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Pop singer/songwriter Neil Davis is making a name for himself by performing on the local music scene throughout his hometown, New York City. Davis has performed in more venues than his own age, frequenting at various music landmarks like the infamous Bitter End, Rockwood Music Hall, Pianos and The National Underground- just to name a few.
Neil recently debuted his first album, "In My Mind” on September 30th 2011. It includes the perfect combination of piano driven pop songs, and raspy rock vocals. His catchy, yet heart-filled songs tell stories about life, love, heartbreak, and hope. Neil's first single, "New Day” is a feel good tune- featuring soaring vocals, inspiring lyrics, and a pulsing rhythm section. “I wrote ‘New Day’ about living for today, and loving for today - So, hopefully it will inspire people to do just that.”
Neil's first toy was the piano. Before he could even read or write, he was playing music on a keyboard that he received for Christmas at the age of five. Soon after, Neil began classical piano lessons and discovered his singing voice. He continued to develop his talent throughout his four years of High School while attending the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts, founded by world renowned entertainer Tony Bennett. Since then, Neil has appeared on MTV, CBS and continues to perform alongside some of his favorite musicians.
Through years of practice, persistence, and performing, Neil has managed to maintain an extremely upbeat, positive attitude about his chosen profession. "Even though the pursuit of music can be extremely frustrating at times, when you have a natural desire to do something, it's unavoidable," he says. "If someone wants it bad enough, their passion and drive will get them there. For me, nothing can get in the way."
Check out a live performance of 'New Day', Live from Rockwood Music Hall in New York City here:
'New Day' 2010
'When Autumn Falls' 2011
Full Album / LP
'In My Mind' 2011
All distributed via iTunes / Amazon-mp3 / CDbaby
Douglaston musician Neil Davis muses on getting a start in music in the digital age
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At age 25, Douglaston native Neil Davis is already an accomplished musician, having recently release...At age 25, Douglaston native Neil Davis is already an accomplished musician, having recently released his debut, self-produced album, “In My Mind,” a compilation of 10 piano-driven pop/rock songs.
“Producing and releasing my own debut album was a dream come true for me, a product of my vision and lots of hard work,” said Davis, who used all his own money to fund the project. “I wanted the album to be all my creation — both creatively and financially.”
Davis, who in 2004 was part of the first class to graduate from Frank Sinatra High School for the Arts in Astoria, founded by legendary singer Tony Bennett, has been working hard to translate his love of music into a career.
In only a few short years, Davis has already made musical inroads by playing established New York City venues, including The Bitter End, Rockwood Music Hall, Pianos and The Living Room.
A self-taught musician, Davis traces his musical ability back to age 5, when he was given a 23-key piano. He has since developed his skill by leaps and bounds, featuring piano on “In My Mind,” as well as keyboard, organ and a vintage Wurlitzer. While Davis said that part of his inspiration to write comes from his own life experiences and the ability to “tell his story through music,” he also has many artists he admires and draws creative energy from.
Some of Davis’ musical inspirations include Gavin DeGraw, Joss Stone and Brendan James.
Asked about the unique process of self-producing an album at a time when the music industry has undergone sea changes, Davis recalled that it was a learning experience from beginning to end.
“Because I was producing the album completely on my own and simultaneously learning the recording process, I experimented and pulled from different studios to create the perfect sound,” said Davis, noting that the entire project was recorded in Manhattan and then later mixed in a Brooklyn studio.
“The industry is in the artist’s hands right now. I was able to release an album totally on my own,” Davis said. “I don’t have a label now; in fact, I don’t even have a manager. But, I learned so much from producing… It was an entire process that gave me tons of freedom.”
But Davis said that he is now actively seeking a major record label deal and he hopes his debut album will serve as a means to showcase his music and build a fan base.
Reflecting on how the music industry has changed in the last decade, Davis said it is much more difficult now for artists to get signed by a label. “It can be extremely hard for two reasons: one is financial — music companies have cut back drastically on their spending, which leaves little room for new acts; and two, each label is seeking a very specific sound/act to add to their roster.”
Davis has also tackled marketing himself using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to help promote the album and connect directly with fans. He said song distribution can best be handled online via iTunes and Amazon.com.
Lamenting the nostalgic era of albums, Davis explained his affinity for vinyl. “I’m a total fan of the physical album. It’s such a cool experience. I love the artwork, the experience. Albums and lyrics help bring you closer to the artist,” he said. “If it was up to me, I’d buy all my music in album form instead of just downloading music online.” Physical copies of his album will be available for purchase at all of his upcoming gigs for $12.
While still a relative newcomer to the music business, Davis has already performed for and with some iconic entertainers, including Tony Bennett, Britney Spears and Beyonce. He has also performed for Nelson Mandela at a United Nations fund-raiser as well as opening for the Dave Matthews Band in Central Park in 2005 in front of tens of thousands of people.
Looking ahead, Davis said he is pursuing music full-throttle. “There’s nothing else out there that I want to do. So much of who I am is connected to music.”