Featuring David Davis at Q’s Bar and Lounge
Catch David Davis at Q’s bar and Lounge until May 1st. A kid discovered by the great Quincy Jones while in LA, he’s been catapulted into greatness by his residency at Q’s bar and Lounge at Palazzo Versace Dubai. A show you don’t want to miss— David Davis has more charisma than Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars combined. Oh, and he can sing well too.
The Pemberley: How did you become a singer?
David Davis: I started singing in church at the age of three and I had a solo during one of the choirs when my parents realized that I had real talent. They registered me for singing programs in school and after-school choirs, and then throughout high school I was performing and traveling. When I had the decision to go to college, I knew music would be it. I wanted to go to a place where I could be working as well as studying, so I went to Nashville. I studied at Belmont University, and I was a backup singer for other artists, as well as writing and touring with them. I learnt what it takes to create a song that people enjoy, and to see life on the road.
TP: How were you found by Quincy Jones?
DD: I came to LA and I spent about a year writing songs for other artists, and then started my own album which was produced and developed in the beginning of 2018. In May of 2018 I did a show to release the single, and it was a great sold-out show. When I got home, I saw that I was tagged in an Instagram post by Quincy Jones productions, and I said holy cow, this is wild! I thought it must be a dream because it was really late at night and I had a couple whiskeys, and I thought maybe this isn’t actually happening. When I woke up, I saw ten stories on the Quincy Jones productions page and was blown away because he was one of my heroes, especially in making the album and creating a project for myself. They reached out to me via Instagram saying that they had a residency in Dubai and included some information inviting me to meet them to talk about my career and the residency. Six months later, here I am!
TP: Do you write your own lyrics?
DD: Yes, I do. Everything that I put out and perform (except for a few popular covers) are written by me. Little Mo Betta, everything from the album is by me, including lyrics and music. Occasionally I will have a co-writer, between my friends Lucas, Mitchell or Emma, or my producer Joe. We either write together or separately, but it depends on the song. Some songs come out in the middle of the night when I wake up and I write it on my own, and some are done with a full team of people around me. I wrote Little Mo Betta before I got the invitation to come to Dubai, the year after I broke up with the duo, in 2017. I sat down with my friend Mitchell and we wrote about how we felt about people who come back to you after they break up with you, and how it usually feels sad or hurtful, but how you can twist that and make it positive and fun.
TP: What role did your father play in influencing who you are today?
DD: My father influenced 50% of who I am, next to my mom’s 50%. It’s funny how as an adult you start to see how much you’re like your parents. I carry my mom’s compassion for people, her attention to details and fascination with the world, and from my dad I got his strength and his warmth, his awareness and curiosity of how the world could be a better place and the role to play in it. My father has taught me how to make strong decisions while also being attentive to the people around me, and how my decisions are going to affect the world and what I create and produce. How to be attentive to all those parts at play when making decisions for my career, and for my personal life as well.
TP: Would you consider your father a gentleman? What qualities do you think make a gentleman?
DD: My father is the perfect gentleman. He is fully confident and aware of who he is, but in a way that doesn’t demand attention, it just comes naturally to him. People gravitate to his warmth, his kindness and his humor, but he doesn’t need to overplay it. He’s authentic, and he’s transparent, but also very strong and very, very confident. I think a gentleman is someone who carries a comfort in his smile, a spark in his eyes, and a demeanor that puts others first. A gentleman is always happy to elevate other people, because he knows that his swagger and attitude will attract attention on their own.
TP: What are your thoughts on life in Dubai?
DD: Dubai is cool. I had never been to the Middle East except for maybe a bit farther east in India, so this is really my first time in a proper Middle Eastern country. Dubai is the only place I’ve ever been that has the best of everything— the tallest buildings, the highest luxury hotels, etc. It’s super cool to be able to not only see a city of the future, which I think it is— because it feels like you’re in 2050— but also a city that comes from a place of culture and a long-standing history. I’ve read about how it was once more of a fishing town, so it has been enlightening to visit the older parts of Dubai and see the culture behind the city, juxtaposed with where the city is heading. This is what I love about traveling— to get an understanding of where we’ve been so that we know where we’re going.
