Enter the musical realm of Amanda Davids, where sonic boundaries are overthrown and myriad genres assimilated into one sound, Urban Funk. Taking inspiration from the fusion Jazz, Funk and Hip Hop of innovators before her, such as Herbie Hancock, Soulive, Medeski Martin & Wood and The Roots, Davids has created her own unique musical vision. Amanda Davids credits the sound's evolution to her use of the Hammond Organ and elaborate piano lines, fused with an extremely unorthodox rhythm section including an 8-string guitarist, who also plays the MPC and Fusion Jazz style drummer. Igniting stages with unique live arrangements, extended jams, and funky improvs, Davids is ready to revolutionize the music industry.
"Her mélange of sounds gets her the unlikeliest of comparisons from time to time. She's gotten everything from the '70s progressive rock-group Emerson, Lake & Palmer to the urban soul of Joss Stone, and even neo-soul sound of The Roots on occasion."
Hilary Caton -- InsideToronto.com
After a whirlwind 2012 involving her debut release “Distinguishable inDifference”, a 12 day UK tour, Eastern Canada tour and festivals of every variety Amanda Davids’ distinctive vision has emerges as a musical force to reckoned with. From sharing a stage with renowned soul producer "Jazzie B" in the UK to performances in the 2012 NXNE Festival, 2012 Oakville Jazz Festival, 2012 Sudbury Jazz Festival and The Toronto Blues Society Showcase, Davids is ready to unleash her music on the world.
As 2013 unfolds Davids ready’s her fans for a monumental new year which already includes a performance in Canadian Music Week's 2013 Winter Jazz Fest, a live to board release set for Fall 2013 and a 2013 Summer North Eastern US tour. Whether enchanting audiences with a piano or exciting a crowd with a Hammond Organ, Davids can be seen either performing solo or accompanied by her team of musical specialists.
Currently a disciple of world renowned organist Tony Monaco, Amanda artfully integrates Hammond Organ into her arsenal of instruments, with the hopes of ushering in a new era of urban funk. Studying music from the age of 3, Davids is trained in both Jazz and classical on the piano and voice. As well she has studied the Alto saxophone. Utilizing her diverse education and experience Davids acts as songwriter, co-arranger and co-producer of all her music. She carefully oversees the balance in her multilayered fusion ensuring that with each recording or performance her fans receive the ultimate in Amanda Davids Funk.
In addition to her performance mandate, Amanda Davids tries to inspire future generations of musicians through her heavy involvement in music education. Currently in her tenth year of teaching both piano and voice, she tries to use her career success to positively influence her community and generate an appreciation for the arts. As well, Davids has a long performance history with several charitable organizations. These include; OXFAM Canada, South Asian Women’s Charity, Soloman Dawit Foundation, and The Julliett’s place women’s shelter.
Amanda Davids - Vocals, keyboards
Daniel Mendelsohn - 8 String Guitar
Stefan Loebus - Drums
2008 " Amanda Davids" 3 Song Demo
2011 " Naughty Boy" Single Release
2012 " Distinguishable in Difference" EP
Amanda Davids: The Definitive “Distinguishable in Difference” Interview!
[+ Show ]
Up and coming Urban Funk sensation, Amanda Davids, armed with her Piano, Hammond Organ and a rag...
Up and coming Urban Funk sensation, Amanda Davids, armed with her Piano, Hammond Organ and a raging Soulful voice, is on a mission to revolutionize the music industry, which began in Toronto but has already spread worldwide. After a whirlwind 2012 involving a debut release, 12 day UK tour, Eastern Canada tour and festivals of every variety Amanda Davids’ distinctive vision has emerged in full form, Urban Funk. Davids’ sound, as depicted by her debut EP-album title “Distinguishable in Difference” is distinct, combining Hip hop, Funk and Jazz elements with urban modern production.
Having a definitive but undiscovered musical vision early in her career “Distinguishable in Difference” signifies Davids’ dedication to her art, her diverse musical experience and the overcoming of many hardships to see her vision unfold. In this twenty question interview , we discover that Amanda’s musical talents somewhat match her candid intelligence and measured assertiveness.
