Davina Robinson
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Davina Robinson

Osaka, Ōsaka, Japan | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Osaka, Ōsaka, Japan | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Solo Rock Blues Rock

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"“Black Rock Warrior Queen” Davina Robinson Rocks Hearts, Wins Minds"

Artists who truly follow their own path and play the music they are most passionate about are rare. It may not seem to be the case, but it’s true. Many artists simply aim to have commercial appeal at any cost, losing their soul, their potential gift to the world in the process. Not Davina Robinson. With a fiery image that suits her even more fiery music, Davina sticks to her guns and lets the soul do it’s thing. The more I listen to the material on her excellent new rock release and appropriately titled “Black Rock Warrior Queen”, the more it grows on me. From it’s iconic cover art to it’s range of catchy hard rock rompers and epic soul shakers, the album is an ambitious undertaking. Inner strength and fire are themes we can all get behind, right?

Listen to “Monster” for some absolutely powerhouse vocals and emotionality that Tina Turner herself would respect. ”Conversations in my Head” (correction: this track is from Davina’s “The Blazing Heart” EP) is a dark, personal and vulnerable track with a stunningly beautiful chorus that tugs on the heartstrings while being reminiscent of every great rock song you’ve ever heard somehow. “Osaka Boys” is an instant party classic that could get any spirited bar hopping. “Keeping me Sane” (also from “The Blazing Heart”) is quite possibly something that everyone should listen to in the morning, or at least those that live in the city and have to remind themselves to stay strong in the face of “the success game”.



Davina Robinson is passionate about rock music, so she honours that and forges ahead, rather than bowing down to any trends. And the trick is, when you do something with that spirit, it ends up working. She has promoted herself with the DIY spirit, gaining a large following that continues to grow, and I hope this piece contributes to that following over time.



I featured Davina in my latest installment of the “Rock Revival” series in my column at The Muse’s Muse, and her answers were both in depth and educational. Independent artists of all styles would do well to check out what she has to say and gain some inspiration.

Read the interview here.

Check out Davina Robinson’s new album “Black Rock Warrior Queen” and find our more about her at Davina’s official website. For you social media buffs (everyone), you should also “like” her Facebook page. - Independent Music Promotions


"Review: The Blazing Heart"

Davina Robinson is a Philly-based musician with musical career roots in Japan. She has been successful in a very important thing; rounding up the Japanese audience and making them her biggest fans. She has done so by making a stance as a screaming rock-and-roll icon that people relate to and want to be around in a club atmosphere. Ms. Robinson talks about adversity, pain, and the positive example that rises above rocker stereotypes.

Previously there have been some great rock females that have broken boundaries for the pop/rock culture in the States, which is certainly a much more difficult space to overcome than it has been in more open cultures. This is not the truth in places like Japan, which has taken some of our coveted rockers and made them great again. It has also given other artists the chance to have a positive audience and a decent reception.

As a rocker, a female artist has several things to overcome. The first is gender, which consistently creates a different image between men and women. Another is edge, and that is scrutinized by our media and youth in an almost unbearable fashion.

This woman defies these challenges and stands up to the public in an honest and powerful way. With a four-song set that rocks hard from the start, Robinson employs hard drum beats and guitar riffs to describe her feelings about life, death and the possibilities that lie beyond.

Each song has its own unique rhythm and timbre that carries out the overall spirit and urgency of rock. Opening with "Making Love To Your Girlfriend," the artist somewhat inspires irony in the rough edge and pace. Throughout the next two songs, "Never Good Enough," and "Conversations In My Head," she pulls through with a powerful spoken word-style hard rock that blasts the listener.

What is the most striking piece, however, is the [fourth] track, "Keeping Me Sane." Suddenly there is a wonderful piece of Robinson's humanity that comes through and gives a fantastic and personal view regarding the difficulties in living and the burden of endless working and overcoming. This track will be the most recognized on the album in the future for this artist. The construction is excellent, and the content is breathable. There is much yet to be learned of the mind of Davina Robinson and we are listening. - Dig This Real


"Review: The Blazing Heart"

Davina Robinson put some soul in her suitcase when she moved from Philly to Osaka. Now she’s opened that case and dressed up her new CD, "The Blazing Heart," in some funky-rock-soul threads. Every track on this four song EP rocks with an honest intensity that makes the listener step back and say: yeah.

The sound of the album owes a lot to the legacy of Jimi Hendrix and the cool of Lenny Kravitz, but it also has a funky side that dips into the grooves and riffs of James Brown. Robinson’s vocal delivery is strong and keeps up with the heavy arrangements. At times she seems to evoke a Ronnie Spector-esque quality that gives her songs a real bitch attitude; something that is missing from a lot of today’s chick-rockers.

