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Conversations, stories and perspectives from returned citizens in Southwest Ohio

ReEntry Stories: Marketing A Passion For Music

Savon Davis 1.jpg
courtesy of Savon Davis
Savon Davis is a songwriter and music producer from Dayton.

Savon Davis is a songwriter and music producer from Dayton. He's been out of prison under a year and has successfully monetized his content by teaching himself social media management.

Transcript (edited lightly for length and clarity):

Mary Evans: What really got you interested in learning about social media management?

Savon Davis Well, what made me start with the marketing was, I was like, my city is not a big city, so the support is not really there. So I really didn't know what I was on to. And I was thinking... I thought about my marketing. It made my eyes go big because marketing is the biggest thing to an artist, marketing is bigger than the label, really, because the marketing is what the people see. You can have a label without the marketing and you were a nobody. So, a lot of artists sit on labels. They're not marketed. So I said, well, if I don't have the money because I'm fresh out of jail, obviously, I don't have the money to pay somebody else. So I'm gonna do it myself.

So every day I wake up and I'll first start off by making a song.

I'll try to make three or four songs a day and then hop on like Instagram or something and just post my Spotify links and say, listen, subscribe if you like it. I'll get on Facebook, post it all day long and I know you hatin to see it on a timeline. I keep posting it, keep tagging it. Facebook is a big market tool because you can look on a search part and put in a Spotify trade playlist and it's people that help each other, promote each other. So it's all about how far you want to take it and just open your mind with it.

Mary Evans: That's amazing. And you just taught me something new. I didn't know that I could do that in Facebook, going in and looking at trade lists and stuff like that. I think that's huge. And it's good to know people are actually supporting each other and trying to help everyone, you know, marketing and brands grow that way. So that's amazing. I’ve seen the streams that you've got on Spotify, congratulations for over 100,000 streams on your one video. In your one video, at the beginning of it, you have the news cast of when you were caught committing your crime. And what made you decide to put that in the music video?

Savon Davis Because the stuff I talk about in my music is it's all real. So I couldn't hide from it, you know, so my song was basically about what happened. So that was the the raw material to use for it.

Mary Evans I thought that was pretty noble thing for you to do, to just, you know, "Hey, this is what I did. This is who I used to be. And I'm taking all these situations and I'm creating content. And not only am I creating content, creating music, but I'm also using that to be sustainable for myself." How did COVID affect your music production process?

Savon Davis COVID was a gift and a curse, I always tell people. I believe, without the Covid, with all my shows being canceled over twenty shows, I probably would have been way farther right now. And then I say it was a gift because I have time. This is the time to hustle. It's going to show who the hustlers is. So all the music I’m supposed to have been making, we’re going to see about it next year. And this so it's going to be - it's a breakout year for me next year because of Covid

Mary Evans: Now that Savon has over 100,000 streams on Spotify, his goal for 2021 is to triple that number.

ReEntry Stories is created at the Eichelberger Center for Community Voices at WYSO.