1. How long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you get started in the first place?
Amanda Davids: I’ve been an instrumentalist for as long as I can remember. Beginning with the piano as a kid, I’ve pretty much been playing my whole life. My interest in recording and songwriting however, began in university. As it’s a turbulent time for everybody, I began to write about the woes of early adulthood. From then, the natural progression to a professional musician began. I started recording and performing my songs, and eventually assembled a team of like-minded music enthusiasts to form my touring band. Since then I imagine my music and content has matured. Sporting choice instruments such as the Hammond and Piano, the twists and turns of the last 8 years have made me into the musician I am today.
2. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?
Amanda Davids: During my childhood, I remember three distinct influences and can pretty much trace them to the foundation of my sound today. My dad was a huge James Brown fan and I remember listening to his funk over and over as a child and loving it. I also remember hearing Ella Fitzgerald recordings at a very young age and being astounded by her vocal virtuosity and diversity as a singer. And then there was B.B King and I remember his version of “Stormy Monday” being the first song I tried to perform as a pianist/vocalist.
3. Who do you consider the most influential and successful artist(s) in your genre today and why?
Amanda Davids: It’s hard to pin it down to one genre, but I can name a few artists whose accomplishments, I really admire. New York based Soulive have done a great job of influencing an entire generation of Soul/Jazz. Personally, I’m a big fan of The Roots, both for their music, which has always incorporated many great cross-genre fusions, as well as their accomplishments. They did it independently, and really went through the grind. Now they’re the coolest late-night band ever, that’s a good gig.
4. Describe the first piece of musical equipment that you actually purchased with your own money.
Amanda Davids: My Yamaha 88 key P60 was the first piece of gear I bought with my own money. It was a long time coming, as I had been sticking it out on my dad’s Yamaha Dx7 before that…frankly playing that thing was like riding a bike with one training wheel on.
5. What particularly drew you towards the keyboards as your preferred instrument, and eventually what made you include the Hammond organ into your sound, considering that it is thought of as an ‘outdated’ instrument by the modern masses?
Amanda Davids: As my music started to move towards an edgier funk based sound I began looking for an instrument to represent it. The piano and Rhodes sounds were too melodic and didn’t quite get grimy enough. Then I heard a Tony Monaco interview on the local Jazz station and as he was distorting and manipulating sounds on the Hammond, I thought “man, that will be perfect with the hip hop/funk beats….and it is”. ‘Outdated’ …well it’s probably because the use of it has become somewhat underground. In popular music those who bother to play instruments stick to the most straight forward ones. Hammonds take an understanding of sound manipulation through use of the drawbars, percussion, chorus effects etc. …not quite as easy as loading a patch and playing. I’m happy to bring the Hammond back in the spotlight.
6. Live gigging or studio work, which do you prefer and why?
Amanda Davids: Not that I don’t really enjoy both… I do. But I have to say that my preference is for live gigging. The element of unpredictability and improvisation creates gems that are unique to each venue and audience. It’s in the live performance where you can feel the most honest expression of an artist. This is why people still pay to see live performance. Actually, my goal in future albums is to try and capture some of that spontaneity into the recordings.
7. Which one of your original songs do you feel is the absolute “crowd pleaser” at live gigs?
Amanda Davids: “Naughty Boy” wins over every audience. There’s something about it. It might be the slickness of the bass or the Hammond riffs, but it draws in even the most unlikely listeners.
8. On which one of your songs do you think you personally delivered your best performance so far, from a technical point of view?
Amanda Davids: I suppose the answer would be Naughty Boy. It’s possible the reason for Naughty Boy’s popularity is that it is also the best technical and musical performance I’ve given so far. The vocals were cleanly executed and organ lines were well played. The song challenges my band and I in every live performance to exceed ourselves from a technical perspective because the song just has so much momentum that it pushes one to try all kinds of crazy things. In that vein, I have some very cool similarly technical stuff in the works for my next EP – technical, yet funky and soulful – both on the Piano and the Hammond.
9. Which ingredient do you think is most essential in making Amanda Davids’ music, sound the way it does?
Amanda Davids: It’s the Urban Funk. You can’t quite describe it as the Funk you would have heard it in the 70s because there is an element of Hip Hop that alters the swing. I imagine it has been embedded in my musical fabric since childhood.
10. If you were forced to choose only one, which emotion, more than any other drives you day after day to stay in this tough business. Is it joy, anger, desire, passion, hysteria or pride etc., and why?
