As a writer — for some big platforms — Incan assure you that inbox is nothing less than nauseating. I am constantly inundated with requests to check out and give some pen game to new records of varied quality. As corny as it sounds, standing out does make all the difference as I arbitrarily decide how to dedicate my daily attention span.
Singer/producer Donavon gets it. The young Brooklyn-based artist offered to send anyone who gave two-cents on his latest track “Arora” two-cents (via PayPal)— and homie paid out! “I have a bunch of friends who are journalists, and they’ll get a 1000 email a day,” he said on a phone call with me earlier this month, “you should appreciate that someone’s taking to listen to your shit.”
“Like, if you saw that as a subject line on an email, what would you have to lose?” he asked me, rhetorically. “You know, like why wouldn’t I click on that shit?”
Pretty slick ice breaker; and once I pressed play, I realized that the music fire — this kid is talented as hell. What began as a post on Reddit spilled over to emails, which is how it eventually floated on my radar. As an artist, Donavon is a lot like (early) Weeknd in a way; he has a shadowy persona that’s devoid of identifiable characteristics, yet he does have a past, which is easily searchable (with a few hints of course).
“Everybody knows what everybody is like [personality wise] and what they look like before they put out a song — so it’s cool to pull back from that a little bit.”
Originally performing under the name Don Scott, he was signed to a major label and shared management with Fetty Wap and Shaggy.
Unfortunately, like many similar situations it didn’t quite work out; there are no hard feelings, though. “I still do production stuff for them … I wrote [for] a bunch of artists there, and got a bunch of production points.” The situation, though, has prompted Donavan to approach this new chapter in his career by himself.
Fast-forward to “Arora.”
“I originally wrote and produced the song [Arora] to send to Jeremeh, but it ended up not going anywhere,” he explained to me. “That’s common when you’re trying to get production or writing placements.”
One of the unique parts of his creative process is that he’s putting a lot of thought process into creating content in tandem with visual concepts; “the director of that video we work closely.” Donavon continues to explain that the game plan is to “put out visual after visual … I’m focused on putting out videos because it’s just only thing I want to do now.” His thought process is that having a video be the first thing people see has an infinitely higher chance of resonating off the bat.
“Like you said you get a million songs a day in your email,” he tells me coyly, “and, they can all be monotonous sometimes … but a visual could help cut through [the clutter]. That’s where I’m at.
A former SoundCloud employee — and A&R — to be exact, who was effected by the last round of layoffs, he saw the writing on the all for using streaming audio platforms as your main hub, as opposed to video, which accounts for the highest percentage of general internet engagement.
At the end of the day, Donavon’s visual for “Arora” is compelling and worked to peak my interest in his career and the mysteriousness of his artistic persona.
Check out the video below, and follow his Twitter. His next visual is dropping end of summer.