Aura Davis has had an interest in music and arts from a very young age, with experience in casting auditions and live shows. She wrote poems and novels at the age of 9, and then turned her back on art and creativity for a long time because of mental health struggles. At 22, she picked up her guitar again and continued where she had left it. As a grown woman, Aura has learned to deal with her inner demons in a healthy way. Writing has saved her life. Davis’ voice often gets compared to Christina Perri, Adele and Bonnie Raitt.
Hi Aura Davis! Let’s start with how did you get your artist name?
I was born with a beautiful, incredibly complicated Italian name. The fact that I needed to change my name for my music career was a no brainer. See, Laura Andracchio is bold and special but, do you know how to pronounce that? It was important to me for it to still be personal. I wanted a short, strong, and unusual sounding name that reflects who I am. All letters in “Davis” are letters in my parents’ names. I basically just played around with it until I found the Davis pattern. The Aura part was really simple. I just crossed off the first letter in my real name, which is Laura 😊
What city are you from and where are you based now?
I was born in Zurich and still live here in Switzerland, but not in the city. I actually live in the countryside of Switzerland. Foxes and cows are walking hand in hand here. It’s calm and gorgeous. I really like it. My life is very stressful sometimes – I always look forward to coming home after long trips on the road.
At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music? How did you get started?
I think I first realized I wanted to be a singer at 4, but it has been what it should be at that age, just a dream. I fell in love with singing because of my mom. She went crazy with her vocals in her car. I think one of the first songs that I actually sang along to was Roxette’s hymn, “Listen To Your Heart,” or it may have been an ABBA song. My mom was incredibly bold when it came to loud music…in a car…😊 It has always been important to my parents for me to have a proper education that will lead into a proper income, so music has not been something I saw myself pursuing in form of a career. It wasn’t on any radar I had in front of me growing up. I knew I loved it, but it has always been something “others do.” So, I sat on the outside looking in for a very long time, but the voice in my head saying, “that’s where you belong,” never really went away. Two years ago, I decided to jump. I left my long-term boyfriend and ran as fast as I could in order to get out of my comfort zone and start living the life I actually wanted. The life I am supposed to live. I have been writing all my life. Writing is the one constant I have in my life. I write every day, all the time. I write, even when I don’t. I just can’t stop it. I started when I was a child and continue until today. It just helps me cope with things, but I never wrote actual songs until I was 22, I guess. I picked up a guitar again after I went through a dirty, incredibly self-destructive, negative spiral phase, and I never put it down ever since. Most of my songs start out on just a simple acoustic or electric guitar and a pen in my hand. That’s what I did. I started to write songs and played them for my vocal coach that I had back then. He encouraged me to record some demos of my songs and that’s what we did. I’ve done the work, did the research, and started to send those demos out to industry people. That’s basically it.
Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how?
That’s an interesting question. I’d say yes, it definitely did. As mentioned before, I’m coming from a household with an enormously strong work ethic. My dad was a professional soccer player with southern Italian roots, and my mom was a force of nature when it came to fighting for her rights. Me on the other hand, I was a rebel at heart. We used to fight quite a lot at home. I moved out at 15 to explore this planet on my own – which didn’t always lead to the best decisions (but the stories are gold really haha). What I got from all this? I think that now, as an adult, I am able to combine both. A strong work ethic and a creative, wild lifestyle.
How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you?
Imagine Bonnie Raitt, Christina Perri, Adele, and The Cranberries spend a week in Nashville to write an album. That’s what you’ll hear when you listen to my stuff.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?
I work out a lot and I really mean a lot. When I had my first tough depression phase, I found my addiction for sports. I just run as if my life depends on it. It helps me to get sh*t out of my nervous system and helps me to stay focused. Now, I’ve got myself a treadmill at home and run an hour almost every morning. I don’t know, it has just became a habit. Besides working out, I also spend a lot of time travelling. Covid has made it hard these days, which is sad, but before the world got weird, I used to travel all the time. And I am hoping we will be able to go back to that one day.
Who are some of your main musical influences?
Well, vocally I am heavily inspired by Grace Potter and Taylor Momsen. Lyrically, I look up to Michelle Branch, Julia Michaels, or Taylor Swift. In terms of music that really affects me and has a big impact on everything I do, it’s bands like Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Katatonia or Soen. That feeds my soul and keeps me going. Daily.
What are some of your future music career goals?
