For Better Or For Music
A classically trained singer from Montreal, Jon Davis decided to incorporate his traumatic past as a positive fuel to his new musical endeavours. Suffering from a brain injury in 2006, Davis recollects the challenges of his recovery in his debut album Golden Hue released in 2009.
“When I was recovering I wrote most of the songs of my first album. I was very depressed, anxious and scared that I wouldn’t fully recover. Prior to that I had a lead role in a professional musical theater production but I was forced to reconsider everything. I have that injury to thank in a way for making me a singer-songwriter and decide to go and write the album.” recalled Davis.
Although his first creation mainly focused on his personal adventures, he bounced back in 2013 with Open Shore, an altruistic album sharing his recovery as an advice to mental freedom; ultimately a remedy to get better and positively enjoy the open world.
“This album’s really been about overcoming obstacles, and making a decision to be happy. You are living in some sort of crazy sinking ship, but somehow you break free and you’re going towards this huge wide open shore of possibilities. It’s kind of an inspiration album trying to help people in some way, but also helping myself.” explained Davis.
The songwriter had always wanted to be a musician from his early ages. He draws his inspirations from multiple musical genres ranging from Classic Rock, Blues, Folk, Jazz to even Classical. Some of his most praised artists include legendary Rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix, Folk singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell and Pop giants the Beatles.
“I really got into blues and classic rock. My idol was Jimi Hendrix. I was also a really big fan of Led Zeppelin and covered their songs live. I used to do a lot of guitar solos, and wanted to be a guitarist not a singer. After my set, I was going up to my guitarist friends saying ‘What did you think of my guitar solo?’” admitted Davis.
Even though he used to dream of becoming a guitar hero in his teens, his peers would exclusively compliment his singing everytime. He eventually became self-aware of his singing talent and decided to take his chance in music as a singer for good.
“Every time I played live, people would always comment about my singing, and naturally people were pushing me towards that direction because I was better at that.” revealed Davis.
Indeed, his vocal talents have been doubtlessly showcased during his last performance at La Sala Rossa. The show underwent in an intimate yet cozy atmosphere with Davis backed up by his bandmates on guitar, bass and drums. His compositions meshed a good variety of moods and instrumentation along with occasional surprises in the course of the act.
On top of Davis switching effortlessly between piano, acoustic and electric guitars, he engaged the audience by inviting a dancer onto the stage to perform over an upbeat tune. The show followed by a duet with a cellist for one of his folk songs. He consequently embodied a multi-faceted character comparable to a Sir Elton John burst out singing on the piano just as an alternative rock band frontman rocking out.
Jon Davis’ new music video “Better” features the same female dancer as in the show, who serves as a metaphor for change. Additionally, an interesting gradation from black and white to color graphically depicts a better growing and evolving state of mind.
The difficulties of a musician trying to pierce its way through the crowd may be a common stereotype nowadays among the music industry. However, Jon Davis points out the importance of surrounding support and one’s love for music as a means of personal fulfillment.
“If I can say one thing, whatever you do, just go out there with guns blazing and kick ass as hard as you can in every way. We all know hundreds of unbelievable unknown artists, but they don’t have a team. Get a team. Otherwise, you end up being a beautiful flower way out in the forest that no one is ever going to see. No one goes out to that part of the forest. You need somebody saying ‘You gotta see this, over here, yeah, no, left, next to the tree there.’”