TP: How is it living at Palazzo Versace?
DD: It’s the best, I have no complaints. As a performer, it’s a luxury to be able to be comfortable and fully taken care of. The staff here and the team has only been considerate, helpful and warm and friendly to me. They’ve greeted myself and the band with exceptional kindness, and we’re very thankful to them. After living here, I think I’ll have a hard time not living in a hotel, or maybe I’ll just try to come back at some point. Having my laundry done instead of needing to lug it to the laundry room…it’s those things that I’ll be a brat about when I leave. But, it’s okay. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts and try to make my way back when I can.
TP: What do you feel when you’re on stage?
DD: I feel comfortable, I feel at home, I feel confident to know that I get to do something that I love, and I feel excited about the opportunity to bring people together for entertainment and a good time. There are so many different types of people in Dubai and Palazzo Versace and Q’s Bar, and I get this chance to lead them in three hours of joy and excitement and entertainment, which energizes me. Even if I’m exhausted before I go on, I always leave the stage smiling because it’s so much fun to be 100% myself and to see people enjoy that, and also give them permission to be 100% themselves— to get up and dance if they want, or sit and chill if they need to, and just listen to a story, you know?
TP: What are your plans after your stint at Q’s Bar?
DD: I have a few pieces of content that are coming out, some Live at Q’s videos, a music video which will be shot in Dubai, and then a mini-documentary of my experience here at Q’s which will be super cool. Then I release my second album which I’m working on with Max Mason over at the Quincy Jones Company. It’s great to be able to continue putting out music and videos and content that people can not only jam to and have a good time with, but also see authenticity and connect to it, and hopefully feel permission to live a more authentic and full life.
TP: Do you think your fashion style has changed coming to Dubai?
DD: I came here fully packed with outfits for two or three weeks, and I knew that I would go to the H&M or Zara and see that they had a different selection from the US stores. I’ve been there a couple of times and bought a few things and experimented with my style a little bit, but, it has kind of stayed the same.
TP: What do you do in your down time?
DD: I don’t have a ton of it, because of all the different things that are in the works right now, but I got a massage today, which was amazing. It was really nice to be able to just walk downstairs and just get my relaxation on. I enjoy working out, watching good movies, playing laser tag, hanging out with friends, drinking wine and talking about life and philosophy and science. I love listening to NPR (National Public Radio), which covers different topics in history and culture and understanding the world. I’m very curious about the world, and so it’s awesome as a musician to travel and meet new people and connect in that way. In my down time I just chill.
TP: What does luxury mean to you?
DD: I think luxury is when a designer or an artist or musician or chef have 1000% ability to create something that expresses who they are and is inspired by their heroes and icons. I don’t think of luxury as a price thing— when you make something that is fully you and is stunning and crafted well, it will naturally demand a price because people will want to pay for it— but I think that anybody who creates something that is unique and done with good craftsmanship, detail and precision is going to infuse it with an air of luxury. There are songs that I think are luxurious songs, because they’re done with such attention to detail and so well crafted. For example, Case of You by Joni Mitchell is a song that I would consider a luxury and an honor to listen to, because it’s so well done. Then you have Versace, and the chair I’m sitting on right now that you can tell has been made with such attention to detail, precision and expertise, that it feels like an privilege to sit on. It doesn’t need to be millions of dollars to be luxurious— someone putting their full self into something with all of their influence and intelligence is luxurious.
TP: Is there anything that you’d like your audience to know about you?
DD: If they want to know anything they should come to the show in Dubai and see me on stage. If they can’t come to Dubai, they should listen to the album or find a video online, because everything about me is in my music. Where words fail, music speaks, and I try to put my full self into that. I’d like your audience to know that I care about them, and I care about them being who they are and being authentic, because that’s what makes me get out of bed every morning. I hope to share that message with everyone who listens to my music, reads an interview, or comes to my show.