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J*DaVeY: Pushing the Envelope

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If you can mimic the look, sound and personality of all the cookie-cutter artists flooding the airwaves and music videos, then you too have what it takes to make it in today’s industry; although your destiny will only be that of a one-hit wonder. Los Angeles based duo J*DaVeY are here to break the mold and bring the love of making good music back into the cipher. Although making music for the past eight years, Jack Davey (female singer) and Brook D’Leau (male producer) are still new to many and are ready to have you relax yourself and please “set-tle” down while enjoying their funky fresh sound on their double disc The Beauty in Distortion and The Land of the Lost [Interdependent Media] in stores now. Here they talk about what they’re bringing to the table and how they could’ve very well named themselves “Fantastic Rocket Ship” as opposed to J*DaVeY. AllHipHop.com Alternatives: Tell us who is J*DaVeY, and how did you come together?Jack: Two free spirits; It’s ever changing. Brook: We’re kind of discovering who we are. We’re representing change right now and attempting to push the envelope of change for music and culture. J*DaVeY is freedom and change.Jack: We met at my senior prom in high school. I went to an all-girls school, and one of my good friends took him to prom and we became cool. Then we went off to college a year later and discovered that we were both into making music, so we just started doing it. AHHA: How did you come up with the name J*DaVeY? Because when a lot of people hear it they automatically think it’s an R&B guy. Brook: Really? I guess it kinda fell out of the sky. The name is what we’re utilizing to describe what we are and what we do. So if somebody is trying to describe what we do, they can say, “Oh it’s kinda like that J*DaVeY sound.” It just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it? Jack: What does it matter really? I mean you can call it “Fantastic Rocket Ship” but it’s not going to blast you in the face, so it doesn’t matter what we’re called. A rose by any other name will still smell as sweet.

“It’s like it’s got [J] Dilla on the butt, New Wave in its gut, Jazz

Music in its heart, Funk in the head and Punk on top of the head.”- Jack Davey

AHHA: Since you mentioned your sound, how would you describe it?Jack: It’s a hodgepodge of a whole bunch of different sh*t, but at the root of it it’s all based in drums. It’s like it’s got [J] Dilla on the butt, New Wave in its gut, Jazz Music in its heart, Funk in the head and Punk on top of the head. AHHA: It has been said that you guys describe yourselves as the Black Eurhythmics. You want to explain a little bit more about that?Brook: We’ve kinda fallen in and out of a lot of different descriptions of ourselves. For that comment, it’s already the same presence of the group – a strong female dynamic with Dave Stewart doing the production. It never was really about “look at me I’m the woman.” Annie Lennox focused more so on her character and her strength. I think that won people over. The sound isn’t necessarily similar, but we do study acts like that.AHHA: How did you guys make a name for yourselves in the underground circuit?Brook: The internet.Jack: We just gave our music away. When we first started making music, people weren’t feeling our music; so it was like we gotta try to build a fan base. Brook: I think that is definitely the way to try to build a fan base, because of the fact that anybody is willing to try something for free. Either you love it and then you want to buy it, or you hate it and it’s done…you lost nothing. And for the most part, the response has always been positive as of recently. Jack: We’ve gotten better.Brook: When we were first doing this stuff – even though we were together making music for eight years – J*DaVeY has [been known] for the last four or five years. At first, it wasn’t well received but, when Cee-Lo came out with his first album and Andre3000 came out with “Hey-Ya,” it started becoming more commercially viable because these major artists were putting out these weird freaky records. That only paved the way for us to be like, “Oh yea well Mr. Mister is cool now.” AHHA: Often times when an artist comes onto the scene, they’re told that they need to switch up their style. How do you intend on maintaining your individuality from the mainstream?Jack: I’m just gonna continue to be who I am. At this point, if they wanted me to change something, they should have been trying to do that years ago. Now it is what it is. We’re not 18-year-old kids. We already have an identity. Brook: The thing about labels is that they’re trying to make money, so they’re going to go with the formulas that have worked. Even if it has nothing to do with the integrity of an artist. They’re just the money and the machine. So they suggest a couple things that might work: you can wear this, do that, do this dance, sing like this, do this kind of music, and that will sell because that’s worked before. Jack: Word up.AHHA: ?uestlove amongst other artists are huge fans of yours. How does it feel knowing he has such strong support and is really backing this project?Jack: A huge honor. You grow up listening to these people, and you can only imagine how it will be to meet them – let alone work with them countless times. It’s really a blessing. He’s like big brother, he takes care of us. Brook: It’s dope that you’re able to meet artists and celebrities and people who are definitely in the eye of the public in the music industry, and for them to still be real music lovers to the core. That’s refreshing, because you don’t expect these artists to really love music. Sometimes the business aspect is more frontal than anything else.