I tend to not expose myself to goals that are too far away. Once thing I’ve learned about myself is that I am not exactly a patient person when it comes to my own stuff 😊 I need to achieve things quickly and efficiently, so I started to plan around baby step goals. And again, Covid isn’t helpful here. I started to put music out only two years ago, right before the pandemic hit. Therefore, I have never been able to bring my music on the road. I remember being in Mallorca (Spain) for recordings the day they closed the island – the plane I was on was the last one that was allowed to take off. That was a ghost flight, I swear. So, my next two baby step goals are definitely to finally bring my music on the road as well as keep writing my debut album 😊
Now onto your release, “What You Love.” What inspired this song?
“What You Love” is the first song that I have ever written in a perspective of a fictional character. Over the years, especially growing up, people painted this picture of me being this never-settling, not caring, man eating, selfish, and mad woman that you should stay away from. I wrote the original idea almost 4 years ago, and it was one of the songs that kind of “just happened.” I remember sitting on my couch, after having heard new gossip about me thinking “dirty little b*stard, that’s not what you said last night!” That was basically it. I grabbed my guitar and just started to mumble part of the chorus like “…I’m a mad, mad woman, but that is what you love about me…” I wrote the acoustic raw version of it in 20 minutes on my couch being really pissed (haha).
What is “What You Love” about in your own words?
It is exactly what it sounds (and looks) like. The song happened out of emotion and it happened really quick. I didn’t put that much thought into “what style” it would end up being – I just wrote it. So, I’d say it is very fierce, bold, unapologetic, wild, and teasing yet feministic. We tried to really bring in that female boldness with nuances of a charismatic yet fierce “f*ck you” attitude 😊
How did the music video for “What You Love” come about? What was your vision for the video?
I must be honest, there was absolutely zero planning for the video. Neither did we have a big budget or anything. I found these two incredibly talented young filmmakers from around here, and we ended up just shooting some scenes in the underground area of the railway station where we shot the cover art. The whole thing was shot in 47 minutes on a Saturday evening. Check their work out if you have a minute: www.visure.ch.
What message do you hope fans take away from your music and from “What You Love?”
Not to take opinions too seriously, sometimes. People always have and always will talk and gossip around – no matter what. You can’t change that and the sooner you make peace with that fact, the healthier your mind will be. What you can change is how you react to happenings like this. I decided to explore the character they drew of me and found an incredibly fun person behind it 😊
What’s one of your proudest moments of your music career so far?
My work recently got compared to Adele, The Cranberries, Christina Perri and Bonnie Raitt. This is like the most exciting compliment you could ever give me.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you’ve learned so far?
Intuition always knows best. When I started out, I didn’t know what was right or wrong. In this industry, everyone has a strong and loud opinion, and it is incredibly hard to distinguish who really acts in your best interest. I’ve trusted people who were more interested in my money than my creativity, and I did that back then because I simply didn’t know better. Two years and probably 287 calls and meetings with industry professionals from all over the word, I finally learned that if it doesn’t feel right, you’re free to go. Don’t listen to people you don’t really trust and definitely don’t listen and lean in to people who don’t care about your craft. Be open to everything, but know your worth and don’t sell your soul.
What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects that we should be on the lookout for?
I recently picked up discussions with a label in the UK. There are many doors opening for me, right now, and I am more than ready to embrace what’s behind them. I go with the flow now, since Covid still rules the world. What I can and will do is continue to work on my first album. Until then, I have 4 singles planned for 2022. Everything else is uncertain and depends on the flow 😊 Life can change any given minute. You just got to show up when it’s here.
Where can we follow you on social media?
Of course, I’ve got all the socials, but I am really active on Instagram. If you follow me there, you’ll get the closest possible insight into my life.
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/ch/artist/aura-davis/1510911009
Before you go, let’s ask you a couple of random questions:
What does a perfect weekend look like for you?
On Friday night, music until the early morning, then breakfast and a walk outside in the fresh air to start Saturday. Then a warm bath at home right before a short nap. When I wake up, I repeat that and throw in some Caesar salad or a big fat cheddar cheeseburger every now and then. Oh, and Netflix, before the nap, to start the same series for the hundredth time and never make it past the theme song.
In contrast to the serene imagery in the previous question, what is something that totally pisses you off or is a pet peeve?
I don’t know why, but I am allergic to people whistling. That sh*t makes me go crazy like I really hate you hahaha. Also, dry hands; the feeling of having dry hands. That annoys the hell out of me too.