What and Who Inspires Davi?

“Influences, music & mementos that inspire. ….”


My Inspiration

I’d like to introduce you to these talented women whom I call
“The Big 7”.  

Etta James

Don’t even really know where to begin here. Etta is my absolute favorite artist. It’s the way she makes you feel when she sings. Every note is sung with conviction, she lays it all out on the stage. It’s more than just her voice its everything she puts behind it, everything she’s gone through is reflected in her music. Let this video explain it for me.

Mavis Staples

Mavis has a voice like no other. Deep, soulful, she has a natural gravel that you just don’t hear. Her message has always been simple, “Make the world a better place through songs.” Having seen her live, I can tell you, you can hear that in her songs and feel it in your heart when you hear her sing.

Aretha Franklin

She makes every note in her ridiculous range seem effortless. She really is the “Queen of Soul.” Her voice was not only declared a “natural resource” in Michigan, but she was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She is a pioneer in so many ways, not just in music.

Amy Winehouse

As a lover of not only jazz standards but the girl groups from the ’50s and ’60s, Amy successfully captured the essence of this music and fused lyrics that were relevant today to create incredible projects that everyone could enjoy.  She had a lot to write about, and I am thankful for the amazing music she blessed us with while she was here.

Gladys Knight

Gladys is a powerful soul singer known as the “Empress of soul.” “Midnight Train to Georgia” is one of my favorite songs, and I fell in love with her voice ever since. Another inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she is an incredible singer that I love listening to and echoing in my music.

Sugar Pie Desanto

You can’t watch more than 3 seconds of this video and tell me you don’t automatically love her! She is so much fun to watch, and her facial expressions keep everyone captivated. She is a spitfire, that commands the stage even today! 

Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan is a truly dynamic singer. She has a classic and timeless voice that even Miles Davis said, “She [Chaka] sings like my horn.” She is an inspiration and an influence for so many across several genres.

These are a few of my most prized pieces of memorabilia

Each one is precious to me and I feel, brings me closer to these talented women who inspire me.  Most of these items may not be rare or worth a lot of money, but I cherish each one of them, because it’s ‘The Big 7’….. to ME they are PRICELESS!

I want to share with my fans and friends, a quick view into some of Davi’s most cherished musical items” 

This was a press kit, along with an autographed photo of Etta James, circa 2004.  The night I received it, I instantly felt it brought me closer to her. It is signed, “Be sweet always, Etta James, to all“

This is a collector’s edition, photo collage made by an artist in Belgium, which contains an actual ticket from Amy Winehouse’s last concert in Belgrade, along with a press photo of her with Moby and a photo of Amy performing LIVE that night.  This art piece is very sentimental to me.

This is a first pressing, promotional 45 RPM record for Gladys Knight & The Pips’,  “Daddy Could Swear, I Declare.”  Motown was originally called Soul Records.

Mavis Staples has worked with so many artists from her legendary father, Pops to Bob Dylan to The Rolling Stones, for over 5 decades. This was when she was signed to Prince’s, Paisley Park label.  This is a framed, promotional poster for her 1993 album, “The Voice”, produced by Prince.

This is an actual press release from Billboard Magazine circa 1973, when Atlantic records felt the need to rush the release of Aretha Franklin’s, “RESPECT”, to keep momentum after her smash hit “I Never Loved A Man” went to the Top 10.

This is a limited edition Chaka Khan CD of an album she recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra.  She covers a lot of the old standards.  I love the way Chaka uses her voice like an instrument and how glamorous she looks on this album cover.

This is a photo of Aretha Franklin at age 19, taken at Atlantic Records studio by legendary Jazz bassist, Milt Hinton, who was the unofficial photographer for many Jazz greats over the years.  There is something so pure and magical about Aretha playing the piano, when I look at these photos.  They inspire me!

This is probably my most prized musical possession.  These are earrings given to me, as a gift from Sugar Pie Desanto herself, along with a handwritten note.  I was so touched.   My producer (Michael), told her producer (Bill), who told her manager, who later told Sugar Pie, that I was a huge fan.  Truly, Six Degrees of Separation at work here!  A month later, these showed up in the mail.  I absolutely cherish them and I am appreciative and grateful to this talented and generous lady.

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