specifically, it was my dad Donald Kornegay. See my father, a Homeland Security Special Agent (911 Responder) by day, who was never a professional singer or performer, had a great voice and a passion for music. So on Friday nights as a past-time, he’d come home from work with a chosen song and some lyrics that he’d stayed at work late to print out and would have my siblings and I learn the song word for word and then we’d come up with dance routines for the song. It was some of the best moments of my life. I didn’t realize it then, but that was my pre-training for who I’d later become. It may be the single most important reason that I’m an artist today.

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?

No doubt, here’s a fun one… I’m on a gig performing at a private event in the south of France for some rich dudes’ birthday. Who’s on the bill as the headliner? Stevie Wonder!!! One of my idols. As me and my people are in the lobby returning from soundcheck, we run into Stevie and his people. Some of my musicians know some of his, and my road manager makes some introductions. As I go to greet Stevie he grabs my hand and then says nah I’m a hugger man. Then proceeds to pick me up and sort bear hug me!!! It was so dope. I got bear hugged by Stevie Wonder on an island in the South of France! I’m not sure he remembers, but I certainly do. It was the most memorable celebrity meeting I’ve had!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I have quite a few incredible projects the works right now and not to be self indulgent but my new EP is the most interesting project I’m currently engaged in! It has so many flavors for every appetite, in my opinion. Fun, moody, danceable, just lit! Like, no gassin, I feel like this EP is such a dope piece of work. Rick Steel (The executive producer) was masterful in crafting this record with me. Can’t wait to share it with the world!

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

I’ve interacted with so many amazing people over the course of my career. I have to say, by far, one of the most interesting to me was Tracy Morgan. I worked with him on a film some years ago, and he is literally one of the funniest people I’ve ever interacted with; the cast of this film was full of comedians. One time, shortly after we had finished filming, I was walking down the street in midtown near Rockefeller Center, and I hear someone yelling, screaming my name at the top of their lungs. I turned around and it was Tracy Morgan, he literally said “Yo D you a superstar now, you don’t know nobody?”. We both started to laugh and he greeted me with nothing but love. Another experience I’ll never forget.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

This may sound cliche, but I’m truly inspired by all the people who lend their abilities to make the world a better place. Being a descendant of slavery, I feel like the greatest heroes are those who championed civil rights.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I use whatever amount of success that I have every day to bring joy, laughter, happiness, fun and anything I can that’s positive to the lives of anyone I encounter, specifically through my music: performing at private events, charities, hospitals, churches, political functions and for anyone that will listen!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I think the most amount of good that we can seek right now is true equality. Without saying anything specific, I would give my laser focus towards making sure that people have equal access to opportunities, and are truly treated equal, all the way around. So, while I can’t point to one specific cause that would be the general direction that I would go in, I would focus on fairness and equality.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Take breaks! We are human beings just like everyone else. It’s important that we do whatever we need to do to maintain our mental focus. For me that’s taking a break. You should play as hard as you work; I am a strong believer in that.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Honestly, I’ve had some great mentors who shared a wealth of knowledge with me, so it’s hard for me to identify 5 things that I wish someone told me. I’d have to get back to you on that. How about another interview? I’ve got another song coming out. :P

We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this, especially if we tag them :-)

Jay Z — without a doubt. We come from the same borough, I feel like we have similar mind-sets and work ethic. Also, I feel like I can learn so much from him. While I’ve met him a few times, I’ve never had a personal moment to connect. I think it would be awesome and I think he’d find it intriguing too.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@daykornegay on IG, facebook, twitter.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Yitzi Weiner

Written by

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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