J*Davey Digs Prince / Flag Wavers of "Electrosoul" & Pushing the Envelope

The dynamic duo of Jack Davey and Brook D’Leau whose glam, funk, disco, electro, attitude and show-stopping performances have positioned J*Davey as the next "it" band. J*Davey strive "to deliver music that broke typical Soul music barriers by further transforming themselves into Electro-Soul carriers of futuristic "Funk-Punk" sounds." Part of Los Angeles underground scene alongside co-patriots Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Steve Spacek, Platinum Plied Pipers and Tiombe Lockhart. When asked about this emerging scene of like minded artists, J*Davey’s sonic architect D’Leau tells The Liberator, "Yes. Whether we're collaborating or not, there's a general understanding amongst us, as well as people all over the globe, that "urban" music is in desperate need of evolution and progression. None of us limit our music to any titles or categories, we all just push the envelope in our own special ways." Buzz via MySpace, their website and magazine features in Fader, URB, XRLR8 and Vibe, have all helped accelerate the excitement starting with the Fader piece "Everything has changed. This was the start of all our buzz and it exposed us to the world," says D’Leau. Their use of the internet has also proved helpful--"The internet is a great direct connection to people without all the industry mumbo jumbo. It’s also helped us build a genuine fan base of MySpace friends who have found us either on accident or through a friend. No MySpace tricks involved," says D’Leau.

The group is co-signed by The Roots’ Questlove who says, "They remind me of a ghetto Eurythmics. She's (Jack Davey) the lead singer of this duo, which is one of my favorite new groups of this year." And Prince, who has attended one of their L.A. shows, has inspired the duo: "He brilliantly blended rock, soul, new wave, and sex. He took huge chances and always was true to his vision all while ignoring the critics." The powerful jet set DJ Giles Peterson who recently hosted them in the UK, giving them even more clout, and raising expectations. How where they received in the UK? D’Leau says, "It was refreshing. The appreciation of our sound has been immense overseas and we thank Giles for his continuous support and adoration of J Davey." They cover Frank Zappa’s "Dirty Love" on the influential Rewind Vol 5. (Ubiquity) compilation. The duo of Jack Davey and Brook D’Leau make music that sounds like right now, whenever you hear it. The mohawked chic and programming b-boy teamed up like Bonnie & Clyde. Jack Davey plays a gangster who’s ghetto and glamorous, yet a ride or die chick to the end.

I first saw J*Davey play The Roots’ Grammy party in Los Angeles at the Key Club. It was an all-star event with quests Erykah Badu with Wendy & Lisa, Common, Snoop, Big Daddy Kane, and Talib Kweli, hosted by Dave Chappelle and Don Cheadle. The evening would end with newer artists Graph Nobel, J*Davey and Nouveau Riche. Months later J*Davey, still buzzing, joins the Roots again, this time at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The Buzz continues, some whisper that singer Jack Davey is killin’ Erykah right 'bout now. Shh... don’t say that out loud.

In the midst of all the attention, or in spite of it, J*Davey responds to the high expectations: "There's actually less pressure in a sense. We're able to take our time and build our buzz even more while also having the freedom to do whatever we want. The pressure comes once the release drops." Recording their highly anticipated full-length debut "Beauty in Distortion," a thugged-out soul-meets-new-wave stunner, D’Leau offers, "We were each other's inspiration. We like to think of it as our best of the last four years." With funky, new wave tracks like "Division of Joy," "Mr. Mister," the Prince themed "Private Parts:" "You're such a dirty gentleman/ I’m a girly girl/ If I’m too forward I can go backward/ No need to rush... say yes please." On "Camera" Miss Jack Davey proclaims, "I’m gangster/ see the gun that I tote, the weed I smoke... Everybody wants me/ calling me all the time." Other highlights are "No More" and "Might as Well" featuring Georgia Anne Muldrow. Always hustlin’, the future b-girl Jack Davey continues working on the "Land of the Lost" EP with PUMA/iLLaV8r. The incredible "Red light" with the immortal beatmaker J.Dilla, a blanger where she showcases her MC skills. How did they end up working with J.Dilla? "I've been a huge Dilla fan for years, and just before his death I learned that he was also a fan of J*Davey. Soon after he passed someone from his camp reached out to me and asked if I would get down on the project, and of course I obliged. Of course I wish we could have actually collaborated in the flesh, but I'm honored to be a part of his musical legacy. He will forever live on." J*Davey’s relationship with The Roots proves invaluable as they appear on The Roots' new record, Game Theory. Jack Davey assists with vocals on the mournful "Atonement" while Brook assists with production on the soulful "Clock with No Hands." Of the opportunities provided by their relationship with The Roots? They've "show[n] us a great amount of respect and encouragement. They've believed in us enough to cosign on our talent in a major way (Radio City, Game Theory). We appreciate their involvement in our story." Ever the innovators, what is in store for J*Davey in the future? "We'll keep pushing the envelope and see how far it gets us."

{liberatormagazine.com exclusive feature}
by Jon Jon Scott {The Liberator Magazine 5.3 #16, 2006}