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Kevin Davy White

31st August 2023

Interview: Flora Grafton

From sleeping on the streets of London to a debut album, Kevin Davy White’s ‘Keep Dreaming Wild’ will take you on a journey through the ages of music.

Despite a successful stint on the X Factor UK, White took the time over recent years to reassess his sound and affirm what type of artist he wants to be. 

After much anticipation, the French artist has recently released his debut album, blending classic jazz with soulful vocal and a hint of funk-rock.

This may Kevin Davy White’s first album, but it for sure won’t be the last.

Hi Kevin, welcome to ReVamp! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to me today. How are you?

Bonjour Flora, thank you for having me and taking the time, I am going very well. I just did my last summer show at Wey Festival alongside Jools Holland and The Ward Sisters. I am still on a little cloud 9.

You are just about to release your debut album, ‘Keep Dreaming Wild’ – congratulations are in order – can you start by walking me through the journey of this album? I understand it’s been a long time coming, so I’d love to know what you initially pictured it to look like and how it’s developed to the final product.

Merci beaucoup, yes it has been a long journey. It started in 2013 when I moved to London. When I decided to do music on my own. I have been inspired by everything that I have learned and the people that I have met along the way. I had to go through dark times to make this album. Some lyrics reflect that. I also wanted to include some positive messages to our future selves. Because I believe that we should all dream big and never give up on our dreams. I hope that this album will inspire others to keep dreaming wild to never give up on their dreams.

Three songs have already been released, ‘Honey’, ‘Thousand Stars’ and, just recently, ‘Tomorrow’. Can you tell me why you chose to release these as singles – what stood out about them?

My album is a journey of genres. I don't like to be confined to one genre. I love to experiment. And these three songs just bring out the flavor of this album. Honey is rock and old school, Thousand Stars is heavy rock with soul, and Tomorrow is the groove of my roots with rock. So, it was a good introduction of what to expect in this album. No matter what genre you're into, you'll hear my soulful voice and my rock energy throughout the album. I hope you enjoy the ride!

And I know ‘Tomorrow’ explores the drastic environmental problems our world now faces. Have you always had an interest in the planet and are any of the other songs on the album about such topical issues?

Since I was a kid, I've always had a passion for astronomy, nature, and the science of life. I'm amazed by how lucky we are to be alive on this planet and initially coexist through love. So, Tomorrow speaks directly to this environmental topic. The rest of the album talks about different topics, such as love, hope, happiness, and life in general. It's very people-oriented.

So, Kevin, when were you first exposed to the world of music and who/what sparked your passion for the industry and who would you say inspires your sound?

I always talk about this very precise moment when my dad was playing a VHS cassette of the Woodstock festival on a Sunday. I saw this man on TV grabbing the guitar like no one else, making me feel something in almost every note. I was like, "Who is that man? I want to be like him!" So I grabbed my dad's guitar and learned it by ear. And since that day, I've never looked back. It has been the wake-up call. I found myself when I was playing on stage. I can express myself fully without any filters. Be the person I love to be.

What inspired you to enter both The Voice and The X Factor UK? It’s a huge achievement to get on the shows, let alone be as successful as you were.

That particular moment in my music career was synonymous with "To be seen by everyone." After finding my path in music and the artist that I wanted to be, I felt ready to take the chance and try these kinds of platforms. I have to say that I never really applied for any of these shows. I was just in the right place at the right time. People were scouting for talent, and they kindly approached me and invited me to the auditions. I had so much fun in this. The experience was amazing. I met some great artists like Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran, and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas. It was amazing to be able to play rock music with guitar on a national live TV program. And being in the final was the icing on the cake. I never felt like it was a competition. I was just there to enjoy the stage.

Well it’s no wonder you’ve got to where you are today. I have to ask...what was it like to work with Nicole Scherzinger?!

It was like working with a sister or an aunt. She was so helpful throughout my journey. She stood up for me against the production to let me do what I wanted to do. She gave me advice about the music industry and shared some experiences. And she has such a beautiful soul!

Not only are you about to release your debut album, but you’re also playing Montreux Jazz Festival AND embarking upon a UK headline tour in November! What can your fans expect from the live shows – any new music? Any surprises?

I am actually living some of the dreams I used to have. Just hearing you saying all of this sounds so awesome. I had a long journey to get to this point. I am so happy and excited about the future. This tour is to meet as many of my fans as possible. So it's a stripped-back acoustic show. Every night will be different, depending on the crowd. I don't have a set list, but I have a repertoire of my new show. Songs from the album and more, and some duets. I will deliver a show that we will make magical thanks to everyone who comes to those shows.

I just know it’s going to brilliant! Well, Kevin, I have just one more question (which is something I like to ask everyone I interview)...what would your Mastermind specialist subject be? It can be literally anything from food, TV shows, premier league players from 2002-2007 – anything!

Haha, I like this question! My subject would be technology! I am also a passionate about technology in most of its form.

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