also: Ävatar Daví
disambiguation: Avatar Davi, Davi
Daví (born DeShaun Davis; August 9th, 1986) is an American music artist, choreographer, tech entrepreneur, social activist, candidate for New York City Mayor in the 2021 election and Ävatar of Earth.
Daví was born in Hartford, Connecticut. When he was 6, he saw his mother cry during his first solo performance singing, “Make Me Beautiful” in a church in Windsor, Connecticut; that experience coupled with later that year seeing the touring Broadway production of The Wiz, sprouted Daví’s understanding of how he wanted to impact the world - via music and art.
He got an inkling of where he’d make that impact when his class first grade class went to the Bronx Zoo. While he was there he felt something special, he didn’t know why but he always kept the t-shirt from the field trip.
Growing up he didn’t know a household with his mother and father - his upbringing was often filled with their fighting about him or over him. They each married others and Daví moved with his mother to Alexandria, Virginia where he developed a foundation as an actor, dancer and singer in elementary and middle school, winning the Superintendent's Vocal Award two years in a row.
After moving back to Connecticut during his high school years, he was signed to management in New York City for commercials, television and movies; soon discovering his love for the city.
After his acceptance to New York University, Daví moved to city with a burning desire to find his voice within entertainment. Within the first month of living in New York, he was assisting Grammy Award-Winning Singer/Songwriter Gordon Chambers (whom Daví assisted for the next 3 years) and sporadically invited to share the stage with soul singer, Amel Larrieux, at the Blue Note Jazz Club. After the show she wrote a note to him that read: "To my sweet friend with the superfly voice and the stage presence of a star!"
During his time as a student, Daví performed in and around New York City in venues ranging from cafes to Jazz at Lincoln Center where he performed with the NYU Jazz Choir.
His debut album, ‘Got the Seed’ was released May 12th, 2012. The album seamlessly plays between the genres of electronic, soul and new wave; encouraging his listeners to challenge the status quo of our society, while they knock their heads to the beat. Featured in an array of blogs including a full album review by Afro-Punk. Daví is usually compared to artists such as Prince, J*Davey and ParliamentFunkadelic.
The Daví Torrent
The album has an accompanying music video compilation called, The Daví Torrent. This 4 minute and 29 second film introduces the world to the thoughtfully zany, supernatural world of Daví through 4 mini-music videos of his songs, “When the Ceiling is Gone,” “Wonder On a Lump,” the title-track “Got the Seed,” and his single, “That Thump (New Music In Yo Ear)” which features production by Los Angeles Funk Producer DaM FunK whom Daví met while choreographing for hip-hop / electronic band, Cubic Zirconia.
The release party of The Daví Torrent was held on June 17th, 2011 in Soho, New York City and hosted by film legend, Melvin Van Peebles.
International Label Debut
In June 2015, Daví released single, “Clear” throughout the US and Italy through a partnership with Italian record label, Epictronic and Warner/Chappell Publishing. The song was played on popular radio stations in Italy but Daví received no royalties. This experience in conjunction with Daví’s research about the mechanics of the music industry ignited Daví’s desire to branch beyond music creation to innovate the business and technology of music.
Notable Live Shows
With semi-supernatural music, choreography, costumes and narrative, a Daví live show is no less than a metaphor of the futurist’s universal frontier. Daví promoted “Got The Seed” through numerous performances over the course of two years after the release.
His first outdoor performance was in Marcus Garvey Park as part of a tribute to legendary rock band, Fishbone, July 11th, 2012, sponsored by ImageNation and Summerstage.
The closing celebration of Wangechi Mutu’s exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum on February 20th, 2014. Daví performed with a 10-piece band, 2 dancers and a unicorn-adorned poet-archivist named Joyce LeeAnn to a sold-out show in the Brooklyn Museum’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium. Daví was also the face of the Brooklyn Museum’s Winter 2014 programming promotion flyers and mailer promotions.
Later that year, Daví was also of the Black Rock Coalition’s tribute the legendary, Grace Jones at Joe’s Pub, July 18th, 2014; he opened for bounce music tycoon, Big Freedia on tour with Converse ((date)); and he was featured in an acoustic performance and interview on Google’s AtGoogle Talk Series ((date)).
Daví was the Keynote Performer of New School’s Afrofuturism Conference on May 2nd, 2015.
On September 16th, 2017, he made his international performance debut as co-headliner of the Afrofuturism Festival in Paris, France named, Black to the Future.
December 1st 2017, a few days after returning from Paris, Daví headlined the Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturday did a performance where he both DJed and performed choreography in front of a pop art film he created.
His beginnings as a choreographer sprouted at his alma mater, New York University, where he was mentored by modern and classical choreographer, Kathryn Posin. He also served as captain and choreographer of New York University’s non-Greek championship-winning step team, One Step Ahead.
He has since worked with R&B singer, Ashanti; Pop group, Telephoned; and hip-hop / electronica band, Cubic Zirconia on music videos, live concerts and nationally syndicated performances.
On May 8th 2013, Daví walked the ArcLight Hollywood’s red carpet for the premiere of Lionsgate comedy feature film, Peeples where Daví individually choreographed for such talents as Kerry Washington, Craig Robinson, David Alan Grier, Tyler James Williams, S. Epatha Merkerson, Kali Hawk and Melvin Van Peebles.
