Aura Davis: “You need to fall sometimes, to be able to learn and grow”

A prominent figure in the international music scene, you could describe Aura Davis as a globetrotter musician, a talented singer and songwriter not afraid to bring her artistry around the world. Based in Switzerland, Davis frequently travels to the UK, collecting a plethora of gigs that often see her performing with an acoustic guitar and her evocative, powerful vocals. 

‘Emotionally Unavailable’ – Davis’ latest EP – offers a glimpse into Aura’s recorded material, contextualising each song with a full production. An eclectic blend of punchy rock, emotional tones and pop lyricism will greet the keen listeners, allowing them to lose themselves in Davis’ transformative and comforting lyricism.

Intrigued by the project, we caught up with the Swiss talent to find out more about her artistry and future goal. interview below!

Hey Aura, how is it going? some of our readers might not be familiar with your project, how would you describe yourself, in a few words?

I’m a stray soul from the birthplace of rock’n’roll. I love guitars, bass and drums and care the most about lyrics and storytelling.

Your current work is the result of a long journey; What first drew you to making music?

It literally saved my life. I write because it helps me make sense of the world. It helps me, when I can’t speak. This EP is the end of my beginning. I started to work on a full-length debut record with a great team in London last year and the new music sounds a lot different. It’s so much more “me” than anything else I’ve done before. But I wanted to “close” the first chapter of my artist journey properly, which is why we decided to release EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE as an EP to honour the songs we did alone, in our home studio with no one else involved.

Photo: Dominik Brunner

If you had the opportunity to pick any artists in the world for a collaboration, who would be your first choice? (and second choice, perhaps?)

Kelsea Ballerini, Melissa Etheridge, Steven Wilson & The Pretty Reckless (that’s more than two, I’m sorry) haha. But those are my main influences and the people I look up to the most when it comes to music.

You have just released a stunning EP, ‘Emotionally Unavailable’, collecting past singles and brand new material. We particularly appreciate the acoustic versions, which really showcase your powerful and evocative vocals. Do you feel more at home in stripped-down settings or full-band environments?

Uff, that depends on the day, to be honest. I love to play acoustic because that’s where and how my songs are born. I write on either an acoustic or electric guitar, but mainly all alone with no band involved. So playing stripped is the most “natural” way of playing for me. It’s how I write. It’s where it all begins. But there’s no doubt about the fact that a full-band scenario kicks ass a lot more when it comes to energy. So… I really enjoy both scenarios for different reasons I’d say.

Do you feel more confident writing music alone, or within a team?

I’m quite an introvert and until there was music, I wasn’t good at anything that happens in a team. Let’s put it like this: I always write. No matter the circumstances. I write even when I’m not writing (laughs). And I like to be prepared when I bring ideas into a room in a writing session with others. It’s important to me that I understand what I’m actually trying to say in a song. So… I enjoy writing alone in the beginning – because it helps me to really dig deep into my feelings. But once I passed that point, I really enjoy bringing my ideas into a room full of other creative writers to really get the most out of it. Because let’s be honest, different perspectives sometimes work magic on your own feelings. And outside input has the power to lift up a song in ways you probably wouldn’t be able to achieve alone.

Is there any particular theme you find yourself writing about quite often? What inspires you to take up the guitar and write a song?

I write about depression and mental health quite often. That’s because I’ve been suffering from depression for most of my life. Writing about it often helps to find meaning behind my feelings. It may sound cliche, but it is a form of therapy. But apart from that, I write about anything that makes me feel something. The good and the bad. The fun and the sad. It’s mostly very autobiographical.

Sometimes, I write in third person experience too. ‘Haunt Me’, for example, is written from the perspective of my mom.

‘What You Love’ is instead written from a third person perspective too. But more in form of a made-up person. It started because there were some rumours going around about me for the longest time and very little about it was actually true. After the first attack of being mad about what they said, I actually started to think that… the person they were making up actually sounded kinda wild to me and I would love to hear what that person would say if she could talk. And so I wrote a song from her perspective – even if “she” doesn’t really exists.

Photo: Hans Jurg

Artistically speaking, what challenges have the last two years presented you with?

Finding the right people to work with. This industry is really confusing and complex and it’s incredibly hard to determine who’s really on your side and who is not. Also, it’s full of scams. Everyone calls themselves an A&R and everyone has a label and tries to sell you something. I’ve had 100+ calls and meetings with this kind of people and I did fall into some traps along the way. But I guess that’s just part of the process of being an independent artist. You need to fall sometimes in order to be able to learn and grow.

What are the next steps for your project? Anything exciting on the horizon?

My debut record is right around the corner. This is the best damn thing I’ve ever created and I am so so so excited about it. We will release it in the summer and I can’t wait for the world to hear it. It’s a pure “rock meets Nashville” kinda album. The first single out of it will be released in spring. If you want to follow along, make sure to check my social media (mainly Instagram) for all the details. Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview. It’s been fun.


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