“Five Minutes With” Toronto Retro-Soul Artist Claire Davis

Toronto retro-soul artist Claire Davis, and former lead vocalist of seven-piece funk ensemble YUKA, shares her debut solo EP Thrive, due out on July 16, 2021. A soulful soundtrack of heartbreak and love, the five-track EP sees Davis step into her own as an artist and performer, featuring her signature powerhouse vocals accompanied by airtight grooves. The collection of analog recorded songs bring ‘60s and ‘70s soul influences like Aretha Franklin and Al Green into the present; following in the musical footsteps of retro revivalists like Amy Winehouse.

Davis developed her love for soul and R&B early, learning to sing lead and background vocals in her high school’s 12-piece Motown R&B band in her hometown, Victoria, British Columbia. Moving to Toronto in 2008, Davis joined the renowned African roots choir “The Nathaniel Dett Chorale”, and went on to pursue a Bachelor of Music Degree from Humber College. Carving out her reputation as a powerhouse frontwoman and background vocalist in the Toronto music scene, Davis joined seven-piece retro funk ensemble YUKA as their lead singer on full-length album releases From the Ancients (2015) and Dreamscape (2019) to critical acclaim. Davis also established herself as a go-to background vocalist for all things soul, performing with legends Martha Reeves (of Martha & the Vandellas), Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, and Jully Black, top Toronto breakout artists Charlotte Day Wilson, Jessie Reyez, and Daniel Caesar. Stepping out on her own as a solo artist, Davis teamed up with producer and YUKA bandmate Scott McCannelll to write and record her debut EP Thrive.

Claire Davis

Name: Claire Davis

Genre: Retro- Soul/R&B

Founded: 2019

# of Albums: 1

Latest Release: Thrive EP

Latest Single: Playground

Latest Video:

Favourite band as a teenager:

I’ve always listened to a lot of older music so I would say Stevie Wonder or Marvin Gaye because I was obsessed with anything Motown when I was in high school. My high school band program was also a 12-piece Motown Cover band so that helped.

Favourite band now:

Lee Fields & the Expressions

Guilty Pleasure Song:

“Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic

Live Show Ritual:

I have never been great at eating a proper meal before a gig because of excitement/ nerves but Peppermint tea is always a go-to for making my voice feel good. I really feed off the audience’s energy so I’m often concerned with everyone having a good time and try to chat with folks before and after the show.

Favourite local artist:

Aphrose, Lydia Persaud, and Gary Beals are a few faves for sure but there is SO much talent in this city!

EP or LP?

Depends on my mood but there’s nothing like a solid LP.

Early bird or night owl?

Night Owl

Road or studio?

Road for sure- I’m very excited to start performing live again!

Any shows or albums coming up? (What do you currently want to promote?):

New EP “Thrive” is dropping Friday July 16th!

Rapid Fire Qs on Toronto

Sneaky Dees nachos, pasta from Terroni or a superfood salad from Fresh?

Pasta from Terroni

Favourite local Restaurant?

“Bloom” in Bloor West Village has phenomenal Nuevo Latino food.

Queen or College St?

Queen St.

Trinity Bellwoods, High Park, Riverdale, Kew Gardens, or other?

High Park all day

Swiss Chalet or Roti?

Roti 100000%

Where can we follow you?

Instagram | Spotify