On "Making Love To Your Girlfriend" and "Never Good Enough" Osamu Mochinaga lays down some down and dirty guitar riffs that just slap you in the face and tell you to sit down and listen. Mochinaga also lends his hand in arranging all of the songs on the CD along with Robinson. The lyrics are smart and cutting like this from "Never Good Enough":

Got to have blonde hair
I can buy the dye anywhere
Got to lose a few pounds
It's harder than it sounds
Got to have blue eyes
Guaranteed to score with the guys
Act like a lady
Who, me? I ain't that crazy!

I'm never good enough for you
If I changed one thing you'd up it to two
I'm never good enough for you
Though I try and try you're just never satisfied ...

I’m hoping that Davina Robinson comes back to the states and rocks the U.S.A. with what she’s got. This is definitely the beginning of a real good thing.

Darryl Gregory - Indie Music. Com


"Davina Robinson "Black Rock Warrior Queen""

Davina Robinson is a “Black Rock Warrior Queen” to be sure. She is so confident of this fact that she named her debut full length album just that. The singer song writer that originally hails from Philadelphia is now blowing away crowds in Japan. “Black Rock Warrior Queen” is a rock album at its core but blends in numerous elements and song writing styles to make it an enjoyable listen regardless of the style of music you like.



The album opens with a beast of a song in “Osaka Boys.” This song is made for radio play. Its catchy, its fun, and its instantly memorable. You can sing along with it in its first listen and there is even clapping along with the beat. What more could you ask for? This song is a hit even if you haven’t heard it yet. As I straight man I have no interest in what makes Osaka boys so great, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t listen intently and nod my head along with this song. If you don't believe me just take a listen below.



That characteristic of not necessarily relating to me as a man was actually fairly common throughout the album but Davina is such a great writer that the album is still highly entertaining. The R&B/funk influenced “When is My Birthday” and the drum driven “Faking It” are perfect examples of this. “Faking It” is about exactly what you think it’s about. And nothing is off limits. Davina says everything that no man ever wants to hear but as I guy knowing that this song was at least not written about me you can’t help but laugh. I would imagine that most women nod in agreement based on some past experience (or experiences for all of you naughty ones out there!). Davina lets all of us men know, if she winds up at the foot of your bed you better bring your A game.



The most refreshing thing about this album however is the full realm of emotions that Davina explores throughout the album. There are these songs that let you know that Davina is a strong, powerful woman but she isn’t afraid to show she’s human. All too often these strong figures in music don’t completely open their entire selves up to their music and you end up with albums that are only listenable when you are in a certain mood. Davina shows her softer side with ballads “Behind Closed Doors” and “I Sing for You” but her album becomes personal with “These Tears” in which Davina reminds herself to be a strong woman while preventing “These Tears” from falling. The guitar heavy “Monster” serves the same purpose as Davina attempts to “make peace with the monster within me.”



“Black Rock Warrior Queen” kept me guessing throughout the album. With funk influenced songs like “When is My Birthday” and “Funky Chick” you want to think of the album as funk rock. But then there are instrumentally harder rock songs “I’m the One Who Dumped You” and “Monster” and some ballad songs as well that are all written and performed very naturally as if Davina Robinson has dozens of other songs that fit that mold as well. The end product is a very well rounded, enjoyable album that you can listen to at any time of the day, at any time of your life.



Buy this album if you like: Halestorm, Janis Joplin, Red Hot Chili Peppers, strong female vocalists - Hands Off Promotions


"Review: Davina Robinson"

Davina Robinson - Black Rock Warrior Queen (BSMF Records)
Davina Robinson describes her style as “Powerhouse Rock n’ Roll Soul”, and she’ll get no argument from me. She rips through her debut long-player like a women possessed, hitting every note with attitude and delivering plentiful blues-rock thrills. Her debut EP from 2008 promised much, but it’s taken three long years for an album to materialize, and the results now speak for themselves. Robinson sounds like she’s been liberated, as she tells her tales of adversity, defiance and plentiful good times and throughout, her band pull out all the stops, with a succession of killer riffs and classic rock motifs.