Amanda Davids: Rage. There are so many people that I encounter with Big-Fish-Small-Pond syndrome from an industry long past, who don’t yet realize we are all small fish in a rapidly changing ocean. The amount of irrelevant information I have to sort through on a daily basis is really infuriating. It feels like constant sabotage of what is most precious, my music. Considering that I’m wearing about 5 hats as an indie artist I react severely to people trying to re-rout me off course. Yeah rage.
11. What aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most?
Amanda Davids: The ability to create and craft my own destiny is the most exciting part of being independent. I figure it’s a mixture of the entrepreneurial and artistic spirit that drives people to be independent. It’s not for everyone, since you take all the hits and bruises any entrepreneur would, but the thrill of seeing your brand grow is motivating and exciting.
12. What aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process discourages you most?
Amanda Davids: The finite amount of time that one person has in a day. As an independent musician there are so many things that you and your team need to accomplish. Sometimes it’s discouraging that not everything can get done… Solution, be smart about how you allot your time.
13. How involved are you in any of the the recording, producing, mastering and marketing processes involved in your music.
Amanda Davids: Well…..I have a pretty particular vision and at every step of the game that vision can come undone. So I’d say I play a significant role at every stage. All keyboards and keyboard related parts, vocals and backings are recorded by me. I work as executive producer to make sure the overall sound during recording, production and mastering is correct. As for marketing…I have to make sure that both the music and I are properly represented, so I take an active role in this as well.
14. The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t, but now know for sure that you should have?
Amanda Davids: A producer I worked with years ago told me never to wait for someone to make my album for me, or I could be waiting forever…so I didn’t wait for anyone, and created an independently funded self-directed album. The best advice that I didn’t take at the time was from a booking agent who told me to start playing out of town no matter how small the gigs – before any album or recordings. Although I have a pretty good touring schedule now, I can see how having that foundation would have been immensely helpful.
15. At this point, as independent artist, which is the one factor you desire most, and feel will undeniably benefit your future (for example increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, bigger live giggs etc…)?
Amanda Davids: The next step for my music and where I plan to work the hardest this year is increased media and publicity. After years of soul searching and development I have finally shaped my music and live performance to accurately represent my vision. The feedback so far from audiences has been enthusiastic. Now I just need to get it to as many ears as possible.
16. Do you consider Internet and all the new technology, as fundamental to your music, or indie music in general, or do you think it has only produced a mass of mediocre copycat artists, who flood the web, making it difficult for real talent to emerge?
Amanda Davids: I believe that new technology when used appropriately is an excellent asset for the independent musician. I suppose it could be thought of as fundamental since it allows musicians to directly connect with their audiences, with venues and other artists. Before the internet these groups were hidden and controlled by the record labels, which made it much more difficult to be independent.
17. Here’s a fun question. Do you consider yourself a better piano player or a better singer? And are you perfectly happy with that conclusion, or would you rather have preferred it to be the other way around?
Amanda Davids: Ha. My vocal ability and piano playing are in a perpetual cycle of one-upping the other. At any given point I will be working to improve either, so sometimes you may catch my voice exceeding the piano and other times find my keyboards skills in the forefront. In the past the difference between the two would be very noticeable but now I’m happy with how both work out, even on their down in the cycle.
18. Is going Platinum or winning a Grammy important you? If you were forced to settle for only one choice, which of the two would you go for and why?
Amanda Davids: Of course achieving both would be a wonderful success. If I had to choose I would certainly like a Grammy. While monetary success would be fantastic, winning a Grammy represents an acknowledgement of your contribution to the industry and recognition as an influential artist. That seems like more what I am after. Also I assume there would be some sales after winning a Grammy – I really just need enough to live and continue making my music.
19. What do you think is the biggest barrier you have to face and overcome as an indie artist, in your quest to achieve your goals and attain any commercial success?
Amanda Davids: Well it’s a common theme among indie artists… where do I get the money to make money. Like any business it takes some investment to create, market and distribute your product. So we try our best to be creative and use the resources we have to achieve the most, but funding is one of the biggest barriers I’ve had to face.
20. I read somewhere that you already have a decade of teaching both piano and voice behind you, as well as supporting charitable organizations. How do you conciliate your artistic career with your educative obligations and charity endeavors? And is this something you will continue to do once fortune and fame comes knocking at your door?
