Treasure Davis Talks ‘Heart Flavored Summer’ EP, Stevie Wonder’s Outlook on Life and Creating Colors [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]
When Stevie Wonder tells you to call him, don't sleep.
Treasure Davis was shocked when the lauded singer came by for a visit while she was in a studio session listening to records created by another producer. Once the piano-playing man was in the room, she was urged to sing her "high school go-to" song, “Ribbon in the Sky,” which also happened to be a love ballad Wonder released in 1982. Needless to say, the Talking Book creator was impressed.
"He took me under his wing. He was like, 'Oh yeah, Treasure, I gave you my number. Call me.' I’m like, shoot [laughs]. He’s like, 'We need to work. Let’s talk about music,'" Davis tells The Boombox, beaming as she recalls the moment.
Not many artists, let alone newbies, can say they have Stevie Wonder's phone number in their contacts list. Davis, 27, may be a rising singer from Los Angeles, but she's hardly green when it comes to the music industry. The blonde beauty's face isn't as easily recognizable as the Beyonces of the world because she found her way doing more behind-the-scenes gigs before signing to Mark Pitts’ ByStorm Entertainment -- Miguel and Mali Music are her labelmates. Nicki Minaj, Keyshia Cole and Keri Hilson are just a few of the artists who've employed Davis as a background singer.
Now she's stepping into the spotlight. "I think everything up to this point has prepared me for this. So everything from working in an after-school program with kids -- that’s teaching you how to bring everybody together to one focus point," states Davis, who wants to write a children's book. "But as far as background singing with Nicki, you just see the production from the backside. You see the hard work people put in. You see the sleepless nights, and the 4:30 a.m. wake up calls and then still be prepared to pour your heart out on stage to the people that paid so much to come and share these moments with you. There is a sense of discipline that transcends everything."
There's an old Benjamin Franklin quote that goes, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." That's not the case for Davis, who has her self-discipline in check. The artist, who cites Marvin Gaye as an inspiration, already released a four-track EP, Heart Flavored Summer, in June, and is holed up in the studio crafting her debut album while most people are frolicking on the beach until September hits. The Luke Christopher-assisted track "Heart Flavored Sucker" is a gem on the EP that everyone can relate to -- those who are bitter and those who just want better. The singer realizes her relationship is at a standstill. "'Cause I don't wanna be the only one in love, only one in love / And I am not falling alone," she coos over the B.A.M.-produced banger. She's hurt, but knows her worth.
"It’s about a girl who has put everything on the table for someone who made it seem like it was the real deal but they were just in it for a temporary," she explains. "[Luke Christopher] said, 'Got a lot of love for you, I just never fell in it.' Those are the perfect combative lines, I guess you could say because that’s exactly who the girl -- myself -- is talking to. Somebody is like, 'I love kicking it with you and we have a great time but ah, yeah. About that.' I ain't the one. It’s just releasing those frustrations of giving everything to a situation."
Treasure Davis is eyeing a fall release for her debut LP, or as she dubs it "her journey." She invites the listener to follow the sound of her soulful voice as she discovers her worth, disregards dumb decisions in love and opts for the smarter route to personal growth. Let's not forget one of the most important aspects: it'll spark a groove.
So how will her Heart Flavored Summer EP differ from her full-length opus? "It will be more colors, that's for sure. There are two ways you can hear my music: you can hear my music and enjoy the musicality and the colors, and dance and groove and vibe or you can hear the stories that are in there," Davis says. "Whatever you pull from -- similar to Lauryn Hill's [The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill]. I think it took maybe, the first however many years I listened to it, I was just grooving. Then I listened to what she was saying. You can actually pull from these stories I tell and find whether it be strength or just finding yourself in it."
Certainly there are lessons to be learned from the songs she pens. Davis is excited for the masses to hear the Pop and Oak-produced track "Breaking Down," a picture she paints on the struggles of love. While fans can look forward to being inspired with her forthcoming body of work, she's looking back at the greats to do the same -- namely, Stevie Wonder. "With someone of that caliber, [he] still has so much fun. [He] Finds ways to have fun... he just enjoys every moment of what he does. He’s a character and it showed me you can have all these responsibilities and all of these things and still just be cool."
Lucky for her, experiencing that cool factor is just a phone call away.
Watch Treasure Davis' "The One" Video
See 20 Singers' Real Names Revealed