The best songs here all deserve your attention. “Osaka Boys”, the single, opens the record with amped up glam guitars, and allows an early opportunity for Robinson to strut. It’s sexy as hell, too – especially, I imagine, if you’re an Osaka boy. “When Is My Birthday?” is just as vivacious, and the answer to the question is “whenever you want it to be”. They’re both amazing tracks, but are just shaded by “Funky Chick”, a true statement of being, made only more forceful by a band fully in tune with the message. Just perfect.
http://www.davinarobinson.com/fr_home.cfm
Simon M. - Leicester Bangs


"Musical Powerhouse Creating the Perfect Combination of Rock and Soul"

Davina Robinson is a musical powerhouse creating the perfect combination of rock and soul that gives just the right amount of edge and passion. Originally from Philadelphia, but currently residing in Osaka, Japan, Davina’s debut single, The Blazing Heart, was first released in May 2008 and her debut album, Black Rock Warrior Queen, exploded into the music scene in November 2011.

Davina’s unique and soulful voice combined with rocker music is a rare breed for mainstream music, but this fierce combo may be just what the music world needs. Davina’s Osaka Boys is a catchy tune that pays tribute to the singer’s admiration of the locals of her current city of Osaka. With its funky music and Davina’s tough-girl voice, you can’t help but sing along to the chorus.

The overall ranking of Davina Robinson is a 4. Davina is an original artist with the perfect blend of soul, rock, and funk that is a rarity in today’s music. Osaka Boys is the type of song that you expect to make it to a music chart , and Davina brings so much to the table that it could fit into several different genres.
- The Music Feed


"I: The Indie Music Show, WZNZ Jacksonville"

Philadelphia-born Davina Robinson is an interesting story. She resides in Osaka, Japan with a local band she describes as 'hard-working, swinging dick musicians'. Together, they've concocted one of the better CDs to have crossed my desk this year.

The 4-song EP opens with the audacious 'Making Love to Your Girlfriend'. Davina's muscular vocals, bringing to mind Amii Stewart and Anita Baker, pay out an officiously direct response to a man bent on games when a commitment is in order. Davina don't-bullshit-me-I'm-not-in-mood tone speaks the minds of every woman on earth, and with a funky rock groove that gives us an idea of what would have happened had Santana ever shared a set with Lakeside. 'Never Good Enough', has an 80s AOR feel, conjuring up memories of Joe Satriani playing from a tape deck of a blue Chevy Malibu. The song takes issue with the inane (and insane) pressures put upon women to measure up to impossible standards of beauty and thinness imposed on them by the media and too many undeserving males.

'Conversations in My Head' is a power ballad in the tradition of 80s hair metal (one can almost see the faux smoke billowing onto the stage, under blue spots). It's Davina's softer side, but isn't without barbs as Davina now comes to terms with past demons is her typical heart-shreding directness and clarity. The CD closes with the percussive classic rock homage, 'Keeping Me Sane'. It's only a four-song EP, but it's makes a pretty measurable statement. Highly recommended. - John Maycumber


"Nette Radio"

Davina's writing and approach to lyrics are easy to relate to, her powerhouse vocals are fantastic and exciting, and I can imagine her live show to be full of energy and vibrant enthusiasm.

Davina Robinson's 'The Blazing Heart'. It's a fantastic CD, great new stuff. Powerhouse vocals - Davina just blows blows blows you out of the water with that big voice. And her lyrics really are fantastic. - Annette Conlon


"NeuFutur Magazine"

'The Blazing Heart' is the first release by Davina Robinson. 'Making Love To Your Girlfriend' is the track that listeners may already be familiar with; the track was a runner-up for VH1?fs Song of the Year contest, and received honors in the Great American Song Contest. Beyond that, our Japanese readers (all 1.2% of our traffic) may know Davina Robinson from playing a number of shows around the country. For those readers of NeuFutur that are not familiar with Robinson?fs music, 'Making Love To Your Girlfriend' is a track that blends equal part funk and rock, blasting listeners with guitar riffs from the onset.

Some of the more nuanced guitar lines that are present during 'Making Love To Your Girlfriend' will remind listeners of early Prince and Jane?fs Addiction, while the vocals are completely unique. These vocals are as powerful as the opening salvos that first hit listeners, and the bits of funk influence give the track an overall sound reminiscent of 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik'-era Red Hot Chili Peppers. 'Never Good Enough' is the second track on 'The Blazing Heart', and the track has a constellation of influences that are a little older than those during 'Making Love'. This means that the track has the pacing of Heart, while Robinson?fs vocals continue to forge an entirely new path in rock music. It is during 'Never Good Enough' that listeners will begin to notice the extreme skill Robinson exhibits in creating a narrative that listeners cannot do anything but follow until the track ends.

