From Exchanging Meal Swipes to Interviewing Mainstream Music Artists

By Jada Carson

There are so many avenues of media and public relations that former ODU student Ahmad Davis has cultivated within the music industry. Davis is well on his way to becoming one of the most influential figures in the mainstream music world. In this interview Ahmad gives insight on his influences and the learning experiences from ODU that made him the media professional he is today.

The number one thing that you are going to hear on campus is that networking is one of the most important keys to success. Davis talks about how networking with his peers gave him the practice he needed for future business relationships. “Networking is a 24-hour job when you work in PR. Relationships are worth more than money. I’ll tell you a cool story. I needed a free place to park my car my freshman year, so I hit up my homie who had a crib on 42nd street near Perry. He allowed me to park at his house in exchange for a couple of meal swipes in the cafe every week. We both had a need, and we could make an exchange that benefitted both of us because of a real relationship. Over time, I’ve made hundreds of these mutually beneficial relationships that I use to help aid my clients and even myself".

“Relationships are critical, and you can look at it as social currency, aka clout”.

The music business professional also states that networking is very much a part of his life and gift that he uses to guide others around him. “Every single day. There are so many people that I have worked with or helped based on my affiliation with Old Dominion. I have a secret discount that I provide to all of my Monarch friends. The discount only applies if I did not already help them out off the strength. It’s so much room for all of us to grow, and that’s all that matters to me”.

“One person opens the door; the rest can push through.”

Ahmad Davis has not just helped build brands, but has opened his eyes to the world of journalism. Davis is the co-founder of Kazi magazine which is a publication that focuses on the prominent Hip hop and R&B artist of today. “ I do many high-level interviews and help coordinate other collaborations with all of the top labels and independent acts. Most importantly, I do multiple lists throughout the year that spotlight all of the talent that comes from Virginia. Virginia is always number 1 in my heart” Some of his favorite artists that he has interviewed thus far include Queen Naija, Key Glock, and Pusha T. “The opportunities are endless, and we are looking forward to all of the big covers we have planned for this month”. I also asked Davis if he could interview anyone who would be and said that it would be Jay z, Pharrell, or Kanye West. “I enjoy all of the moguls who showcase their thoughts and go out of the box successfully. Shifting the paradigm with just every creation is incredible.”

Ahmad’s Music Management roots have spread to No WIFI Music Group Where artist marketing, PR, and branding comes into effect. So I decided to ask him how did the idea of the company come to reality. “Honestly, my work with Quinelle “Coach Q” Holder at Medium Creative Agency empowered me. He always told me that he felt like artist management would be excellent for me because I am personable. My affability creates a lot of comfort. Secondly, I’m great at motivating people to achieve their goals. Amidst the pandemic, my partner Malcolm Trapp started our company, and we manage Youngshann, a fellow monarch believe it or not.”

In Davis’ final words of enlightenment for the PR and journalism students still here at ODU he touches on perseverance and humility which are some of the characteristics needed for cultivation especially in the music industry.

“Trust your gut. Do not let your pride get in the way of opportunities to elevate. There is nothing wrong with putting in the work and learning without getting paid the top dollar. Do what you can manage and turn your hobby or dream into something big. Research the people you look up to and find ways to make yourself an asset to them. Most people are looking for a handout and looking to lend a hand in exchange for the knowledge or opportunity that can change your life. Lastly, you have to believe in yourself. A lot of times, that means taking risks. Understand that although a lot of the entertainment industry looks like fun, there are dark sides. You will not fail if you don't give up”.

Follow Ahmad Davis on instagram @ahmaddavispr; his page has the affiliated accounts talked about in this interview in his bio.