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The Refined Collective Podcast

Oct 23, 2018

Davie is Nashville-based performer, producer, writer, and musician—his EP “Black Gospel Vol. 1” is available on iTunes and Spotify. I first met him years ago in LA through mutual friends; it was probably on a dance floor.  I’m sure of it.  We bonded over our shared love of Beyoncé, and the rest is history.

Davie has performed at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Austin City Limits. You’ve probably heard his music on the Wild Turkey commercial with Matthew McConaughey, or on ESPN College Gameday. He’s in the thick of ‘making it’.  His dreams, years of hard work are paying off.  But he’ll be the first to tell you none of this was overnight.  His now is happening because of the silent, unnoticed by man years of laying the groundwork.  

You’ve seen his success; today we’re talking about the hustle that got him there.

The Slow Climb

“People see the end result, but they don’t see the silent hustle.”

  • One of Davies first breaks came when he was a dancer and singer on Glee when he first moved to Los Angeles. He landed this opportunity by reaching out to the show’s music director.  You never know what will happen when you put yourself out there.
  • When the show ended, he had new connections that brought him to work on Cee Lo Green’s Christmas album, among other projects. Most recently, this connection enabled him to work with Donald Glover.
  • He continued to send out emails looking for work. “I’ll email anybody. When I was in high school, I emailed P. Diddy. He didn’t email me back.”
  • He recalls numerous shows where the crowds were small, mostly comprising of friends and friends of friends.
  • “Never get so focused on the people above you that you don’t look at your peers.”

What if I Didn’t Put Myself in a Box?

  • After multiple shifts in work and perspective, Davie is happy with where he is right now.
  • When it comes to surrounding yourself with people professionally or romantically, he thinks, “Why would you want to be someone’s maybe? Don’t settle for maybe.”
  • It’s important to surround yourself with those who inspire you. Changing your surroundings will change your outlook on life.
  • Though he has felt pressure to fit into certain styles of song, he notes that one particular song that he didn’t feel super connected to was able to connect to the people who listen to it in a powerful way and it’s beautiful to witness.

On Performing

  • He is inspired by photography and seeing the vision others have for life. He strives to create a vision and connect with others through it.
  • “They individually feel connected to you by having personal moments in your music that you know nothing about. They come to a show and you feel that energy.”
  • He remembers seeing Post Malone performing at Lollapalooza and witnessing him speaking life toward the audience’s experiences.
  • “Hopefully your art can make them feel something.”
  • Davie notes his experience at Beyoncé and Jay Z ‘On the Run Part II Tour’ being “fully and powerfully their black selves,” and seeing people of all races listening and connecting in the audience.

The Heart Behind Black Gospel Vol. 1

“I try to have church for folks who will never step foot in church.”

  • This latest album comes after his mixtape called “Music by Davie,” marking his switch from going by James David to Davie.
  • Davie sees this album as bringing himself back to where he started: church. It reflects a lot of his questioning of his faith.
  • The album came at a time of transition for him in life with his family and also a time of transition for the country with the 2018 election.
  • He recognizes that Heaven Calling is really the heartbeat of the album, with the focus being the realization that one day his parents will die and one day he will die.
  • One line from the song is “I can’t stand getting older while my dreams get younger.”

Looking forward, he is excited to be having a new single coming out next fall. You guys, I got him to sing for you on the podcast! He sings Roll With Me… it is so good. I got chills. You can connect with Davie at his website or on Instagram.

This episode is brought to you by the free PDF guide called “Moving Through Fear.” It is full of resources that I hope will help guide you through rejecting the lies in your life and finding the truth.


Kat Harris