Amanda Davids: It really just takes a good scheduling system to get everything in. As far as teaching goes, my students are fairly regular and reliable, so I can plan my other obligations around them. And charitable endeavors…I love doing them, so I fit them into my tour schedule whenever I can. I’m hoping to expand my relationship with a few particular ones in the year to come.
As for fame and fortune – there are many successful artists that make the time to both teach and work with charitable organizations. I don’t see why I can’t do the same.
Canadian Music Week Festival holds high notes and hopes for Amanda Davids
[+ Show ]
Canadian songstress Amanda Davids will hit the stage for Canadian Music Week 2013 for the first time...Canadian songstress Amanda Davids will hit the stage for Canadian Music Week 2013 for the first time in her career and she couldn’t be more excited.
“They get thousands of submissions a year,” Davids said. “It’s a really tough festival to get into. To me it means I’ve reached a level of professionalism to compete as a musician.”
Davids debut concert will consist of a 40 minute set with eight songs at the Courthouse at 27 Adelaide St. W. March 20 at 7 p.m.
According to Davids, she’s been working on her sound during the winter and hopes to bring something “fresh to the festival,” which includes a couple of new songs, one of which is titled The Villain.
Davids is known for her unique sound, created through playing the Hammond organ, the piano and singing with her band member and co-producer Dan “Shai” Mendelsohn, who plays the eight string guitar.
The release of Davids first album Distinguishable inDifference, a five-track groove session, has Davids signature sound stamped all over it; a fusion of jazz, soul, blues and funk.
“I sum it up as urban funk,” Davids said.
Her mélange of sounds gets her the unlikeliest of comparisons from time to time. She’s gotten everything from the ’70s progressive rock-group Emerson, Lake & Palmer to the urban soul of Joss Stone, and even neo-soul sound of The Roots on occasion.
“My inspiration comes from the ’70s and I do take a lot of influence from ’90s hip-hop,” Davids said. “(I have) more urban influences like En Vogue, Lauryn Hill and modern artist Esperanza Spalding.”
The album, released last year and is now available on iTunes, has taken her on a U.K. 2012 tour for 12 days, the 2012 NXNE Festival and the Toronto Blues Society Showcase. And 2013 looks just as promising with her touring to the north eastern parts of the United States, before she graces the stage at Canadian Music Week 2013.
Davids will be joining more than 1,000 artists from all over the world on 60 stages across Toronto over six days beginning March 19. The festival begins with international sensation Rihanna headlining the event at the Air Canada Centre.
“This festival just opens up opportunities to mingle with other artists from all over the world,” Davids said. “To take influence, give influence and share ideas.”
Now in its 31st year, Canadian Music Week is seen as a spring board for artists to launch into the next phase of their career.
Artists like Feist and Broken Social Scene have both graced the stages in years past and have gone on to be commercially successful.
But for Davids performing at the festival is just one aspect she’s looking forward to. The other is all the conferences and networking that goes on when artists aren’t performing.
“It’s a great opportunity to network and learn more about your craft and get new and fresh ideas,” Davids said.
“And as a musician, I mean especially today, you have to constantly be evolving because everything changes so fast.”
But it won’t be all work and no play for Davids. She plans to catch as many shows as she can that week, including The Jessica Stuart Few and Mamabolo from Toronto and Yuichiro Tokuda’s RALYZZDIG from Japan. When Davids isn’t planning out her next career move, she’s busy nurturing the voice and sounds of others through musical education. She currently teaches piano, vocal and song-writing classes out of her home in the Keele Street and Rogers Road area.
“My philosophy on being a musician in general is to continually try to improve the craft and evolve as a musician myself,” Davids said. “And that sort of extends to offering my experience and education to new generations of musicians.”
She has students ranging from children to adults, but the majority of them are teens looking to find their signature voice much like Davids has.
“The type of lessons I offer are more of developing yourself as a musician,” said Davids, which is something she did while attending the University of Toronto and it helped push her to pursue a career in music.
“You see a whole spectrum of people and perspective careers. It just opens you up to new avenues and ideas of what you can do with your life,” Davids said.
She was enrolled in the psychology program at U of T.
“It helps with song writing, believe it or not.”
Amanda Davids w. Chris Morris at The Mansion April 25
[+ Show ]
Amanda Davids will perform at The Mansion on Thursday, April 25 at 10 PM with special guest Chris Mo...Amanda Davids will perform at The Mansion on Thursday, April 25 at 10 PM with special guest Chris Morris.
