Melodic. Smooth. Engaging. Brilliant.
These are just a few of the words used to describe the voice of 27- year-old William Davenport after a sold out performance in Oakland last week.
A native of Decatur, Georgia, he moved to Nashville to pursue a degree in Architectural Engineering. After completing four years of the five-year program he knew he wasn’t happy with the direction his life was going.
“I feel like being passionate about something is what carries you through,” said Davenport. “I wasn’t passionate about engineering, I liked the money I’d make.”
In 2009, with only 18hours left to complete his degree, he put school to the backburner and decided to solely focus on his music, performing at various places in Nashville to perfect his craft.
But by age 23 he still wasn’t signed and instead of being on BET, he was watching it. He says he was embarrassed and became extremely hard on himself. But it was this process that helped him become the musician that he is today.
“Sometimes, you make it to the level not because of praise, but because of frustration,” he said. “Having confidence and believing in yourself is only half the battle. Being satisfied with who you are can take you so many places.”
Davenport has since been featured in BET’s Music Matters campaign and has opened up for artists such as Raheem DeVaughn, Laura Izibor, and India Arie. He also co-starred in the play, “A Mother’s Prayer,” with Johnny Gill, Robin Givens, Jermaine Crawford, and Shirley Murdock, which featured on BET.
Moving forward, Davenport has teamed up with well-known Bay Area promoter Lionel Bea, who has worked with such artists as Chris Rock, D.L. Hughley and Jamie Foxx. He says his willingness to go through the process to have a music career – and not just become a one-hit wonder – is why Bea is willing to work with him. He recently opened up for Charlie Wilson at the Paramount Theatre.
And while each performance brings a wave of praise, Davenport says he feels he has yet to sign a major deal because he is unwilling to compromise.
“I want to be able to write my songs, put real music out, put songs out that aren’t two and three chords,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been given a gift” and with that gift comes responsibility.
To find out more information about William Davenport or to listen to his recordings, visit www.iamwilliamdavenport.com