It’s not often that my entire Twitter and Facebook feed suddenly blow up with a new artist that I’m not familiar with, but that’s exactly what happened with Shreveport, Louisiana native, Jacob Davis. I’ll admit, I’m a little disappointed in myself for not discovering his music sooner, one because it’s really good and two because there’s something a little different and unique about it that sets it apart from the current top 40 hits. Jacob’s talent not only as a singer, but also as a songwriter is apparent after hearing just a few of his songs. It’s not just that the songs are catchy, it’s more about Jacob’s ability to make listeners believe the words he’s singing and being able to paint the picture through his lyrics, that make the songs resonate with listeners.
Music is something that seems to run in the Davis family (his brother Jordan Davis is also a musician) and has been a part of Jacob’s life since he was a kid, “I kind of grew up around it. My mom always played piano and my dad played the guitar and I actually started playing guitar in high school and then when I got to college I would play whenever I had a study break. I would go and learn a song and I loved doing it and I would play around camp fires and my friends were like you should play an open mic night sometime. So, I told myself before I graduate college I’m gonna go do that! So, I went between my junior and senior year and I totally fell in love with it! I only played three songs and a lot of my friends were there and it was kind of off to the races from there.”
While he loves performing, songwriting is something Jacob says, “is and always will be the forefront of it. I mean I started writing, I think I wrote my first song when I was eighteen. It was about my parents divorce and so it was kind of like a way to express my feelings and everything and then it grew into my craft. It’s what I do, it’s what I get paid to do every day, and so song writing is the forefront and the most important thing and it’s a passion of mine that luckily I get to do for a job.” Had he not pursued his passion for music, Jacob says his life would look very different. “I went to college and studied geology and environmental science so I would probably be working on an oil rig somewhere as a geologist just because that’s what my degree was in, and I would not be near as happy as I am right now.”
Being from a family that loves music, Jacob’s list of musical influences spans a wide range of talent. “James Taylor was a huge influence of mine. It was kind of what my dad listened to growing up, both my mom and my dad listened to a lot of the oldies stuff from the 70’s, James Taylor, Jim Croce, and then there was kind of a mix my dad was a big Creedence Clearwater fan and my mom loved Frank Sinatra so it was kind of all across the board. Then, when I was growing up in middle school and even a little younger than that, country was always around. Garth was my whole childhood, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, those guys were always on the radio, so those are just a few. Then in the alternative rock world, I love Kings of Leon, I love Ryan Adams, I have so many. Currently, I’m a fan of Brothers Osborne and their new album that just came out, I loved it. Those guys are so talented, and their single that came out ‘Stay A Little Longer’ has been one of my favorite songs in a while.” When it comes to picking one person he’d most want to tour with, Jacob’s choice might surprise you, “I mean honestly we would love to play a show with Taylor Swift. I mean I love Taylor Swift, everything she does. If we could play with somebody it would be Taylor Swift and then if we could tour with anyone I mean I don’t know, we loved Kings of Leon’s last show. I don’t know how well we would mesh, but we would love to be on the stage with them.”
When it comes to his music and what sets it apart from others, Jacob says it’s, “the soul factor. I mean I was born and raised in Louisiana and so much of Louisiana has a different culture to it from New Orleans all the way to Shreveport where I’m from there’s a certain kind of soul that’s in everything from the music to the food to the language and I mean the atmosphere from every aspect there’s a different kind of soul. Luckily, here recently we’ve been able to tap into some of that soulful music. I loved a lot of James Brown growing up, I love a lot of you know that funk. So we’ve been able to go into the studio and put that fun, make you want to shake your hips type music to it. I think me and my producer have been able to tap into that soul factor of country music.”
In terms of touring and bringing that soul factor to areas out side of Louisiana and his current home, Nashville, Jacob admits that him and his band have gotten to be part of some pretty cool things. He says that one of the best things about their journey so far is, “it’s probably been the artists that we’ve got to go with. Aside from being able to go in the studio with a great producer and being able to cut the record that we want to make that nobody’s forcing us to do, we’ve got to open up for some awesome people that treated us like total kings. Just recently we got to open for Lady Antebellum in Las Vegas and it was one of the coolest experiences, they are some of the nicest people we’ve ever been around.”
Besides music, Jacob has quite a few other interests that keep him busy when he’s not on the road. “Honestly, I love being outside, I enjoy drinking a bunch of different kinds of cold beers and spending time with my family is extremely important to me. I just had a little girl about two and a half months ago and she’s the best thing in the world so just hanging out with her whenever we get home, it’s daddy daughter time.”
As for what’s next in 2016, Jacob says, “We’re fired up! Our tour dates are already booking up, not sure exactly how many dates we’ll be playing this year, but it’s going to be double, maybe triple what we did in 2015. We will have a single out, we’re pushing for it in the next six months and hopefully by the end of 2016 we’ll have a record out. This is the year baby! We’re so excited, fired up, the Jacob Davis Squad has been making so much noise and I couldn’t be more grateful for that group, but it’s not an over night thing and we’ve been working for it, making some great music and we’re excited!”
His fans and fan club, the Jacob Davis Squad, are pretty fired up and excited as well. When it comes to his high-energy fan club, Davis recalls one of the most memorable things a fan has ever done. “This happened probably three weeks ago and we were playing in Savannah, GA and we played a show and one of the girls that’s in the squad came up to me after the show and wanted me to sign a piece of paper that she had and write the lyrics to my song, ‘Small Town Flight Risk’ so I wrote the lyrics and there was a pair of wings between the lyrics small town and flight risk and she said, I can’t tell you what I’m going to do. Well, she showed up the next night in Macon, GA about 3 hours away and she got that tattooed on her shoulder. Yeah, that’s the craziest thing and I was like I can’t believe you did that, but she’s one of the many that have come to me and told me how much my songs have meant to her and I mean there’s nothing better than that. Someone telling you that your lyric and something you wrote helped them out through a divorce or helped them out through a friend dying or a hard time, there is literally nothing better than that. So, that’s the coolest thing.”
See for yourself what all the buzz it about by checking out Jacob’s songs below. To keep up with all things Jacob Davis check out his website and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @jacobdavismusic. Also check out the Jacob Davis Squad and give them a follow @jacobdavissquad.
Written by Jackie Ebnet for MinnesotaCountry.com.