Enter the musical realm of Amanda Davids (pictured), where musical boundaries are overthrown and myriad genres are assimilated into one coherent sound, Urban Funk.
Taking inspiration from the fusion Jazz, Funk and Hip Hop of innovators before her, such as Herbie Hancock, Soulive, Medeski Martin & Wood and The Roots, Davids has created her own unique musical vision.
Armed with her Piano, Hammond Organ and a raging Soulful voice, Amanda Davids and her team of musical specialists ignite a stage with untamed Funk, rooted in improvisation and Urban beats.
Chris Morris is a folk singer based in Kingston, Ontario. His music and high-energy performances encompass folk and other traditional genres from the Delta to Dylan, the plantations to the Appalachians, the Mississippi to the Great Lakes.
Folk, blues, roots, alt-country, singer-songwriter, bluegrass, spirituals – it’s all blended together and performed with a captivating intensity that will take you along the same versatile ride – feeling great, feeling bad, feeling hopeful, feeling lost, but glad to be a part of the creation of amazing music.
AMANDA DAVIDS on V-Mix
[+ Show ]
V-Mix takes a look at different genres of alternative music from electronica and dance with the lege...V-Mix takes a look at different genres of alternative music from electronica and dance with the legend Moby to urban funk with songstress Amanda Davids and the self described 'endearingly awkward' music of Alligator Baby!
March 10 2013
Amanda Davids – Distinguishable In Difference
[+ Show ]
Some of the greatest artists today are a mixture of jazz and another genre, Michael Buble is jazz wi...Some of the greatest artists today are a mixture of jazz and another genre, Michael Buble is jazz with some pop, and for Amanda Davids it is Urban/Jazz. I have heard some artists of this combination but never have usually really enjoyed it; maybe it was the lyrics or the rhythm. Amanda Davids’ album Distinguishable in Difference, is very much distinguishable, her album has that old jazzy sound yet she adds that urban beat to it as well; a very good duo in which she can pull off, her song “Naughty Boy” is very catchy with a fast beat, in a way made me picture of a lady on stage in a gorgeous show dress with just a piano but with a urban spin to it. Her voice is very distinct and soothing, yet she has that jazz rasp when needed. The music itself like many other jazz albums is catchy and beautiful. I enjoyed this album, and maybe it’s a new turn to where urban music is going, back to the roots.
[+ Show ]
Who’s Amanda Davids? I am an Urban Funk musician. My music fuses jazz, soul, blues, funk and hip...Who’s Amanda Davids?
I am an Urban Funk musician. My music fuses jazz, soul, blues, funk and hip hop into one coherent sound described as, Urban Funk. I come armed with a keyboard (Piano, Rhodes, Clavinet and sometimes Wurlitzer), a Hammond organ and a voice.
You can find me on stage solo at times but mostly with one or more of my musical accomplices which include an 8 string guitarist, a drummer and on occasion a turntablist.
How did you get started in the music scene?
I have been a musician for as long as I can remember. Beginning on the piano at the age of 3, music has always been a natural path for me. In university I began writing music and recorded my first three song demo the year I graduated. From then my musical journey has been anything but straightforward, but I’ve discovered myself and my sound through the many twists and turns.
What are your music influences?
My music is a fusion of distinct styles and therefore I take inspiration from a variety of sources. Legendary fusion artists such as Herbie Hancock, Medeski Martin & Wood, The Roots, Esperanza Spalding and Soulive are always sources from which I draw. For each instrument I perform there are people from whom I take influence. From Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin or Lauren Hill for my voice to Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock or Keith Emerson on the keyboards, to Tony Monaco, John Lord or Lonnie Smith on the organ….the list could go on forever. Of course there is James Brown and Bootsie for the Funk.
What’s your method at the time of writing a song?
Songwriting for me occurs when it occurs. A song can start from a verse I write to describe a situation I just experienced or from a random melody I blurt out. Sometimes they can start from an emotion I am trying to make sense of. There are occasions when my producer Shai Locke plays me the latest wicked beat he came up with. I am a big movie fan and I suppose my method of songwriting is similar to the use of music in a film. I use it to express the various experiences and ideas that I journey through.
Distinguishable In Difference. How was the recording and writing process? How you came out with the album’s title? Any release date yet in mind?