Daví titled his form of dance, Akhí; a narrative dance form infused by the dance styles of Modern, Krump, Jazz, Hula, Butoh, Step, Bollywood, West Afrikan and Hip Hop. The 3 core principles of Ahkí are as follows:
1) Movement is based on the already present frequency and soundings of the mind and body
2) Movement illustrates the mind's responses of imagery to the sounds/music it encounters
3) Movement is founded in undercurrents of rhythms; the dancer is like a percussionist
In 2005, Daví participated in an emotional college initiative for black colleges and black students to do relief work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina called Katrina On The Ground. Upon his return to New York, he joined the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), a voluntary organization studying and implementing the perspectives of Malcolm X through community programming and police accountability work.
Daví quickly rose to co-founding MXGM’s Student Committee, International Committee (traveling to Nairobi, Kenya to present at the 2007 World Social Forum) and serving as part of the co-leadership of the New York City Chapter.
Daví was the lead organizer of the national student walk-out and New York City march in a call for justice for the Jena Six on October 1, 2007. The march traveled from Union Square to City Hall. In promotion of this march he was featured on Democracy Now! on September 27, 2007 alongside Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee.
Continuing his community work, intermittently between 2014-2020 Daví served as the Strategic Director for the Hartford Renaissance District, an initiative co-created with his father to revitalize the cultural, economic, social and psychological well-being of an impoverished area of Hartford, Connecticut. In this work, Daví met with numerous mayors and government officials in effort to create a better future for his city of birth.
Daví is a high school double-graduate of Hamden High School (Hamden, CT) and the Educational Center for the Arts (New Haven, CT) where he studied theater and music.
In 2008, he graduated with honors from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study – a program where students are able to determine their own concentration of study. The title of Daví’s concentration was ‘The African Musical Diaspora and Humanistic Justice’.
Daví has held numerous residencies teaching music and dance to thousands of students in New York City public and charter schools students throughout Manhattan and the Bronx between the years of 2006-2017. Daví’s focus as a teacher was not only to enrich the talents of the students but even moreso to unlock the courage necessary to shine in the world.
Though not a father yet, his attention to how children’s minds are being shaped remains strong. In his Mayor Campaign Thesis, he states that he plans to assemble a publicly televised Education Council to reimagine and restructure the New York City education system.
On August 20th 2016, Daví debuted his first invention, Bginary, a live-performance interactivity app where audiences had the opportunity interact with audiences live on stage. Bginary’s soft launch was sponsored by Harman / JBL Speakers in their Manhattan store.
In October 2016, Daví competed in IBM’s first blockchain hackathon in New York City and a was multiple-prize winner for his new invention and company Clefpay, leading to him receiving mentoring, presenting and speaking on a panel at IBM’s Watson Headquarters. Originally thought of as an extension of Bginary, Clefpay is the blockchain technology service that allows artists to be paid more directly from music streaming by centralizing metadata and essentializing royalty payout points.
In July 2017, Daví felt an intuition and followed it. He moved to Paris for 6 months to further expand possibilities for Clefpay in the French and European market.
In the autumn of 2017, he presented about Clefpay and blockchain in the music industry at La MaMa and Hello Tomorrow conferences in Paris, France as well as participating in the Paris & Co International Startup Incubator.
On February 15, 2018, Clefpay signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the French-based music streaming platform, Deezer; the third largest music streaming platform in the world at the time. This made Clefpay the first and only external blockchain-based company to have a working relationship with a major music streaming company.
After 3 years of chasing the vision of Clefpay; establishing a base for Clefpay in both Paris, France and New York City, he made history by becoming the only sole African American founder of a tech company to raise more than $100k in the year 2019.
Clefpay is a member of Berklee’s Open Music Initiative. Clefpay’s soft launch served as the post-conference event in November 2019.
As Clefpay prepared for international debut in March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic surprised the world.
Ävatar of Earth
During the global shutdown and pandemic of 2020, Daví experienced a spiritual transformation where he began developing the ability to communicate with animals and spirits as well as developing the ability to sing in multiple tones. All of which he documented in writing and in video on his website bydavi.com.
October 31st 2020, the Mayan El Día De Los Muertos, Daví accepted of his role as Ävatar of Earth in The Bronx, New York City.
The Daví Manifesto
The Daví Manifesto: Volume 1 is an inspirational book that is just over 460 pages. In it Daví detail the first chapter in his transition to becoming the Ävatar through a series of poetic internal conversations. Volume 1 was released as a free download on bydavi.com on December 25th, 2020, a day Daví refers to as the ‘Day of the Seed’. This volume is the first of four written volumes with the rest of the books currently being edited.
On January 1st, 2021, applications for Ävatar Daví’s new company, Earth Order, opened on bydavi.com. Earth Order offers a currency system where people choose where they work based on what’s important to them, not how much money they need. Currency / Earth Order Credits are used as a mechanism of sharing resources fairly while each individual decides how to evolve themselves and contribute to the greater good in their own way.
Mayor of New York City 2021 Candidacy
In February 2021, Daví announced his independent candidacy for Mayor of New York City. His platform includes New York City statehood, education and police restructuring, recycling program expansion and economic reimagining. Daví refers to New York City as the “heart of the planet” and has therefore made it his duty to help align the city in accordance to Earth for a society of human evolution and thrival; though he did not win this election he is committed still committed to these principles and Earth Order.