Coming To Life With Young America’s Newest Renegade, Corey Davis [Interview]
Wednesday, August 11, 2010 by Team Greedmont | 12 Comments; | Category: Art, Design, Entertainment, Illustration, Interview, Rap
It’s all science. Talent, hard work, and patience creates something great. Most see the fruition of the great things that one is capable of in the final stages, they don’t see the in between. Well, until now. Corey Davis is one of the most promising contenders in young America.
Just finishing celebrating a twenty-fourth birthday in New York, Corey Davis has the credentials that some twice his age would envy. Half of the successful indie band Mach5, co-creator of the publication Greedmont Park, tattoo artist, graphic and fashion designer, and full-time smooth criminal. Corey in appearance might seem on the surface like your average, skateboard-friendly stoner, but that’s far from the truth. Corey Davis is a artist who has seemingly found a balance between art, business, and fun. I caught up wit him to talk about what exactly is the method of the madness and he simply came to life.
Atlanta is stamped like a UPS box with stickers shouting, ‘Who is Corey Davis?’. Some know, some think they know, but I decided to simply ask the question. ” I’m just a regular person, who likes to make art. While most people are out partying, I’m cooped up in my studio, drawing. That’s my idea of fun. I usually feel like I’m wasting time if I’m nothing doing something creative or productive. Hopefully, I just make my mark in history one day.” Corey isn’t just an artist full of hope, he’s doing everything in his power to make these hopes into realities. With a chic job with CreativeControl, video work with great indie bands, and the co-creator of the most noted new blog of the past two years, Corey is shaping to into a phenomenon with equally phenomenal work to show for it. Of course, who Corey Davis is now is only half the question. I’d probed Mr. Davis about his upbringing and childhood. “My life as a child was cool. We moved around alot, so I never really had a city to call ‘home’. By the time I was eighteen, we lived in a total of twenty-five houses, so I was forced to learn how to shed old friends and find new ones. In school I was never ‘the popular kid’, but somehow I still managed to know everyone. I never had a bully. Like my most of my peers we live on the border between being poor and middle class.”
In that border, he found a love of art, creation, and music. Corey reassured me that art was definitely his first love. “Definitely art. I wasn’t even interested in music until middle-school. But I’ve been drawing since I was three years old. In elementary school we would take art class, and even at a young age, I noticed my drawings looked better than everyone else. I received alot of praise from teachers, family and friends, and realized it was something I was good at.” Corey Davis is more than good, he’s shaping to be a premiere artist garnering amazing reviews. His original work garner thoughts of Takashi Murakami, Charles M. Schulz, and Kaws with a youthful energy and edge that is all his own.
It’s obvious that Davis has alot of fun with his art, but still takes it seriously. The relationship he has with art is a light-hearted one. It’s less like a serious marriage and more like a high-school sweetheart. “Art is just fun. That’s the only reason why I do it. Sometimes working with the same medium for a long period of time can get boring, so I’ll experiment with a new one. It’s something I’ve been doing for a long time. It requires alot of patience and discipline, so I have to find ways to keep it fun.” Finding new ways to keep it fun might be a challenge, but the end result is always fascinating and brilliant. From the religious to the sexual to the juvenile, Corey Davis’ art reaches all aspects of the human experience and culture without taking itself too seriously. Now, that we know that music is the main prerogative, the mistress that we’ll refer to as music still gets a fair share of attention. “I like making music because the message is more clear-cut, where the message behind some of my paintings and illustrations are up for interpretation of the audience. There’s less room for confusion with words.”
Corey is one-half of the Hip-Hop renegades known as Mach Five. The other half is his business partner and confidant, A.Ware. “A.ware is my best friend, we meet each other back in high school and instantly started recording music together under the name of Thailand. Sometime after graduation we decided to change the name to Mach Five, because we were both from the Midwest and used to tongue twist in most of our songs.” From a high-school Hip-Hop to a top-notch indie-pop act, Mach 5 is prepping for the release of their newest EP, ‘Double Dare EP’. “Our next project is called ‘Double Dare EP’, it’s the sequel to our first album together, ‘Stepchild EP’. It’s definitely one of our best joints, alot of bangers on it. We pretty much approached it with the same mentality we did with our first project, just imagine if the lonely, misunderstood kid from ‘Stepchild EP’ grew up to join a gang. It has features from Donnis and Nivea.” Great music isn’t the only thing Corey Davis and Aaron Ware teamed up on, they also are responsible for the pop-culture blog and publication, Greedmont Park. “It was two years ago when Aaron Ware and I came together to create a pop culture blog. We had one goal: capturing the essence of the all the things that we loved most. We wanted to cover everything from how we dress to what’s playing in our iPod to anything that inspired us on random. Eventually as time grew, it would attract the attention of two-hundred thousand faithful readers, and it was obvious that it was time we start thinking about expanding.” Expansion is an under-statement. Corey has crafted vehicles in the world of art that aren’t just successful, but thoughtful and genuinely great. With all of these responsibilities and hats to wear, handling it all must be hard, but Corey makes it seem like shooting fish in a barrel. “[...] Ultimately, I’d like to be known as a fine artist, but sometimes it can be so hard because people want to associate you with one thing. So, some people know me as Corey the tattoo artist, and others know me as Corey the rapper, where others might know me as Corey the photographer. I just want people to know me as Corey Davis.”
Never one to be negative, he’s gracious about everything to the point I had to wonder how he didn’t get swallowed by the pop-machine, yet. “I try to approach everything with a care-free attitude. Just deal with it and make it happen, those obstacles turn life into a journey. I try not to pay attention to haters. It’s pretty cliche, but there will always be haters. I’m flattered by it.”
It’s nearly impossible to keep up with all of Corey’s projects, but trying never hurt anyone. He spoke about future design and directing ambitions. “Yeah, I’m working on a few collaborations with a couple clothing companies. I’m also working on developing a new brand called BillyClint, we’re doing a little more than just clothing, but you can expect some cool things.” As far as directing, Corey has plenty of things under his sleeve. “I’m still learning alot about video and film-making. Eventually, I plan on making full feature films. Right now, I’m having fun making music videos and documentaries.” On anything else that could get Corey Davis fans excited in the near future, he responds surprisingly. “I basically do whatever I want. I can be pretty spontaneous, all of my endeavors aren’t extremely premeditated like alot of people think. I get a good idea, and if I’m obsessed with it I do it. I’m currently working on a series for my first solo show in New York. We just released the first issue of Greedmont Park Magazine, which has received a crazy response! I’ve also been working on a story for a graphic novel since early college and I’m really considering bringing that to life. I’m really enjoying making films right now, so expect more of that.”
Corey is all about the unexpected and bringing new ideas to life. He has one message to his supporters and fans, “Be inspired.” He’s taking this journey one step at a time and when asked where he’ll be in ten years, he laughs and replies, “Lord knows.” I’m hardly a deity, not a saint, not even friends with Kanye West, but it’s more than blatant that Corey Davis is fixing a comfy spot on top of the world.
- Myles E. Johnson
Images by Studio13
Styled and conceptualized by Myles E. Johnson/Photography by Pastiche