Distinguishable in Difference was released February 23 2012. As my debut album it represents a 10 year journey from my first written song to a completed EP-album. Discovering my sound was a personal challenge as my music fuses very distinct styles; Funk, Soul, Jazz and Hip hop. Getting the right balance was difficult. I can remember at least 3 attempts to record this first set of songs where production twisted and turned too much in one direction and then I had to take leaps back. Finally meeting producer and 8 String guitarist Shai Locke, who draws from a vast knowledge of genres and a broad range of performance experience, he helped find the balance in the sound. The most common description of my music is that is unique, different which makes it distinct. And that is what inspired the name “Distinguishable inDifference”
So you are planning to hit the road?
2012 was a whirlwind year for my team and I. We toured the UK in the spring performing in 8 different cities, played a range of festivals over the summer from indie to jazz and extensively toured Eastern Ontario and Quebec in the fall. I decided to take a breather to start 2013 and record live versions of some of my songs over the winter, which we will be doing in February. We will hit the road again starting in March with a 12 city North Eastern US tour planned for the spring as well as a 6 city acoustic tour.
How was it to work with Jazzie B?
The UK was such a pivotal experience in my career and this particular show opening for legendary soul producer Jazzie B at The Hootanany in Brixton was one of the reasons. It was a sold out night with other great London artists on the bill such as United Vibrations and Future Grooves. There is a great tradition of soul music in the UK and it was inspiring to share a stage with one of the great producers in the history of the music.
How it has been to work with Tony Monaco?
Tony is a mentor and an enthusiastic teacher. I had actually been a fan of his for several years before becoming a student. In fact it was an interview of his on the jazz station that really got me into playing the Hammond organ. I had the opportunity to meet him at a show he was doing in Toronto and was ecstatic when he gave me some pointers over a drink and told me he would love to have me as a student. With my hectic touring and recording schedule it is often difficult to connect with him for lessons, but I manage to set up an online session with him every so often to absorb some of his organ wisdom.
What’s the message you want to spread with your music?
The message I have always wanted to spread with my music is one of inspiration. In addition to my performance and recording I also teach music. I encourage my students as well as those who listen to my work to use music as a way challenge and bring out the best in themselves. Whether my music inspires people to enjoy a light hearted groove, reflect upon an emotion or face realities that may not be so pretty all of these experiences are a part of life. In some ways music allows us to endure everything while still staying inspired.
How was it to have performed at NXNE?
North By North East is such an influential music festival where both veterans and upcoming Indie artists share the same stage. During my performance, I received an amazing response to my music and people seemed really enthusiastic about my sound, describing it as a “refreshing” direction for indie music. I would have to say that NXNE has been one of the stepping stones of my career allowing me to build a new presence in the independent music scene.
What has been one of the funniest moments you have been or took part while touring?
One of the funniest moments in retrospect (not so funny at the time) would have to be driving a rental car in the UK. As the only standard driver in the team it was of course up to me to get us from point A to B. I remember first sitting in the car and taking a good 20 minutes to figure out how to put the car in reverse and having my shot gun have to call out which gear I was in for the first few drives. I laugh about it now…but it was terrifying trying to maneuver especially on the busy London streets… after just arriving, being jetlagged and sleep deprived.
Are there any plans for the future we should be aware of?
There are many exciting events to look forward to. I will be recording live to board versions of some fan favorite tunes as well as some new ones February of this year. Last year audiences really wanted to take the experience of the live shows home with them…mostly because of the improvisation, so I thought I would do a few live takes. These recordings will be available for download by April 2013.
Another highlight in my spring schedule will be a performance in the Jazz Fm sponsored series in Canadian Music Week (March 19-23). I also have a 12 city North Eastern Us tour lined up for the spring which I hope will connect me with new fans and reach new corners of the North American music industry.
Where can we find more about your music?
My website www.amandadavids.com is updated regularly with tour dates, events and interesting adventures the Amanda Davids team has lined up. You can connect with me through various social media outlets, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter which you can find links to on my website. There are also pictures should anyone desire and links to press articles as well.
Do you feel you’re moving on the right direction?
After many re-vamps of style, personnel, and instrumentation, I finally feel that I am headed in the right direction. Solidifying my sound in Urban Funk feels right and describes the vision for my music perfectly.
