David recently graduated from Belmont University with a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies. He is pursuing an artist career and focusing on songwriting.
How would you describe your sound?
It’s soulful… soulful pop music. Right now my influences are John Legend, Amos Lee, Sam Cooke and Otis. A lot of people say “Oh man your voice sounds like Maroon 5, Adam Levine or Justin Timberlake.” So, I guess that’s hidden there as well.
Do you write your own music as well?
Yes, that’s a big part of what I kind of do down here.
What inspired you to start writing?
Well, I started writing when I was younger. I’d write just a ton of raps and then kind of found out I could sing around twenty. I started singing in bars and people were like “man, you’re pretty good!” So, I kept going and really festered out.
I realized this is just what I have to do. So, I did, and it just pursued me right back! That’s been a big lesson in life for me - do what pursues you, as a motto. Even if I try to stop right now, like, say I don’t want to write anymore, it’s going to pursue me, people are going to call me and want to write. I can’t let it go and that’s a good position to be in. I’m moving forwards not backwards. That motivates me I guess.
Yeah, is there anything you do to keep yourself motivated?
Nashville is a great city for an artist to stay motivated. Everywhere you go - everybody you know - is in music and you know that they’re doing it. You know that your neighbor is working on it right now and you feel like, okay, I gotta keep writing, gotta keep working hard. I also think to myself “you know, there’d be a million people who would love to be in the position I’m in right now” all that keeps me going.
Have you ever had doubts about pursuing music?
You kind of go through waves, where there’s one moment you think “there’s no way, I could never do this!” Then you go through little writer’s blocks or you feel like your voice isn’t good because you’re hearing other singers. You’re constantly comparing yourself and that’s when it can get really bad - you start to doubt why you’re here.
The thing that gets me through is a support team. I have friends who build me up, they pick me up. If I doubt myself and don’t want to play a show, they’ll book a show me in on it. They will force me to do what I came here to do. It’s been a big help.
Then I’ve turned around and helped those exact same people. I think a support group is necessary.
Is your family supportive of your career choice?
My mom and dad were kind of skeptical at first but, my sisters were always super supportive of it.
My mom still wants me to be safe and have a job that pays; she wants me to get a “suburb” lifestyle. It’s just not my goal.
My goal, THE GOAL, is to do what makes me happy. It takes work and you don’t realize that at first. You think you’re just going to come here, sing in front of somebody, and one day and they’ll say “that’s what we wanted!” You don’t realize that you have a long ladder to climb.
Where do you see yourself going in five or ten years?
I want to have a great brand that people recognize. It’s going to be David Duvall, which is what my dad’s last name was before he was adopted, so that’s like my blood last name. I’m working on that.