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Artist Interview: David Lyve on life, music, and 'Love 4 Real'

David Lyve
David Lyve
Sir Harvey Fitz

When it comes to thinking outside of the box, musically David Lyve is turning the deafest of ears towards said box, and is creating his own sound. As far as young singer/songwriter/musicians go (Because nowadays everyone is a triple threat.) David is slowly sliding the scale to the head of the pack. From the back roads of Virginia to the concrete streets of Philadelphia he is making noise and folks are listening.More importantly they like what they hear. Just before one of his performances here in Washington DC at the Takoma Station Tavern, David was able to sit down for a conversation that seemingly lasted for hours with a childhood friend.

Self taught musician, what was the first instrument that you to guy yourself how to play?
My first instrument was a piano— a keyboard that my mom bought me when I was in high school and then after that I always wanted to play guitar so I ran to the store and grabbed the first electric guitar. I didn't know anything about it; and bought like two books, went home and that started the ongoing process of always being in the house practicing.

And how many instruments do you play?
Let's see piano, guitar, bass, drums, organ, trumpet and that's about it.

Do you have a favorite?
Guitar is my favorite. Absolutely can't get enough of it, I'd rather play that than anything else believe it or not.

Interesting and who would you say has influenced you guitar wise?
Jimi Hendrix for one, Prince of course, when I heard Eddie Van Halen on the on the Michael Jackson Beat It, like that solo right there, it's kind of what turned me on to the, the I don't know what that is, but I want to know how to play like that. Just that whole rock era you know, the Led Zeppelin's, AC/DC, that heart.

This is so interesting you don't find that many people that look like us that are as into rock music as we are.
I know it.

Since I first heard Steve Perry I have been in love with this genre and between him and Tina Turner I can't get enough of rock 'n roll, so serious. At what point did you know that Music was going to be as heavily a part of your life as it is now?
I was 7 in elementary school and they were having auditions for a talent show they did yearly and I was always at home singing you know, when the radio would come on from 3 to 5 I would just sing anything that came on the radio so I went to the audition and I was Michael Jackson Smooth Criminal, white suit and all. I auditioned for that and got it and then when the actual show came it was a packed house and I did the whole routine and got a standing ovation and from that point I was like this, this feels like home. This is better than anything and I'm 7 right so I don't know nothing but I know that this feeling right here, it just felt like me. Ever since then I have been capturing that feeling over and over every time I get on stage.

And were your parents always supportive of it?
Mm hmm you know you can hear my dad in the crowd like "That's my son!" I got the video so. So they are always around and they're there and it's interesting because I don't come from like a big musical family so I'm the only one that plays instruments and gets on stage and stuff and they're really supportive,

If you weren't doing music what do you think you'd be doing?
Probably playing video games for a living. I had an Xbox but I had to sell it because you know I get addicted to it like NBA2K.

Well ya know they do have the big gaming conventions and stuff?
I know it, and if I wasn't doing Music I would probably be trying to learn how to make video games, either that or at a chocolate factory.

Uh I'm sorry a chocolate factory?
Yeah, trying to make chocolate so I can eat it for free.

Sweet tooth?
Sweet tooth.

Chocolate?
That's what I eat. Sweets, chocolate candy I'm just a big kid so I can't help it that's what I eat.

How do you deal with life on the road?
You don't, you just do it. Because I love doing music so much, it's not as much is a strain as some people try to make it seem you know.

How did you come up with David Lyve?
David Lyve with a "Y" and not an "I". I had a long conversation with a friend of mine, it was because of the stage antics, I was getting better and better, and just jumping off stage and having more fun. So I was having the conversation he was like man you're just so live and from that conversation it really just stuck.

For those who may not be as familiar with you who may they have heard you work with?
You've heard me work with Rashaan Patterson, I've worked with Marsha Ambrosius very recently, and a host of local talent.

What is the writing process like for David Lyve?
Lonely. I usually just, I like to sit in the room like this you know no distractions just trying to get everything that's in my brain all out on paper and then I read it over and say, "Now what do I really want to say?" And then just make it as simple as possible. Because you know how like you try to be all rhythmic and poetic and then like, I do that and then at the end of the day it's like how would I really say this? And then you add some art to it, but it just starts, start throwing everything at the wall and then sculpting something out of that like, this is what I want to say and this is how I'm going to say it.

So would you agree then that writing and music for you is therapeutic?
Yeah.

And in agreeing with that what would you say that you have learned about yourself with your latest project?
My latest project Love 4 Real, I've learned that, that I'm happy then in my previous project and I just learned that I'm learning a lot about love. And learning about love is interesting because you find out what you want from love. Love should be X,Y and Z and love should be this you know, from the songs and I'm reading the stuff over and I'm like oh so I learned this about love and I'm like I must be in love with somebody because is just pouring out you know.

So what is it that you want from love?
I want love to— someone to be in love with the fact of being in love, like I want love to always be like, "I don't want to leave this place." Anything else I do I want to stay right here, this is where I want to be like anytime I feel any kind of inkling of any kind of stress I just want to be able to reach my hand out and here's love and grab that and keep that and let that sustain me.

How do you handle your emotions musically?
That's where the guitar comes in handy. Because when you're pissed man and you can dial up this unmastered crazy rock tone and just close all the doors and just go wild, for some reason that just gets it. For some reason that guitar is just so emotional, just the way it sounds and the way you have to play it. I've done that many a day just come home and just pick it up and then you're fine.

You have a name for your guitar?
I do... I do... See you're not supposed to know this yet, it's really personal.

You can tell me I'm not gonna tell anybody
-Yes you are

I promise?
Yes you are! I can't, I can't divulge that information because if I tell you that I'm going to have to give it to you, and I can't do that yet.

OK, then you can definitely put it on hold.
-I'll see what I can do.

You seem like a pretty happy person all-around is that the case?
Try to be you know, God is good the rest is just work. Because when he returns what am I going to do be like, I have a show tonight?

So when people come to a David Lyve show what is it that they take away from it?
It's a 90/10 thing you're going to get 90% of entertainment are you going to get 10% of what I like to call a good word.

And what is a good word?
Good word is... Love. I love too and who is love but God so I always say after all of the entertainment is done, you got your money's worth hopefully so let me give you something that will take you to the next place like don't forget about God, don't forget that's where your love comes from, don't forget at the end of the day when all is lost fall on your knees and that is where you'll find love. That's when love comes real.

How long have you been in Philly now?
This will be almost three years. And Philly's great. I fell in love with the music scene you know and I love New York but I guess because Philly is a little bit smaller you get to know people really quick and it's just great to— they really let you know if they like it or not and if they like it, they want to be a part of it so I found a lot of talented people there and I'm able to work with a lot of people there and it's just been really good.

So where can we see you next?
You can come to Philly at the Theatre of The Living Arts on the 28th I'll be i'll be there with The Philly Fresh.

If you could pick five people to rock out in the band with who'd you pick?
Pino for bass, Prince on guitar, Chick Corea and Led Zeppelin' drummer [John Bonham] and Bilal.

And what would you name the album?
Craziness.

To keep up with David Lyve please visit his website www.DavidLyve.com