Portland, OR native and current New Yorker, Kate Davis has played music almost since she could walk. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, she majored in upright bass. Last year Davis was invited by Postmodern Jukebox’s Scott Bradlee to perform a jazz-leaning rendition of the Meghan Trainor hit “All About That Bass.” The video went on to earn more than 13 million YouTube views since it was posted last September. Naturally, this attracted serious label interest.
“I was lucky to have been a part of that,” Davis observes. “It opened a lot of doors as far as people who are potentially interested [in signing her]. My name and reputation changed because of that video. I was able to meet a lot of people in the music business and also connected with the guys at Concord. We got to talking and they were interested in the things that I was writing on my own. We spoke for a while and it seemed like I’d be a good fit with them.”
“My name and reputation changed because of that video.”
Davis doesn’t recall specifically how she was introduced to Concord, but feels that it was ably conjured up by her manager. “David Lai is wonderful,” the singer asserts. “He’s connected to many people in the industry. The good news is that meeting with Concord always felt like a comfortable, familial thing instead of a weird music business situation. I met with [label head] John Burk and others at the label in L.A. and they were eager for me to understand how they work. That was wonderful and it made my decision clear.”
Davis is currently writing material for her as-of-yet untitled album, which is targeted for a spring 2016 release. She continues to play a range of venues across New York City, including Lincoln Center for the centennial celebration of Frank Sinatra. She was also tapped recently to play the American Voices Concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. when the featured vocalist was taken ill. Her version of “I'm Gonna Lock My Heart” was featured on PBS’ Great Performances.
– Rob Putnam