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Online video tutorial-taught guitarist gets organic

By Dargan Thompson, Contributing Writer

Two years ago, Brice Davis decided to buy himself a guitar and start practicing.

Davis, a UNF nutrition senior, now performs around Jacksonville and is recording his first full-length album, “Organics,” which will drop in December. One would never guess that he began his musical career by watching YouTube videos to learn guitar and piano.

Davis describes his music as acoustic soul and said his influences include Jack
Johnson, Justin Nozuka and various “weird underground bands.”

Jahzeel Villanueva, a UNF nutrition senior who has been following Davisʼ music from the beginning, said his music is hard to describe.

“Weird isnʼt the right word,” she said, “but itʼs got a different vibe and feel to it.”

She said she likes his music because Davis writes it all himself and the lyrics are really personal.

Davis, who works at the UNF On Campus Transition program, said he writes his lyrics to express himself and to connect with listeners. He said he is more focused on giving his lyrics depth and detail than on writing catchy songs.

This past summer, he was chosen through a News4Jax contest to go to Orlando and audition for reality TV show “The Voice.” He said it was a good experience, though he was cut in the second round.

“Along with you being really nervous and stuff, they make you wait for hours,” he said. “You go in with groups of like 10 people, so you have to audition in front of other people, too. Itʼs kind of awkward.”

Davis was surprised to discover his music had become popular in the Philippines.

“I had these DJs contact me,” he said. “I guess they had somehow come across my
Facebook page or YouTube.”

Davis said one of the DJs told him she had a lot of requests for his music and wanted to play it on her radio station. He sent her a few of his songs and later heard them playing on a Filipino radio station online, he said.

“Iʼve got a really weird foreign following,” he said.

After just a year of performing, Davis said he plans to pursue a career in music. He wants to get signed to a label but hasnʼt found one that works for him.

“Iʼve been offered a couple record deals, but they havenʼt fit where I want to go with music, and Iʼm not willing to compromise,” he said.

He said he will ideally find a label that suits him and start touring.

“I donʼt even care if I make big money or anything,” he said. “I just want to be able to play music and travel.”

Michael Olberding, a UNF advertising senior who is producing Davisʼ album, said he thinks Davis could go far in the music industry. He said Davis is a talented musician.

“When he sings, I barely have to do anything to his voice,” he said, referring to the recording and producing process.

In the meantime, Davis is finding ways to balance music with school and his job at the UNF On Campus Transition program.

Email Dargan Thompson at [email protected].

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