September 25, 2017

Hotel Living

Mr. Carter Davis’ DIY recording tour and upcoming show

Fittingly, it was the song “Hotels (TK)” that sent local musician Mr. Carter Davis on a tour around the U.S. and pushed him onto the national scene. After Spotify featured his first single in their Discover Weekly playlist, the song quickly racked up more than 100,000 listens. For his debut album (coming in early 2018) Davis took an unconventional approach: recording demos in Apple stores across America, sometimes showing up unannounced. The adventure was more than 7,500 miles roundtrip, beginning and ending at his home base here in Dallas.

Now that he’s back in town, we chatted with Davis in advance of his upcoming show this Saturday at Gas Monkey Bar N Grill. —Jewels Clark 

Where do you collect the inspiration for your music?
My inspiration comes from the emotions that I’ve experienced—from day to day, relationships, life in general, the hustle and bustle of life… Then I look at the emotion itself: Why do I feel happy or sad or lonely or apathetic? Those emotions and questions give me the inspiration to write.

You toured the across America playing Apple stores, where did this idea come from?I have random ideas that pop into my head all the time, whether they are marketing or just good ideas that get my name out there. My goal is to create music for the rest of my life, so when I wake up that’s the first question I ask myself. How do I keep doing this? So these ideas come to me all the time. It started with one Apple store and expanded from there.

“Hotels (TK)” received a lot of recognition on Spotify. How did you react when you heard the news?
It was funny. I had just finished a book and that was very specific about not being too tied to accolades or criticism. As the song jumped up in listens and
followers every day, I would think, well, this is cool. It’s part of my dream coming true, but I didn’t want to get too caught up in it because everything ends. Or who knows—it might get even bigger. Either way, it feels great to have an impact on people’s lives. That’s the purpose of my music.

How did the creative process begin with this album?
It started back in January 2016 when I started planning for it. I had to look at Apple stores in the cities I was traveling to and then think of a song I’d written that worked well with the city. I also had to make sure there was a good flow to the album. Essentially, I started with the finished product and worked backwards.

How has being from Dallas affected your music?
I love Dallas. Its art scene is a great community and has given me a reason to create music. Though it doesn’t directly impact my creative process, I have a lot of friends here that are also part of the music scene and I want them all to succeed. I believe that Dallas is easily in the top ten cities with the most musically talented people in the world.

Anyone in particular?
I’d recommend Garrett Owens, Medicine Men Riot, and Alex Harris. Go support Dallas artists! And, of course, keep an eye out from my album and upcoming shows.

The Details: GMBG’s Looney Tuunes Local Music Fest at Gas Monkey Bar N Grill, 10261 Technology Boulevard East. Saturday, September 30, 12—10 p.m. Mr. Carter Davis headlines at 9:15 p.m. Free admission. Click here for tickets and the full festival lineup. 

Photo | Mr. Carter Davis