A Shining Light: A Chat With Singer-Songwriter Davina Leone

Find something you love to do, that makes you feel good about yourself, and stick to it.
— Davina Leone

Emily Koopman: You're a celebrity ambassador for one of my favourite charities, Defeat the Label. What made you want to become involved with them, specifically?
Davina Leone: I've always been passionate about putting an end to bullying. In high school, I was bullied for just showing up to school and being myself. I think it's important for people to be aware that anyone can be bullied, and that's why I think Defeat The Label has such an important message because they promote breaking away from the categories people can put you in just by your outside appearance.

Emily: What is your advice for young people suffering from low self-esteem or being bullied?
Davina: Find something you love to do, that makes you feel good about yourself, and stick to it. Make sure it's healthy and benefits your well being. Doing activities that reinforce the aspects you love about yourself will in turn make you feel more confident. The more confident you are, the easier it will be to block that negativity you could be receiving from school or people. And do not be afraid of that "block" button on social media sites!

Emily: On Facebook, some of your influences include Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, and John Mayer. Is there someone would you would particularly like to work with from a writing standpoint?
Davina: Definitely John Mayer! I've been a huge fan of his songwriting and guitar playing since my dad showed me his first CD when I was 13! He is truly talented and it would be a dream to write or duet with him.

Emily: What's something no one knows about you?
Davina: I'm studying towards getting a degree in psychology!

Emily: You can sing in so many different languages! How did you manage to learn them all before the age of 20?
Davina: Well my parents are French (as well as my whole family) and they came to America right before my older brother Jon was born. So growing up we always communicated in French. We also go to France every year to see my family so we have to know how to speak French! I also was born and raised in Miami, and knowing Spanish living there is a HUGE plus! I was just immersed in languages from a young age.

Emily: How would you describe your sound to someone unfamiliar to your music?
Davina: I'd say acoustic pop!

Emily: What is a typical day in the studio like for you?
Davina: A typical day would probably start with working on arrangements and production which usually takes about 3-4 hours. Then we'd record vocals which would take about an hour or two depending on how many harmonies are in the song! It depends on what we're working on, but usually days at the studio are super relaxed and a lot of hours.

Emily: Is there an artist you'd like to tour with? Why?
Davina: I'd have to go with John Mayer again! I've been a fan of his for so long and I'd be honored to open for him. I admire his music and talent and listening to that set every night wouldn't be so bad either.

Emily: If I'm not mistaken, your latest single is called “Perfectly”. What is your definition of “perfect”?
Davina: My definition of "perfect" is having flaws! I think flaws are beautiful because they make us our own little individual custom selves. I also think being comfortable in one's own skin makes someone perfect.

InterviewsEmily Koopman