Canadian born, Virginia bred, David lived with a heart full of music from an early age. At only eight years old he began composing songs at the piano, inspired by Scott Joplin and early Ragtime jazz musicians. As he grew, so too did the songs that consumed him. Relief came only when he put pen to paper to write the music that would eventually shape his creative sound and distinct style. David spent his early school years obsessively arranging and rearranging his compositions during classes. Spacing out in class and composing full songs on the back of math homework was a daily affair. After school he began picking up other instruments; guitar, bass guitar, and saxophone and recording himself singing and playing all of them.
Despite his academic indifference, the power of David’s writing got him into the University of Virginia. Here, he refined his sound as a record producer. He began incorporating his signature drum tracks and style into Beyoncé songs. The remixes were a hit and the sound caught on. Before he knew it, David was sitting in front of Beyoncé’s father, music industry mogul Matthew Knowles, CEO of Music World Entertainment. After hearing David’s original material and songwriting the company took full interest in him as a writer as well as a record producer. David graduated and relocated to New York City where he has been writing songs and producing tracks for a wide variety of artists. He tours and performs regularly, having shared stages with artists ranging from American Idol’s Constantine Maroulis to the hip-hop legend & Hall of Fame inductee, Doug E. Fresh. David’s debut album, True Story, can be purchased on Amazon.com and on iTunes in the US, Canada, UK/European Union, Australia/N.Z. and Japan.
Apart from music, David appears regularly on the daytime soap opera, “All My Children,” and has made several appearances on “The Tyra Banks Show,” “Sex and the City,” and “One Life to Live.” He has also modeled in many campaigns for clothing companies such as Club Monaco and Burlington Coat Factory, and has appeared in many commercial print advertisements. He was the first ever commercial model for the familiar fruit juice drink, Capri Sun, and appears in commercial spots for Anheuser-Busch as the official mixologist for the popular beverage, Bud Light Lime.
How do you describe your music to people, David?
I simply tell people who I get compared to most often: Jason Mraz, One Republic, Maroon 5, James Blunt, Gavin DeGraw, and a few other names I hear all the time.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
On Christmas day, when I was three years old, my dad recorded an "interview" between us just for fun. When I listened to the tape play back I remember hating the way I sounded. I asked to try it again, since I knew the second time I could make it flow better. This was just us speaking into a microphone of course, but it was the dawn of my obsession with recording. Around the same time I was falling in love with the piano and began lessons. I starting writing and scoring my own songs once I knew how to read sheet music. I eventually picked up the saxophone in school band, and the guitar, and started singing. For every instrument I picked up my recording skills became more advanced because, in order for me to manifest my compositions in any tangible recorded form, I had to multitrack and play all the instruments at different times. By the time I had devised my own live drum sequencing and production techniques I had become quite a sound engineer. I had a bevy of original recordings which I had single-handedly written, arranged, performed all the instruments for, sang, produced, engineered and mastered.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
There is this "eureka" moment in songwriting where you know you have something, or rather, have "been given" something that has it's own life. The experience is powerful enough to dissolve the burden of all the extraneous circumstances that comprise your life's situation, whatever that may be. At this moment you are free. It is as if you have woken from a nightmare that could have been going on for months. You are awake now, finally, and you are creating something holy.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
I've been following mainstream radio my whole life and have a deep grasp on the underlying nuances that constitute a "hit" song; a universally relateable, inevitably and highly catchy, socially and culturally relevant-to-the-era, song which you are propelled to replay again and again, almost as if the song itself were some kind of magic spell. The songs I write are the few concepts and melodies of the millions floating around in the stratosphere of my mind and spirit which actually caught my attention with such force and fury, which were so relevant and so poignant, that I would not rest until I had brought them to life. I know objectively that if everyone in the world heard my songs I'd be "world famous." But in order for this to happen outside the realm of hypothetical there are mechanics which no longer depend solely on my ironic musical autonomy. It takes the cooperation of so many outside forces. Will the Universe cooperate? Facing this is a daunting challenge, I guess for any musician.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
My work and current lifestyle is and always has been woven into my destiny. Without any attachment to the details as to how it would unfold, I have always somehow known I would be where I am today.
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
I grew up in a very unique artistic town which promotes unrestrained creativity of all the arts, with special attention to music. Dave Matthews emerged in my home town of Charlottesville, VA and almost every kid grows up playing a little guitar. You would have to visit Charlottesville in order to really experience what I'm talking about. Music is part of the culture and identity of the town to such a degree I have not been able to find elsewhere in this country accept a few places.
What other artists out there do you love?
Nirvana, Souljah Boy, Struan Shields, Colbie Caillat, Lady Gaga, Mat Kearney, Parachute, Ne-Yo, John Coltrane, Pink Floyd, Keyshia Cole, Paramore, Soundgarden, Avril Lavigne, John Mayer, Sean Paul, The Beatles, The All-American Rejects, Birdman, Keri Hilson, Gwen Stefani, Beyonce, Elliott Smith, JoJo, Led Zeppelin, Jason Mraz, Janis Joplin, Pearl Jam, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Alicia Keys, The Doors, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Evanescence, Flyleaf and Yael Meyer.
What does your future hold?
My music has garnered a lot of attention very quickly, which I'm very grateful about. I feel like it's almost enough attention to sustain consistent touring enough to generate both enough income and enough new fans at a rate at which it would pay for itself and keep me on the road ad infinitum. There is a critical mass where this will take place and it's close. Once I strike that tipping point I'll live on the road.