'Conversations In My Head' is a continuance of the strong narration that was present during 'Never Good Enough', but adds interesting pacing to 'The Blazing Heart'. This means that while the track begins slowly, the track begins to gain speed until the chorus, where Robinson?fs vocals keep individuals interested until the track packs up shop. The EP?fs final track is 'Keeping Me Sane', and it contributes as much as any of the previous cuts on the EP through the addition of a new-rock type of sound to the mix. Hints of electronic and even industrial music play at the extreme periphery of the track. 'The Blazing Heart' has something for everyone, and it is Robinson?fs catchy, new type of sound that will ensure that she will be as big in the United States as she is currently in Japan.

Top Track: Never Good Enough

Rating: 8.0/10 - NeuFutur Magazine


"Rockin' Moms Reviews"

Davina Robinson is known as the Rock n' Roll Soul Chick and for good reason. Her powerhouse , soulful vocals capture you in the first song, 'Making Love To Your Girlfriend', a song which I was already a fan of and played on the Rockin' Moms Podcast. This LP includes just four songs that flow well from track to track. All songs are written by Davina herself and I would look forward to hearing more from this artist.

One of my other faves is the song, 'Conversations In My Head', dedicated to her grandmother, is more of a Rock ballad that offers the listener a nice change from the other 3 up tempo tracks.

Davina is currently living and performing in Osaka, Japan where this album was produced.

Favorite Tracks: Making Love To Your Girlfriend and Conversations In My Head. - Tiffany Petrossi


"FAME Reviews"

Interesting 4-cut CD EP. Starts as a cop on early Mother's Finest (funk), moves on to heavy anthemic hard rock, transforms into a very righteously built-up impassioned chartburner, then closes in a techno'ed rocker, all of them kicked into blazing life by a tight studio unit in Japan. Davina Robinson styles herself as 'the rock and roll soul chick', and it's not a misnomer. "The Blazing Heart"'s emphasis is on chartability but the weight of truly musical elements intelligently wrought and fierily delivered is what puts the kiss in the ensemble's kick. 'Conversations in my Head' is the stand-out track, solidly crafted from start to finish, with a great refrain, not a hook precisely but a catchy set of measures around which the remainder of the tune serves as flowing narrative. Guitarist Taichi Tamura tosses an arresting leadline in the middle, taking the song to its zenith without stealing the light. Robinson jumps into Joyce 'Baby Jean' Kennedy (Mother's Finest) territory on Making Love to Your Girlfriend, and producer-guitarist Osamu Mochinaga provides the Gary 'Moses Mo' Moore (no, not that Gary Moore) axe. For some reason, the keyboardist(s) goes uncreditted but he, she, or they put in some choice backgrounds and fills, rounding out a very full sound and atmosphere. This is prime radio rock, unashamedly so, proudly admitted to in the promo lit and in person, harking back to the Headpins, Cars, latterday Chilliwack, and Journey. Astoundingly, Robinson wrote everything here. Do we finally have a woman who can create authentic pulse-pounding rock without reverting to endless simplistic cliches? (Whoops! Sorry if I offended there, Lita Ford.) I think so.
- Mark S. Tucker


"Eat Sleep Drink Music"

Let?'s get one thing straight: ?"Never Good Enough?" might just go down as the best rock tune of 2008. That said, whether or not the world at large catapults Davina Robinson to stardom is anyone?'s guess. On this four-track EP, Robinson is billed as ?"The Rock n?' Soul Chick,?" and that?'s a pretty good description of her talents. On ?"Conversations in My Head?" she sounds like the female equivalent of both Lenny Kravitz and Terrence Trent D?'Arby. The big electric guitars in the mix are definitely what sets Robinson?'s music apart from that of others in the ?"Soul?" category. Sometimes, things get a little cliched, as on ?"Making Love to Your Girlfriend,?" whose ?"thinking of another person while getting it on?" sentiments have been done too many times to count before. But overall, this a really solid disc that fans of rockin?' tunes and good singing should easily enjoy. (Plum Wine) - Jason Thompson


"Glasswerk"

Davina Robinson was born in Philadelphia and now lives in Osaka, she has been playing to audiences there for some time with a mixture of covers and originals and has used the experience to write her own rock n?' roll soul tracks.

Davina Robinson has a powerful voice that lights up each song with feistiness that so often doesn?'t come across from vocals alone although her voice is slightly lost compared to the rather loud instrumentals in the recordings available but a little more balance in production could really let her voice take centre stage.

Keeping the topics close to her heart also gives a certain sincerity which comes across in each track; ?"Conversations In My Head?" was inspired by her late grandmother through to ?"Never Good Enough?" which is about her struggles in the music industry.