“We’ve gotten better.”- Jack Davey

AHHA: So you have a double album out called The Beauty in Distortion and The Land of the Lost. Can you explain the title behind both discs?Brook: The Beauty in Distortion is representative of us growing and learning who and what we are, often times that’s a bit foggy. So that represents the distortion. And the beauty is being able to share that with other people and people being able to embrace it for what it is. Not just to absorb it, but to love it and appreciate it. It’s a diamond in the rough to us.Jack: The Land of the Lost one day just popped up in my head. I kept having these visions of a teenage wasteland where it was a clash between Prince’s Sign of the Times stage set and an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. I was just kinda playing with the themes of people calling LA, Lost Angels. So I was thinking of how Hollywood plays itself and how LA is really laid back and cool, and you really have to know about the culture to understand. So the music will be a way for you to navigate through all of the bullsh*t that’s on the radio and on MTV.

“I’m just gonna continue to be who I am. At this point, if they wanted

me to change something, they should have been trying to do that years

ago. Now it is what it is. We’re not 18-year-old kids. We already have

an identity.”- Jack Davey

AHHA: What was it like working and performing with Prince?Jack: I don’t think I’ve ever hyperventilated before a show [before that time]. I don’t think I’ve ever hyperventilated period. Brook: When was the last time you’ve ever heard somebody opened for him? It’s always just been Prince because he can do a three hour show and kill it by himself. So the fact that he did that was like the most ultimate compliment from somebody who we look up to in the music that we do. Performing with him was not necessarily a pinnacle of our career, it was just surreal. AHHA: What label is your album released under?Brook: Interdependent Media. They’re responsible for putting out Tanya Morgan, K’naan, mainly a lot of Hip-Hop stuff ,but they’re friends of ours that just enjoy music and what we do. AHHA: So at one point you guys were signed to Warner Bros.Both: We still are.AHHA: They’re rumors saying that you’ve been dropped from Warner Bros.Jack: Gotta love those rumors huh?Brook: I honestly think it’s a great thing that there have been rumors circulating.Jack: Yea that people actually give a sh*t.Brook: It basically gave us a crash course in understanding the major label system for what it is now. You kinda have to understand what it was and what it started out being. Everything has changed now, and often times you go into record labels and they know that things have changed and they’re still trying to piece it together. But in time, they still want to maintain a position of power because they are dishing out the money and taking a huge chance.Jack: They came to us, so they had to be willing to take some chances. It’s not like we went looking for them. That’s the thing that we have to pose to them, you guys came to us for a reason. Let us do our sh*t. AHHA: “Mr. Mister” is the first song and video from the album. Can you explain the concept behind the song and the video?Jack: “Mr. Mister” is a song dealing with unrequited love, and I want this boy to give me attention and he’s not. So I’m trying to get him to come and knock on my door. Instead of using a boy, we just took it one step to the left and used a crash test dummy. It was just the one thing that you could do that would set it apart from everybody else.AHHA: What do you hope to accomplish before the year is over, and what are your long-term objectives?Jack: I want to go to Japan and I want to buy a house.Brook: I want our music to afford us the lifestyle we had always wanted. That’s long term for me.

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