Amanda Davids Set to release debut Album
[+ Show ]
FANNIE SUNSHINE Nov 24, 2011 - 7:00 AM Amanda Davids set to release debut album ... FANNIE SUNSHINE
Nov 24, 2011 - 7:00 AM
Amanda Davids set to release debut album
Studying music since age three, Amanda Davids doesn't remember a time when sounds and instruments weren't part of her life.
"My dad is a pianist and I started out on piano," said the York resident. "I went to (Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts) and played the alto saxophone, then got into jazz vocals in my teen years, and jazz piano. It just blossomed into a career. After I graduated high school I took sciences in university, but it didn't make any sense. I started to take formal vocal lessons when I decided I wanted to do this as a career."
Davids, who has a studio in her home and teaches piano and singing, has spent the past two years putting together a five-song album EP, which is scheduled for release in February.
As a lead-up for the yet untitled album's debut, Davids will release the first single, Naughty Boy, Thursday, Nov. 24 at Dazzling Lounge, 291 King St.
"The album started off kind of poppy," Davids said of the sound. "It then turned into an urban/jazz/funk hybrid. It's an internal view of myself. Naughty Boy is a fun song, the type most people can relate to. It's nothing too heavy. Each song has its own life, some are good fun, some are easy listening."
An accomplished artist, Davids has performed in Canada and the United States, notably at the 2010 Oakville Jazz Festival, Yonge and Dundas Square for RBC DesiFest, and the September 11 memorial concert in New York City in 2010.
Davids, who performed all vocal and keyboard work for the album, along with composing and co-producing each song, said she draws inspiration from artists such as Herby Hancock, The Roots, Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James. She has also been working with organist Tony Monaco for the past six months.
"I'm very happy with how the album turned out," she said. "It was a discovery process as well as a recording process. I was heading in one direction, then realized it wasn't what I wanted it to be, then had to take a step back."
Davids' album will be available for purchase at shows and through her website at www.amandadavids.com
Unique music comes from independent Toronto artists?
[+ Show ]
As far as independent music goes, I’m struggling a little bit to identify with why people think bein...As far as independent music goes, I’m struggling a little bit to identify with why people think being signed to a small label makes them independent. By definition, being signed to any label means you are no longer independent, you are signed to a label. I suppose it’s semantics at play. Some will make the debatethat being signed to any label, big or small, you are still pretty well on your own to make it – unless you are a top-tier artist that these labels place a large budget and team behind.
I try very hard to find truly self-supporting artists making truly unique music in order to fill up my mp3 player. Now seeing that I hail from Canada originally, I am always surprised to find that some of the best music I uncover, from some of the hardest working artists tends to bring me right back to my Canadian roots. The irony is that I never meet these artists in Canada. I always seem to find them playing in New York, LA, London or Paris. I suppose hard work in the field involves traveling, which must get pricey when you are truly an independent artist.
One such artist is Canadian Soul Singer, Amanda Davids (www.amandadavids.com). She can always be seen performing with her accomplices, Shai Locke on midi guitar and DJ Xplisit on turntables and beatboxing. Amanda’s voice is Compelling and full of soul – and she plays her own keys (elaborate lines at that). I asked her after the show, and she mentioned that she plays all the keys on her upcoming album and all of her past recordings – ranging from grand piano to clavinet to a Hammond A-100 she keeps in her living room which dates back to the ’60s.
This would be expected after seeing her perform, but surprisingly isn’t as common as one would think with modern production. I previewed her new album with the promo song entitled “Naughty Boy” on her myspace site – www.myspace.com/amandadavidsmusic and it is every bit as funky and original as I would have expected. It sort of reminded me of En Vogue meets Charlie Hunter and DJ Logic.
Look out for Amanda Davids, and if you are in Canada, watch her myspace site for listings of upcoming shows. You will not regret seeing her, Shai Locke and DJ Xplisit live.
Four amazingly talented women sing in support of Female Eye Film Festival
[+ Show ]
Amanda Davids took us to the church of soul with her sexy smooth, funkified R&B sound that made you ...Amanda Davids took us to the church of soul with her sexy smooth, funkified R&B sound that made you wanna dance. Here’s where she’s at: http://www.amandadavids.com/site/
Amanda Davids at the Dazzling Lounge
[+ Show ]
Amanda Davids, and the House Band at The Dazzling Lounge Review by: Robert Shore 24/11/2011 T...Amanda Davids, and the House Band at The Dazzling Lounge
Review by: Robert Shore 24/11/2011
The night was abuzz with speculation. What kind of song will this release be. Amanda Davids has a reputation for fusing funk, soul, hip-hop and RnB with classical music, latin jazz and hints of bebop. Will it be soulful? Will it be funky? Will it have the prodigious grand piano we typically hear from her, or will it have hints of the Hammond B-3 she has absorbed from her teacher, jazz great, Tony Monaco.
