THEAUSSIEWORD.COM catches up with Nashville based singer/songwriter Hunter Davis.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
- My father is a songwriter (we wrote Sticks and Storms together) so wordsmithing and music was just a part of life from my earliest recollections. Entering into songwriting and music was one of those things that seemed as natural as taking over a family business.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
- Authenticity and catharsis. For me personally, there’s a sense of needing to get words, melody, and material out of my head and into the world to allow it to become something else, for someone else. That authenticity and knowing it needs to live in the world, always drives me to make better music.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
- Well my first son will be born in a few weeks so I’ll be taking a short time off haha But I have two singles slated for release in early 2021 and with the state of the world its tough to say what the touring projection will be. In support of the singles its looking like a digital tour will be most likely.
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?
- This latest release was written in the wake of the Nashville Tornado that struck the night of March 2nd. I woke up about 10 secs before my fiance and I took a direct hit and the song outlines some of the moments and emotions of that event.
- As far as my music, I just do my best to stick to the tenants of what I feel is honest and makes the best art. The craft of words and melody are gospel, whatever comes from that combo is what you hear from me.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
- As a writer I feel a certain obligation to capture the events, feelings, and emotions of life around me. Any number of those things can spark an idea that leads to a song. But often, I hear a melody within a particular chord progression of riff while playing guitar and I match that with an idea or emotion…and then I just ride that wave to see if it takes me anywhere.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
- “Meaning” is subjective. I would personally say no, but that doesnt mean that the next person might discover a hidden meaning in a line or lyric that Ive written which, in that case, would turn that “no” into a “yes. Art resonates differently for everyone.
Success, what is the secret to it?
- Determining what your definition of “success” is and then stubbornly and doggedly pursuing it. You have to stay in the game to win the prize, but theres no buzzers or periods to know when to stop… just gotta keep playing.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
- On this last single I had the wonderful opportunity to work with producer Gena Johnson. Other than being one of the single most outstanding humans on the planet, she’s also engineered and produced some of the greatest(and personally my favorite) bands and artist records. From her, to the supporting band she assembled for the single, I was humbled and in awe of the talent that was in that studio. Hands down my biggest highlight.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
- Jason Isbell is hands down the most inspiring for me. From just a wordsmith perspective, he’s top of the mark.
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
- Always. Other than the two singles slated for the release at the beginning of 2021, I also have an entire record that is tentatively releasing at the end of Summer 2021.
The music industry is constantly changing, where do you see yourself in a few years?
- I see myself continuously pursuing that highest quality music and content and being dynamic enough to know how to navigate that ever changing world.
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
- My favorite thing is “This line of work” and my least favorite is “This line of work” haha
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
- Not just one of my favorite Australian artists but one of my favorite artists ever, is Xavier Rudd. I discovered “Food in the Belly” around 2012 and was completely blown away. What an insane talent and so much respect for his views on the environment.
- I know this will seem like an obvious answer and many Aussies will roll their eyes (yes, I know he was born in NZ) but hands down Keith Urban. Just an outstanding musician, writer, and overall person.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
- In so many ways the advent of social media has made our job better and more difficult all at once. You know have access to so much data (views, streams, numbers, regions of promotion etc etc) that it allows you to target audiences and interact more specifically. But its also potentially overwhelming for artists (aka me) who want to focus more on the craft of writing or performing,but now also have to run numbers like an accountant.
How will you continue appealing to the international market?
- Just continue to release high quality material and remain within their sphere of awareness.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
- I know we already talked about him, but can I add Xavier Rudd to the wish list? haha
What advice do you give for other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?
- Focus on your reasons for pursuing music and why its important. Follow that passionately and with honesty, it will cut down on a lot (not all) of the anxiety and mystery of the endeavor.
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?
- Thank you so much for listening! Feel free to reach out on Instagram or Facebook, I’m usually pretty good at responding to everyone! (just give me some time haha)
Any last words?
- Wash your hands, believe in art, and don’t be an arsehole