Category Archives: Spotlight

Spotlight On: Jon Davis

Our spotlight today will be on a conscious musician out of New York City. Jon Davis is a classically trained artist that beliefs in the empowering side of mainstream music.

Jon told us via email how it is his goal to “to inspire people to connect to a greater inner spirit of positivity, and inner growth, and challenge the constructs that all commercial music has to be unidimensional and focus only on indulgence rather than love and growth.”

What issues drive you or motivate you to write a song?

I’m a big advocate for spiritual health, and mental wellness. I believe that mainstream music too often focuses on negative emotions, and reactivity. Life isn’t perfect and art has a responsibility to capture all layers of the experience; however people still need art that reflects hope, even in the expression of pain. I look to modern day artists like Sia, P!NK, and Lady Gaga who have managed to bridge the gap between the mainstream media and lyrical substance. I also pull a lot of my inspiration from Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, and Freddie Mercury.

Both the substance of the music and substance of the artist inspires the listener to think creatively about about life. That to me is the ultimate accomplishment a musician can have, commercial success while still inspiring thought and substance in your music.

I focus on love and inner power in my music. I aspire to create music that communicates honestly to the listener, while shedding light on both the romantic and undesirable side of the journey to self discovery, the thrashing pain when dreams don’t manifest in the way we were promised they would as children, and the draw to continue pursuing an ideal even after defeat and disappointment. 

Ultimately, my goal is for my music to push people to go inward and listen to the little voice inside more than the enormous and subduing voice of the collective, which is why there is a blend of commercial sounds mixed with “anthematic” and “rallying cry” inspirations. I try to always express my emotions openly while showing the inner struggle to push past the voices of doubt, shame, guilt, and feelings of unworthiness. 

Do you partake in any sort of activism outside the music?

I donate music to an organization called Songs of Love which writes custom music for terminally ill children. As a performer and writer, the most challenging thing to give away is energy and time, but it’s also the most impactful thing a person can give. Donating music for such a compassionate cause keeps me humble and pulls me out of the egocentric, and often negative reality of working in the music industry.

It reminds me that despite all the challenges, this whole profession is about touching people, even if only for 3 minutes, and that momentary disruption in the day to day can save lives. It brings us freedom from the confusion and disappointment of reality, and makes life more interesting, manageable, and ultimately conquerable. 

Check out more of Jon’s music on his webpage: https://www.officialjondavis.com/music

4 Bangin’ Antifascist Albums For The End Of Summer

Future You by The Mommyheads

The Mommyheads are an indie-prog-pop band who were signed and sacked by a large record label in the late 90’s and who developed a pretty big cult following during that same decade. They split. They got back together. Now they are just about to release a new album, their twelfth effort, and supposedly it is quite the political piece. In any case, it is a stunningly entertaining album. I caught up with Micheal from the band and he said that this political roll they are on started two albums back:

“Our second-to-newest album, Soundtrack to the World’s End, is full of warnings about the profound sickness of industrialized society, and its destruction of the Earth. Our newest album, Future You, expands on those societal and environmental alarms, and adds political ones, by feeling into the fascist, nationalist currents creeping across our world.”

“Our new, political songs aren’t polemics that hit you over the head with one-dimensional messages. They are thoughtful explorations of contradictions in contemporary life that hope to arouse complex questions and emotions, not give easy answers.”

The Mommyheads will be touring Scandinavia and the eastern part of US this autumn so stay tuned through mommyheads.com.

Drowning In Shit by Spichard Rencer

This album has four tracks totaling a length of 2:14 minutes. This is extremely powerful grindcore. More importantly it drips empathy and anger towards the state of the world today. Check this band out if you’re into this sort of thing. If you can’t handle the music, read the lyrics and count your blessings that there are creative people out there standing up for the rest of us.

Avoc – Hassis, Flows and Schlappen by Absoluth

This album is a year old but we just had to include it when we heard the old school style, bangin’ hip hop beats with political German spoken lyrics. This band is pure joy. Blast this for your end of summer fiesta and never look back.

Pull The Plug EP by Jow Goddard (ft. Kool Keith)

“AF Trax’s message is very simple. The far right ultimately wish for the destruction of our way of life and indeed the lives of many of the people we love. The message is love. The message is solidarity. The message is No Pasaran – They shall not pass. It is a call to stand together, it is a call to stand up, it is a call to ACT. Individually we may be powerless, but together we are strong.

If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention!

All label profits will be donated to Hope Not Hate (www.hopenothate.org.uk) which campaigns to counter racism and fascism. ” – from the album’s Bandcamp page

4 Fresh Contemporary Protest Albums

The world is burning. Lucky for us though, there are creative people out there making beautiful things in the fire. Here are 5 contemporary protest albums fresh out of the oven for you to kick around to.


Guilty As Anybody by Declan Kennedy

‘Guilty As Anybody’ is well executed mixture of pop rock and folk music by a young Chicago-native who currently resides in Nashville. From the swingin’ Common Crime to the acoustic and very honest Warning Signs to the sociopolitical examination that is the title track, Declan explores all sides of himself as well as the environment around him in what is an extremely catchy and enjoyable solo album.

For people in Nashville there will be a record release show at The Cobra on August 4th, with some special guests, so check that out.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2337408499873844


A Toast To The Rich & Powerful by Father Fury

“Father Fury is an anarchist priest-fronted rock n’ roll band from Georgia.” We have nothing to add to this. Just check it out.


Slacktivist by Amy Naylor

Amy Naylor is a singer-songwriter with a passion for the world around her and how to use positivity and frequency to affect and perhaps change it.

As a certified music educator she uses her talent to teach people to play the Humber Taiko, she works with adults and children with special education needs, gives songwriting workshops as well as being part of several different music projects and collectives.

Her new album ‘Slacktivist’ explores identity, social relationships, the environment, politics and more aspects of this world. A highly listenable and chilled out album that shows a mature and experienced artists using her voice to the best of her talent.


Psychopaths and other Tails by Muddy Summers and the Dirty Field Whores

This veteran group uses haunting vocals and a variety of instruments mixed with humorous lyrics to tackle current issues in the UK and elsewhere.

“The musical melange draws in left-bank swing, Balkan gypsy dreamscape, jazz waltz fusion and cowgirl reggae-hop all bound together with sentient political verse with a razor edge that feels no need to growl before it bites.” – Graham, Macstock Organiser