The decor at Dazzling on King street was abuzz just the same with it's pastel cream friezes alight with ethereal but ebulliant colours emanating from stealthily stowed colourful LED lights. I spoke to the promoter of the night, entitled "Sake and Soul", an energetic guy named "Ace" who exclaimed "this will be good, every single table has been booked." The house band played on. "Sake and Soul", a reference to the 70's soul covers typically twisted by the house band into a modern pallette of mash-ups while patrons dine from a menu of pan-asian fusion dishes has been an ongoing fixture of Toronto's King street scene for over a year now.
Around 11:30 Amanda took the stage with the power and poise of Aretha reincarnated. Visually captivating in her shimmering Gold dress, she evocatively belted out covers segueing from the bands 70's repertoire into her own song release. The band powered through with a unique arrangment of James Brown's "I got Soul", befitting the night perfectly. Next was a spectacular upbeat version of the Peggy Lee classic, "Fever" played with a counterpunctal syncopated bassline and sawtooth wave synthesizer leads. And then, Amanda Davids officially unleashed her new single.
It was poignantly funky. It started with turntables. Then came the guitar - a riff i couldn't stop singing for the rest of the night. The unique take on a typical blues call and response peppered with some of the slickest organ lines i have heard in many years, coupled with the sheer magnitude of the big breakbeat drums underscored Amanda Davids' powerful voice perfectly. Then came the organ solo. The sound itself, was warm but gritty, the playing, malevolent but refined - clearly the culmination of many years of listening to the masters, and even studying with one. All i can say is that i highly reccomend buying a copy. Use it for your alarm clock and your cell phone ringtone, because it will get your attention.
The night was capped off with a salute to the production team who had backed Amanda Davids' latest recording, including DJ Xplisit, Shai Locke, and mastering genius Karl Machat. And then - as quickly as it had captivated us, it was over. It left us wanting. It left us excited to buy Canadian music. It left us willing to pursue the discovery of underpromoted arts and culture. It left us wishing we had restocked our cars with our favourite Herbie Hancock and Mary J. Blige cd's for the ride home.
Toronto is an ideal market for my music- says Amanda Davids
[+ Show ]
What uniqueness do you provide an audience with? I like to think that on stage I provide my audie...What uniqueness do you provide an audience with?
I like to think that on stage I provide my audiences with a unique experience that comes from the combination of my vocal and keyboard abilities. I do a lot of improvisation with both. As well I like to have unusual instrumental backings, such as having a beat boxer rather than a drummer on occasion.
How different is your music compared to what we hear on radio today?
I say that it is soul becuase it has the groove and passion found in soul, but also has the lightness and bounce of pop, the heavy driving beat of hip hop and large piano chords characteristic of classical or jazz.
Is Toronto the ideal market?
I definately think Toronto is an ideal market for my music. There is such a diversity of tastes and culture in this city that I think my music which explores several genres will have something for a large audience of people in this city.
Amanda Davids' live performance is quite versatile. As her music combines elements from several genres including soul, funk, jazz, urban and classical, she is able to tailor each set to capture any audience. Having a diverse performance background ranging from small acoustic stages to large outdoor festivals, Amanda also has the ability to arrange her instrumentation in unique ways. With a full rig she performs on two keyboards (Hammond XK3-C and Korg M3) and with an 8string guitarist, drummer and a DJ. In smaller settings you can find her solo with just keyboard and vocals or with any combination of her accompanying instrumentalists. In live performance Amanda also likes to make each performance unique, adding in improvisation and funky arrangements. She typically performs original music, but an occasional choice cover may be added. To preview more footage of Amanda Davids live please visit www.youtube.com/amandadavids
Typical set list : 14 Original songs
150 minutes of material (Equivalent of 3 sets)
1. Naughty Boy
2. Hey No way
3. The Villain
4. Day after Day
5. I'm in love
6. On my Own
7. No need to Cry
8. Where my ladies
11. Bad Ass
12. Something Funky
13. Gimme some
14. Zombie March