Every now and then I give all of you an idea of what it takes to publish a music blog post each week. I started Weekly Music Commentaryover 230 weeks ago, and so much has changed during that time. Of course the music industry has changed, and there have been hundreds of new artists to come on the scene. However, I have observed changes in the way I present the weekly music blog. I have made several aesthetic changes in a quest to present a “cleaner” (less cluttered with more white space) publication. Second, the change in content as I strive to give readers a bit more information, while keeping each post concise for a comfortable reading experience. Third, I push to present a much more diverse look into the popular music of the entire world. Along the way I have been proud to focus on some of the newer artists and their music. Once again this week is one of those times as I feature the wonderful Treasure Davis.
The young R&B artist from Los Angeles is unique in her musical approach. In describing herself, Treasure states, “passion, sincerity, complete artistic freedom and the boldness to be honest, are all the driving forces and the very life’s blood of my music and my life”. Indeed, the young singer is very aware of her musical capabilities. Once you hear her sing, most will understand why Treasure stands out among the great number of new artists.
I found out about Treasure Davis last year as I heard her first single, “Someone New”. The accompanying video helped me gain insight into a wonderful young woman with a delightful personality. Her bio really helps describe what I viewed in the video, “with a carefree personality and sunny disposition, Treasure effortlessly pulls you into her world of hopeful love and animated humor”. As I watched, and listened, I knew that Treasure was quite new on the music scene, but I felt that she truly had a special quality that would transfer to video and music recordings. I began planning to feature her in Weekly Music Commentary, but scheduling conflicts forced me to shelve her post.
The original date chosen for Treasure Davis’ feature was good for one reason: it would have presented the young artist to readers well before her release of the EP Heart Flavored Summer. At this moment I would be able to stick out my chest and say, “I told you so”. Weekly Music Commentary is not the instrument to show off my prognostication abilities. By waiting, there is more musical evidence of the talent of Treasure Davis. Therefore, today is a much better time to examine her work than possibly last year.
Raised in a creative and intellectually nurturing home, Treasure was encouraged by both of her artistic parents. Her mother, a painter and singer; and father, an accomplished sculptor and urban art gallery owner, both loved music and individually supported her love of the art. Treasure also had twin older siblings who also possessed musical talent and played instruments. Treasure’s voice was her instrument of choice. “I was always harmonizing and trying to keep up with them by singing,” she recalls.
Treasure Davis does seem to have an appreciation and respect for those R&B singers that paved the way for her and others today. She speaks about Marvin Gaye as a primary influential artist whom she listens to even today. Gaye, a premier musical storyteller has inspired one generation of talented musicians, and it appears he will continue to influence another. Treasure also speaks of Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder as others she listened to early in life. However, it was her transfer from one of the most notorious gang affiliated schools in Los Angeles, to a safer, more diverse school in Pacific Palisades that broadened her musical palate. This move opened the door for her to listen to a wider range of artists with different styles and backgrounds. As a result, Treasure counts artists as vastly different as Cyndi Lauper, Coldplay and Andre 3000 as key inspirations. I now understand why some folks describe her musical style as quirky, instead of a more effective description like eclectic. Those whom Treasure finds influential are not just found within the music industry. She also mentions comedienne Lucille Ball and actress Audrey Hepburn. “Their confidence and ability to defy tradition are so inspiring. Neither was the norm for their time.” Agreed!
The Treasure Davis story of how she got into the music business is interesting, but not uncommon. Approached by a producer putting together a girl group, Treasure reluctantly gave him her number. Although the group didn’t work out, the studio experience started her on a path as a songwriter. Going to school in the mornings, she would be in the studio for 12 hours at night, learning to turn her poetry into songs. One thing led to another and a call from the music director on the Tonight Show With Jay Lenoresulted in Treasure singing backgrounds on stage for Keyshia Cole. After a bit of writing and local showcases, Treasure then hooked up with Kelly Price, as well as Keri Hilson for a few shows and ultimately got a call to tour with Nicki Minaj for two months. Years from now her story may be retold many times and in many different ways.
What is the next step for Treasure Davis? Well, because of her new music and videos, many music fans will discover a wonderful singer very soon. I don’t think she can be considered RCA Records so-called “secret weapon” anymore. The secret is out and about to be broadcast loudly. For sure, Treasure Davis is no longer a hidden treasure.
* photo by Lee Cherry
* photo by Lee Cherry