Often referred to as “Mr. Maestro,” JoDavi fuses his soulful roots with his passion and schooling in orchestration to create what many call “Cinema-Soul;” a sound that likens to Earth Wind and Fire, the 5th Dimension, your favorite movie soundtrack, and his background in gospel, RnB, reggae, and funk.
JoDavi has opened for grammy award winning artists India Arie, and Anthony Hamilton. He has also backed renowned singer Alex Isley, and has shared stages with Jeremy Passion. As far as his own work goes, JoDavi has released over a dozen albums and singles, including his latest full length album, Zion, which he has premiered in New York, California, North Carolina, Georgia, and many other parts of the US.
Tell us a bit about your company and why you do what you do.
I go by the artist name JoDavi, and my business is JoDavi Music LLC. I am a composer, arranger, musician, performer, and singer-songwriter. The main things I do are perform live music, record music, and compose music for films.
Is there anyone special who’s inspired you to forge ahead with your business?
There are a lot of people, but my father comes to mind first and foremost. He taught me everything from how to play piano and write music, to how to be a leader and a man of integrity.
What makes your business different from any others doing a similar thing?
I think what sets me apart from other music businesses is that I do it all. I’m not just a performer, but I can write lyrics, both for myself and other singers. I also know how to compose for and work with classical players; which, coupled with growing up playing gospel music in church, has afforded me the ability to be what I like to call “musically bilingual.”
If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
Without question, I want to be remembered for being kind. I’m often told I’m kind, and unusually so. I want that to always remain, no matter how high my career may take me in this life.
Do you have a motto or a mantra you apply to work, life, or both?
My father used to tell me, “No matter what, son, always treat people right.”That has been my anchor for the past 20 years.
How do you cope with stress?
Sometimes at first, I went to my wife, but ultimately I pray, read the Bible, discuss with my wife, and sometimes go for a long walk depending on how stressful it is. My wife is an amazing sounding board and knows how to help people sort out their stress. She’s always there to help me make the right decisions and to recognize my own stress-induced bias.
Give us some details about a typical day in the life of *YOU*
When I’m not on the road, my typical day consists of trying to wake up before my two sons. If that doesn’t happen, I get up with them ready for our day with my wife. Depending on the day, they either are with us or with their grandparents or “Nana V” for part of the day while my wife and I work. We both wear multiple hats, so sometimes it’s advocacy, sometimes it’s programming and engagement, and sometimes I’m working on my music and she’s doing admin for her speaking events. Then when The boys come back home, we have some focused time with them, usually blasting gospel or South African gospel music while the oldest plays the drums and the youngest usually dances and sings at the top of his lungs.
Of course, we eat meals and all that. Then the boys go to bed, and my wife and I catch up on our day, sometimes watch the Crown or Fresh Prince, depending on how we’re feeling, then go to bed.
What do you do to gain self-awareness when everyone is out to flatter you?
I was raised by parents who made no bones about pulling me and my sisters back down to earth, no matter what we had just done. They are always good about congratulating and celebrating us when we do well, but will pretty quickly put us in check if we begin to operate in arrogance. In my adult life, that person for me is my wife. She’s not interested in flattery. She sincerely encourages me when needed, but doesn’t let the hype sway her if she doesn’t like something, or thinks I can do better.
How did you find your definition of success? What is it?
There are two scriptures, and one thought from me that answer this question:
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. (Proverbs 22:1)
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ (Matthew 25:21)
I am a firm believer that the most important legacy one can leave behind is their children. I would define the measure of my success with where my children are in their adult lives.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
When a client recognizes the value of what I have to offer and pays for it. Also, the connections made along the journey and being inspired by them.
How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Often way too long. That is one of my strengths and weaknesses. It is hard for me to let something go.
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
All the time; but it depends on my mood. Sometimes I’m freestyle singing something I would NEVER share with anyone.
If you could be a superhero, what would your superpower be and your superhero name?
I basically would just like to be a super-soldier like Captain America. I’d be too scared of accidentally killing someone if I was like Superman. My powers would be enhanced strength, speed, agility, and the mental capacity to do impossible things like becoming fluent in a language in less than 24 hours. I wouldn’t want a superhero name though because that would just put a target on my back, and realistically, the government would find out who I am pretty quickly. I would just go around doing what I wanted in secret and saving people when/where I could.
You are a new addition to a crayon box. What color would you be and why?
Navy blue. Because it is calming, soothing, and I think it gives a feeling of safety. It’s a color that really smooths out an otherwise intense picture without compromising its integrity.
Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
I don’t think I’m old enough to have an answer, but I like to act so right now, I’d like to play myself.
What makes you nostalgic?
Watching my sons play together. Watching ‘Hey Arnold.’
If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?
I would actually be too scared to ask, but the first thing that comes to mind is “how is my family doing?” Not scared because something bad is expected to happen; but scared because the nature of life itself is unexpected.
If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?
My metabolism. I’d have an extremely fast metabolism so I can eat more and have a six- pack.
If you could learn any language fluently what would it be?
I would finish Spanish, but my wife is fluent in Afrikaans, Setswana, and IsiZulu, so I’d want to be fluent in those as well.
What would you bring along to an idyllic picnic?
Beef gelatin gummy worms from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, and French Toast from scratch
If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?
I would say “Your wife is amazing. Trust me. Don’t worry about when and how you will meet her. Just focus on your own spiritual, musical, and financial development.”
JoDavi is back with a powerful new single that will inspire listeners to overcome any obstacle that comes their way. Titled “I Won’t Go,” the song is a powerful anthem that showcases JoDavi’s dynamic vocal range and ability to craft songs that resonate with audiences.
“I Won’t Go” is an empowering track that speaks to the challenges of life and the importance of perseverance.
“I Won’t Go is a song of defiance, aid JoDavi. The message is a statement. It was my way of planting my feet in the earth, signifying that I will not be moved so easily, no matter the consequences. I wrote it while on tour, on a plane ride to a studio in Oakland. This was a very difficult time for me emotionally as I found myself in a place where my convictions were being tested and friends were revealing themselves to be more transactional than relational, and so were deserting me. ‘I Won’t Go’ was pep-talk first to myself, but also to anyone feeling challenged to bow to mass formation psychosis. Plant your feet.”
The song is now available on all major streaming platforms https://open.spotify.com/track/3v5wjybMZiMxXDSdCzuL5M?si=160ee9b29fd44550
For more information on JoDavi https://linktr.ee/jodavimusic
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