Often referred to as “Mr. Maestro,” JoDavi fuses his soulful roots with his passion and schooling in orchestration to create what many call “Symphonic Soul;” a sound that likens to Earth Wind and Fire, the 5th Dimension, your favorite movie soundtrack, and his background in gospel, RnB, reggae, and funk.
JoDavi has opened for grammy award winning artists India Arie, and Anthony Hamilton. He has also backed renowned singer Alex Isley, and has shared stages with Jeremy Passion. As far as his own work goes, JoDavi has released over a dozen albums and singles, including his latest full length album, Zion, which he has premiered in New York, California, North Carolina, Georgia, and many other parts of the US. Most recently, he has become a voting member of the Recording Academy.
Hi, JoDavi! Thanks for meeting with us today. You recently released your new single/album/EP/video. Can you give us a little backstory?
"Zion" is an album that came about after a long dry spell for me. I hadn’t been able
to write anything for a few years, and at a certain point, I started to think my
writers block was just a new way of life. Then certain songs started just dropping
on my heart, and it soon turned into the album we’re promoting now.
What do you hope fans take away from your music?
I want fans to take away whatever they need to. My role is to make the art. I want
it to impact the listener in the way the listener needs to be impacted.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
From my father. He said many times when I was a kid, “no matter what, son,
always treat people right.”
Proverbs 22:1 says ‘a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and
favor is better than silver or gold.’
Those things go hand in hand for me. I’ve been able to do a lot of the things I do
because of my dear friends who are also professional in their respective crafts.
Especially in the beginning when I was first starting out, I didn’t always have the
money to pay. Having good relationships, and treating people with respect and
dignity went a long way in those seasons. As much as more money would change
a lot of things in my life for the better, if I had to choose between more money and
a good name, I’d choose a good name, without question.
What piece of advice would you give to young artists who are just starting out?
In all you do, treat people right. There is no way around that.
If you could go on tour with any other artist, who would you choose and why?
Tobe Nwigwe. We’re both family oriented, and I think it would be fun for basically
our wives and children to be on tour together too.
What is one “fun fact” people may not know about you?
I used to teach gymnastics.
What inspires you to write music?
In terms of specific songs, it depends on what is going on and whether I can
translate my strong feelings about something into a song or not. Sometimes I
can’t for a while, and I’ll just write articles about it. Other times, songs will just hit
me in the face later, and I can write a whole song in minutes. It just depends on
things I have no idea about. I think it comes with the territory of being a creative.
In terms of pursuing music in general, my parents. My dad is a professional
musician and producer and taught me how to play keys, lead worship at church,
and produce music. My mom wasn’t a professional, but she loved to make up
silly songs or short educational songs for us when my sisters and I were
homeschooled. That also taught me about rhythm and rhyme.
What else can fans expect from you this year?
Big shows. String orchestras with the band, outdoor shows, festivals, etc. Also,
I’m working on a new EP called ‘the Vault’ which should be out before this year is
over. It’s got some Afrobeats in it along with the symphonic soul sound that you
tend to hear from me.