PoeticXposure.com: For those who may not know you, Who is Amarii Davu?
Amarii Davu: I’m a mix of life, poetry, rhymes, good vibes, storytelling, and Southern hospitality, man. The actual name Amarii Davu translates into “the beginning of a promise from God” and intend to deliver on that promise. Just know that when you hear ME, you’re hearing a vessel expressing on what I’ve been told to shed light upon.
PoeticXposure.com:What is your definition of Hip Hop?
Amarii Davu: Hip Hop is healing. It’s a lost Art that’s appreciated by many, but disrespected by TOO many. Hip Hop is the reason I’m still alive. I don’t think I’d have purpose if it wasn’t for Hip Hop.
PoeticXposure.com:You had a birthday this week, in which you released a new song off of your new project, Khepri. First, Happy birthday! I think it’s dope how you give to people on the day that most people expect to receive gifts.
Thank you! I had to give back. I try to do something musically on my birthdays. Last year I gave people the Cost of Melanin video. This year it was Joy & Pain
PoeticXposure.com: Secondly, How did you come up with the concept for “Joy and Pain?”
Amarii Davu: I came up with the concept for Joy & Pain about three years ago. Keep in mind that most of these songs are old to me, but new to y’all. But I wanted to shed light on some things in my life that most people would consider as flaws or hindrances and show that you can flip any bad experiences in your life into a joy. It also came from a dream where Pac visited me. He told me that the only way I’d survive in this world was if I was able to flip my pains into joys. I’m just passing on the message to y’all.
PoeticXposure.com: How did you come up with the title for Khepri?
Amarii Davu: The title Khepri means a lot to me. Haha. So my middle name is Capri, right? Khepri is pronounced the same way. Khepri is the name of an Egyptian god that was responsible for moving the sun across the sky. The name translates into “one who is coming into being”. I used to hate my name until someone told me this info. On top of that, this entire project is about me coming into myself as a man and as an Artist while also discussing the events that got me to this point of evolution.
PoeticXposure.com: Speaking of events, you performed at SXSW this year. How was that experience?
Amarii Davu: SXSW was life. That was biggest crowd I’ve performed for and they rocked with me. There was so much love in Austin. It was just a different kind of energy there than other places I’ve performed. Outside of performing, Austin is just a dope place to be. Still wanting some Torchy’s Tacos.
PoeticXposure.com:Who do you consider some of the pioneers that have influenced your music and your sound?
Amarii Davu: Tupac, Jay-Z, Nas, Ice Cube, Snoop, A Tribe Called Quest, Outkast and that’s just naming a few. Each of these artists have something about them that I can see myself in.
PoeticXposure.com: Going out on a limb here, speaking of pioneers. At the beginning of “Joy of Pain,” you mentioned JayZ coming to you in a dream. Can you elaborate on that dream?
Amarii Davu: Yeeeeea! Man. Jay came to me in a dream, bruh. It was crazy. I had stopped making music for three years. I completely said “fuck music,” you know? And Jay-Z told me in this dream that he liked my music, but that it was missing ME. He told me that the only way people would connect with my music was if I was able to be metaphorically naked and expose myself to people in my lyrics. He said “Don’t worry about being the best, just be honest.” and that made me start writing again. Years later those tracks would turn into Khepri. I realized that with my first project, “6:15 DayDreamsz”, I was too worried about being the hardest nigga out. I wasn’t worried about telling my story. Now I am and my music feels different. A good different.
PoeticXposure.com: Do you have those types of dreams often; and if so, have any other famous rappers come to you in your dreams?
Amarii Davu: I have so many damn dreams about people coming to me. Pimp C visited me, Tupac visited me…and every time I have one of these dreams, it’s always something that completely alters the way I look at and create music.
PoeticXposure.com: It’s interesting that I’m doing this interview on the day that Cole released his album. You’re on my list of favorite artists right along with Cole. So, to me, this is beautiful. In light of J Cole’s new album release, “4 Your Eyez Only,” I know that J Cole has influenced you a lot. Have you heard the album? If so, what do you think? If not, Are you looking forward to it?
Amarii Davu: I’m glad that I can be listed in a high regard like that. I haven’t heard the album! But I know Cole delivers. Usually my tribe does listening parties for new albums so I’m waiting for everyone to link up. That “Everybody Dies” joint has been on repeat since the video got released. He pissed off people with the “False Prophets” joint. I’m expecting a lot of soul and thought-provoking words with this album.
PoeticXposure.com: You said tribe. I know that you recently recorded a song called “The Tribe.” What is your definition of a tribe?
Amarii Davu: Your tribe is the collective of individuals you naturally gravitate towards. It’s the like-minded people who support your dreams and you support theirs. Your tribe is your family even if y’all don’t have the same blood. Your tribe is your support system. You build with your tribe, you know?
PoeticXposure.com: I’ve been keeping up with your work. You are an advocate for Mental Health, especially Mental Health in the African-American community. Tell me more about your work.
Amarii Davu: Thank you for staying up on me. I really appreciate that. I am definitely a mental health advocate. I want to help people. I realize that’s my purpose in this world. To help. So I don’t mind speaking out about mental health awareness especially in my own community because we don’t talk about it enough. Look at Kanye and Cudi. They are direct results of us NOT speaking about mental health until it’s too late. What I am doing now is The Hopeless Blueprint.
PoeticXposure.com: Your song Hopeless is amazing. It touched on a lot of subjects that we often are told not to talk about. From that, Hopeless Blueprint was birthed. What exactly is the Hopeless Blueprint?
Amarii Davu: It’s a mental health initiative designed to help people share their stories about mental illness on camera and normalize the conversation on mental health. I’ve lost a friend to suicide, I’ve dealt with friends not feeling like their worth being happy because of mental illness, you know? It’s insane. I personally deal with Bipolar Disorder and Depression. I understand. I want people to know that you’re worth being alive and happy and that it’s ok to have a mental illness. In fact, it makes you dope that you are HERE fighting through your pain, getting up when you don’t feel like it, and living. I want people to know that it gets better at the end of it all. It really does.
PoeticXposure.com: How can someone who wants to be a part of this awesome movement get in touch with you?
If you want to be a part of The Hopeless Blueprint, please check out the WordPress page and review the videos [That are currently] up. The instructions are on the page and I definitely look forward to your stories. Let’s change the discussion!
PoeticXposure.com: Where can we find your music?
Most of my music can be found on my Soundcloud, but I also have videos on YouTube and music on Spotify, TIDAL, iTunes, and all other streaming services.
PoeticXposure.com: You recently joined RAWartists. You have a show coming up with them. Tell me more about it.
Amarii Davu: I love RAWartists. I’m excited about my show on Dec 21st at The City Winery in Nashville. Their showcases are a mixture of music, art, fashion, etc. It’s an organization that’s truly for the artists and by the artists. They have showcases in all 50 states and outside of the country so I’m looking forward to doing more showcases with them!
PoeticXposure.com: It’s been a pleasure interviewing you and I can’t wait for this project to come out. Do you have a release date in mind?
Amarii Davu: Just keep your eyes open. I hate giving dates haha.