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  • Smooth Jazz Network

Tommy Davidson: Behind the Beats

Each week we'll take you 'Behind the Beats' to learn more about the artists that play on our airwaves. This week: Tommy Davidson.


We featured Tommy Davidson in this past year's Behind the BEATS magazine alongside three others who have found success beyond music as he has also had a successful career as an actor and comedian. Only a portion was included in our magazine, so please enjoy the entire interview below. See the original article here.


Allen Kepler: How did you get introduced to ‘smooth jazz’?

Tommy Davidson: Well really all my life but but seriously started listening with my (INNER-EAR) when I was 13 (!) BUT it wasn't called that yet. I’d been exposed to it from artists like Al Jarreau, George Howard, Noel Pointer, Hiroshima, Patti Austin, Ronnie Laws, Roy Ayers, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Patrice Rushen, Freddy Hubbert, Donald Byrd, Wayne Henderson, the Blackbyrds, Bobbi Humphrey it goes on and on…but being in NYC starring in my first feature films did it.  CD IOI.9 did it and KACE IN LA! I was hooked. It fit my lifestyle, I could live with music and could work with music. I owe the group FATBURGER for every major role I got in TV and films commercials, cartoons to their song 'One More Time.” To this day, since 1988, that's my rehearsal song ...and I got 90 percent of the parts ..well back then lol.   


AK: What similarities (if any) do you find between acting and singing?

TD: Singing and acting are very closely related to me because both arts require you to reach a perfection point to perform them of drawing from natural experiences and weaving them into meticulous and organized expression. Singing relies on sensory and stimulus response to sounds heard and sounds desired to be heard FROM YOUR OWN VOICE. Very, very good singers will tell you they 'LOVE TO SING.’ Acting is based on emotion and experience ...recreating action seen or experienced  and seen done before you (as in front you in various performing arts plays commercials voice acting, of course television and film ect, even down to a puppet show) they both require the ability to recreate them with their respective crafts. Experience and practice allows you to perform them at a level that can be felt by its own or both audience. The Wizard of Oz is the best example I can think of that illustrates both points.   



AK:…and stand-up? For those who haven’t seen them, how do you work music into your standup performances?

TD: Music has always been a staple in my act that separated me from a lot of other comedians but it wasn't intentional. Comedy was a challenge from an old friend who thought i'd be one of the best comedians of all time because he thought I was the funniest person alive but it was already there. I’d been singing on highest level as a freakin 6 year old. Grown men were showing at my mom’s house asking if they could take me with them to a night club... I absorbed everything music every kind. I didn't even know I was doing impressions until an interviewer asked me how I learned them. They were all already there - Al Jarreau, Stevie Wonder, Sammy, Elton… ALL OF THEM.    


AK: How does your process in writing a song differ from writing a film script?

Tommy Davidson: Writing a song is fun, you're conveying one  idea… writing a script you're conveying a trillion ideas to make the one idea MAKE SENSE, lol, it's crazy!  But when you're done seeing it on screen is indescribable... it's like you recreated a slice of life on earth. You’re actually there!       


AK: Currently, how are you balancing your focus between acting, writing, singing and all of your various creative ventures?

TD: I go one project at a time even though it may occupy the same day, moment, month or week or even year...it's a part of who I am...IT'S  MY GREATEST LOVE. It's how I've learned how to live and love. It’s like the Carpenter’s said so sweetly and simple and lovingly, “we’ve only just begun ...white lace and promises…a kiss of luck and we're on our way..."❤️☮️🌍🌈🌞😊     


Keep up with Tommy Davidson on his website, here.



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Lee Lenka
Lee Lenka
6 days ago

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May 31

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