Davina has already had some recognition, being runner-up in VH1?'s Song Of The Year and a semi-finalist in the UK Songwriting Contest and if she continues to produce music like this then her career should continue to go from strength to strength.
- Sarah Howcutt


"Feminist Review"

The inside cover of this four-song EP proclaims Davina Robinson ?"the Rock n?' Roll Soul Chick," and it?'s an apt moniker. Robinson blends rock, soul, and plenty of vocal attitude, and her band is absolutely smoking.

The first track, ?"Making Love to Your Girlfriend,?" is certainly the catchiest. It's fast-paced, rocks out, and is reminiscent of Janet Jackson?'s "Black Cat?" in tone. Robinson?'s got spunk. She tells the object of her affections (or lust), ?"I know you think of me when you?'re making love to your girlfriend." The distorted vocal on bridge and the amped-up chorus made this tune stick in my head.

?"Never Good Enough?" is a pretty good message song, as she bemoans the impossible beauty standards women are expected to live up to - although it sounds like she?'s singing more to one particular person than society as a whole. The list of qualities to pursue is both frustrating (because these pressures are real) and funny: ?"Gotta be the best dressed/Don?'t worry about going into debt/Gotta be size one/Anorexic chicks are no fun.?" The blistering guitar complements her anguished cries well.

?"Conversations in My Head?" is confessional with toned down instrumentation on the verses, which allows Robinson to show off her considerable vocal talent. The narrator recounts her past and that of her deceased grandmother, an immigrant, wondering if her grandmother would be proud of her life. ?"Keeping Me Sane?" is a rather generic track, a love song. It's good instrumentally, but the lyrics are nothing special, which is too bad because the creative content of the other songs sets them apart. Still, "The Blazing Heart" whet my appetite for what?'s to come from Davina Robinson.
- Karen Duda


Discography

WORLDWIDE INDIE HITS COMPILATION VOL. 1
"Osaka Boys"
Released April 2012
Areasonic Records

BLACK ROCK WARRIOR QUEEN (full-length album)
Released November 2011
BSMF Records (distribution)

SOLID GROUND Charity Album for Japan
"Conversations In My Head"
Japan Indie Artists United
Released April 2011

OSAKA BOYS - SINGLE
Digital release May, 2010

GAIJIN SOUNDS COMPILATION VOL. 2
"Never Good Enough"
JapanZine Magazine
Released June 2009

THE BLAZING HEART (EP)
Released May 2008
(self-release on Plum Wine)

FEMALES ON FIRE COMPILATION VOL. 3
"Making Love To Your Girlfriend"
Warrior Girl Music
Released May 2008

VIOLET FEMMES COMPILATION VOL. 1
"Making Love To Your Girlfriend"
RPW Records
Released November 2007

Photos

Bio

"Powerhouse Rock n' Roll Soul Chick" Davina Robinson is an American singer-songwriter based in Osaka, Japan. She has become known locally for her powerful, bluesy voice and energetic live performances.

Though a rock and blues singer at heart, Davina has displayed her versatility in a variety of genres, having played in many live situations as a front woman for cover bands and acoustic duos, and at clubs, parties and corportate events. She has also performed back-up vocals for Ray Parker Jr. and Cheryl Lynn, and has performed live on Japanese radio stations.

Davina began focusing on her original material, and released her first album, The Blazing Heart, in May 2008. The EP highlighted Davina's ability to merge rock, blues and funk, calling her approach "powerhouse rock n' roll soul". Songs from the EP, particularly "Making Love To Your Girlfriend", lead to accolades from the Billboard Song Contest and VH-1 Song of the Year Contest, among others. Davina supported the release with an acoustic tour of the Los Angeles area.

Davina released the digital single "Osaka Boys" two years later, and the track is featured on her first full-length album, Black Rock Warrior Queen, released November 2011. "Osaka Boys" has become an audience favorite at her live shows, including those at Hard Rock Cafe Osaka, where she performs regularly with her stellar lineup of support musicians. Shortly after the release of Black Rock Warrior Queen, Davina expanded her fan base by playing to receptive crowds in Tokyo and Yokohama, then followed up on the local popularity of "Osaka Boys" by releasing a promotional music video of the song.

Davina has also utilized her distinctive voice and personality for narration and television; past examples include a jingle for Osaka radio station FM-802, a local commercial for Mister Donuts, a nationwide bug spray commercial and occasional appearances on a Kansai-area morning TV show.

Davina continues to generate buzz with her powerful voice and energetic live performances, earning the Hiram Bullock Award in Fall 2012. Most recently, she became the Hard Rock Rising representative band for Osaka, a worldwide contest which began with over 12,000 entries and landed Davina in the Top 96. Davina has taken her music and brand to a new level as the boundary-defying American woman rocking the Japanese independent music scene.

Band Members