Davion Farris is here to prove that R&B is not dead, but instead evolving as it continues to pay homage to those who paved the way and welcomes its new class of artists. For Farris, music is in his blood. Being the older brother of artists Sir and DSmoke, he has positioned himself to stand out and his newest project Moved does just that.
The seven-track EP arrived in May as he makes his mark as the first artist signed under Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Records. When asked about what pressure that entailed, the R&B crooner says that he has prepared for this moment to perform.
Influenced by his mother’s artistry having been a choir director and providing background vocals for Michael Jackson back in 1992, F
arris reminisced about how his mother introduced him to several artists. R&B royalty such as Marvin Gaye, Fred Hammond, and Donny Hathaway, however, Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life has longstanding held a strong impact on Farris’ music career and especially on his newest offering Moved.
“When you look back at Songs In The Key Of Life, that whole project was full of amazing storytelling,” he said. “It wasn’t one story from top to bottom but you can see the streamline of themes of love, self awareness, and I wanted to do the same thing with my project.”
As far as accolades are concerned, we believe that Farris’ hard work speaks for itself. The Inglewood, California native won his first Grammy for his songwriting on Lucky Daye’s “Falling in Love” off of his 2021 album Table For Two. F
arris has been booked and busy most of the summer performing hits off of Moved and making his debut at the Essence Festival. He also most recently participated in a cypher hosted by Hillman Grad Records, with rappers SIYA and Jai’Len Josey.
Davion Farris is here for a longtime and we can not wait to hear what is next for the R&B singer. Take a look at our interview below:
AH: How did you get started in music?
DF: My music career started extremely early (laughs). I had my first solo in church at the age of five. My mother is a minister of music and she is also a teacher of piano and voice so she had my brothers (DSmoke and SIR) and I around the piano showing us the ropes ever since we were very little kids.
AH: Who were some of your musical influences growing up?
DF: Fred Hammond, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, Dru Hill, Boyz II Men, and D’Angelo, we could talk about artists that I rock with all day.
AH: You’re the first artist signed to Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Records, do you feel pressure with being the first to put the label on the map?
DF: Honestly, I can say that I didn’t feel pressured, I felt proud. I understood that it was a situation that I am expected to perform but the fact that I’ve been doing this for so long and that I’m ready that’s what kind of allowed me to not be nervous or feel the pressure so much. I’ve put in 20,000 hours at this point. I know that I’m ready for this.
AH: This year has been a great year for you winning your first Grammy for working on Lucky Daye’s Table For Two on his track “Falling in Love” how did that collaboration come about?
DF: It was really a surreal feeling. It was interesting because it was a song that we (Lucky Daye) wrote for Mary J. Blige and she didn’t end up keeping it on her project.
But then when Lucky and Joyce Wrice were working he remembered this record that we had and was like “oh, this might be a vibe.” So, he had a seven song project and my song was number seven. It was funny because I didn’t even realize…it did not click to me at all until the day of the Grammy’s that that meant that I was also nominated. Once it hit me, I was taking aback completely. I started calling family members saying, “Yo, bro, I just won a Grammy.”
AH: You just released your EP ‘Moved’ back in May and what I found interesting was how cohesive of a project it was and how it gave a whole breakdown of a relationship. What was your inspiration behind telling this particular storytelling method?
DF: When you look back at Songs In The Key Of Life, that whole project was full of amazing storytelling. It wasn’t one story from top to bottom but you can see the streamline of themes of love, self-awareness, and I wanted to do the same thing with my project. I wanted people to see that I was self-aware and conscious of how things affect me, especially in love.