The end of the summer season may have been unofficially over last week. Some may still be pondering over what reservations they may have over things they wanted to accomplish during the merriment which is this solstice. One such person who is not lost in his own thoughts or crying in his drink when it comes to these matters is New York based singer/songwriter Neil Davis. That’s because he absolutely doesn’t have the time to do so. Davis kept a busy schedule while others would be looking for creative ways to sneak out of their mundane places of employment in order to enjoy themselves.
Prior to playing a steady flow of club dates and making appearances around New York City, Neil kicked his summer off by playing at WNYC’s The Green Space for their battle of the bands competition. After a stellar performance of his song “Giving You Away” from his debut album “In My Mind” he drew high praises from the judge panel which consisted of Grammy Award winning producer Steve Pageot, singer/voice coach Alicia Olatuja and singer/composer Helga Davis. They loved everything about him from how he used his voice while integrating a falsetto to the carefully crafted pop melodies. In the end each judge unanimously agreed that the music Neil Davis has put forth is “catchy and radio-ready” thus far. The praise and accolade parade didn’t end there as even recording artist Emeli Sandé joined in by complimenting him for his cover version of her hit “Next To Me” telling him “it was brilliant” after hearing it in person.
As he kept things rolling along Neil took time to make several performances for the charitable organization Sing for Hope. Giving back to communities is a big deal to Davis it’s something he takes seriously and has been pouring his heart into over the course of his two years of involvement with the nonprofit entity. He’s participated in their pop up piano program and performed in hospitals throughout the five boroughs.
“It was one of the most touching experiences I’ve ever had. I played in a (hospital) atrium with no mic and a piano”, Davis shared with regard to a performance at Mt. Sinai Hospital. “I played ‘(Hope You) Find Me’ and patients started coming out their rooms in their robes to listen. You could see that they were moved and that my music touched them in some way.”
On September 14th Neil will continue with his efforts to be a healing voice while performing at a benefit concert in LIC Bar as part of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. The bill will include the likes of Matt Simons, Jerry Dugger and Chris Ayer. This will be the book end of a week full of appearances and performances. Davis will kick off the week by opening for Zane Carney at Rockwood Music Hall on September 9th.
The preceding week Davis released an official video for “Smile” which is on the aforementioned first album. The video was shot on location at various spots in New York City. Neil ran a promotion via social media outlets where people sent him random images and videos of smiles. “It was a fun little campaign to get people involved. I got to see fans from around the world. I wanted to make that splash with a generally happy and relatable song that I feel we need right now”, Davis explained.
In the midst of all the moving and shaking, Davis has been gearing up to release his sophomore effort. He’s been in the studio co-producing with Christian Medice (Allen Stone, Billy Mann, Samantha Ronson and Katherine McPhee) as well as some of the very same musicians who worked with him to craft his first record. The efforts made in the studio yielded the single “See You Again” which fans have been anticipating for quite some time. “I’m really proud of the song”, the gifted songwriter said with a right grin. “The lyrics and the message are basically about all of the things you wish you would’ve said to someone after its too late. All the things you wish you would’ve said while you still could. I’m a sucker for writing songs that hit you in the gut and move you.” He is also in the process of creating a music video for the new single which is slated for release in November. When Davis explains his upcoming release, he assures us both musical growth as well as maturity “It’s a snapshot of where I’m at in my life right now. I’m taking new chances on the production. There’s a little more edge and a little more soul -- while still keeping my original sound.”