VERSED: The ASCAP Podcast / Ep. 13 - Honey Davenport
June 19, 2020
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VERSED is a bi-weekly podcast illuminating the heart and soul of music. Featuring in-depth interviews with songwriters and composers, plus tips and insights to help you navigate your music career. Brought to you by ASCAP, home of the world's greatest music creators.
In celebration of both Black Music Month and Pride Month, we called up the eternally fabulous Honey Davenport - a drag superstar, singer-songwriter and activist who has left an indelible mark on New York’s nightlife and beyond. In their decade-plus entertainment career, they’ve earned 18 pageant crowns, starred in off-Broadway musicals and earned a worldwide audience on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 11. As a black, non-binary performer, Davenport has also been faced with discrimination throughout their career, both within and outside of the drag community. We spoke to Davenport about the role of music in drag culture, their activism in support of the Black and queer communities, and what’s they're doing to stay creative and liberated during quarantine. PLUS: rapper and songwriter Gizzle tells us how she's reacting personally and professionally to the protests and the pandemic.
EP. 13 FEATURED INTERVIEW: HONEY DAVENPORT
With over a decade of experience in the entertainment industry, James Heath-Clark, a.k.a. Honey Davenport, has left an indelible mark on the New York City nightlife scene and beyond, touring the world as a singer, dancer, actor, drag superstar and club DJ. They are a vocal activist whose music speaks to the experiences of the oppressed, calling for social justice and equality for all.
Hailing from West Philadelphia, Davenport holds 18 pageant crowns, six Glam Awards, and zero tolerance for discrimination. They competed on season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and will appear in the upcoming feature-length film God Save the Queens. Additionally, they have served as a guest panelist on VH1’s Black Girl Beauty, and they were featured in an international ad campaign by Trustpilot in 2019. Davenport’s Off-Broadway theatre credits include leading roles in The Electric Highway and Trinkets as well as a major role in The Orion Experience. They also performed in the Broadway national tour of Hairspray. New York Magazine has called Davenport one of the top 100 Most Powerful Drag Queens in America.
Gizzle is a Los Angeles-born artist and Grammy-nominated songwriter, who got her start under the tutelage of legendary producer Teddy Riley. Gizzle went on to work with many multi-platinum producers, artists and writers including but not limited to Puff Daddy, Timbaland, Pharrell, Ozuna, DJ Snake, Nelly, T.I., Trey Songz, Kid Ink, Meek Mill, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Ty$ and more. She is also currently garnering much interest as a solo artist with her unique sound, trance-like tone, and one-of-a-kind perspective while proving to be a force in the television and film synch world with more than 100 different licenses. Follow her on Instagram @imgizzle.
EP. 13 INTERVIEWER: CRYSTAL DEVONE, ASCAP EVENTS COORDINATOR
A proud member of the ASCAP Marketing and Events team, DJ, podcaster and mental health advocate Crystal DeVone (better known as DJ C. DeVone) has been highlighted by numerous life and beauty blogs, such as Yahoo Beauty, Nylon, Bravo, Ammo and Essence. The New York native has been linked to Google, YouTube, WeTV, Beautycon, Bravo’s Blood Sweat and Heels, L’Oreal, SXSW and WNBA to name a few. DJ C. DeVone’s devotion and desire to constantly learn has garnered the attention of industry heavyweights and has led her to high-profile gigs spinning at the Essence Festival in New Orleans and opening up for Adele, Funkmaster Flex, Clinton Sparks, SWV and Janelle Monáe.
Her love for music began at a young age and heightened when she was accepted to the High School of Music & Art (Laguardia HS). It was there that she perfected her ballet, modern, hip-hop and African dance skills, and truly adopted her eclectic taste in music. She then headed off to Washington, DC to attend Howard University, where she earned a degree in Radio, Television, and Film. Upon returning to New York City, DJ C. DeVone spent her days working on high-profile events as an event planner across the US, China and London and spent her nights surrounded by music at open mics, recording demos, and running the doors at New York City’s elite nightclubs. Being constantly surrounded by music and events she has narrowed in on her passions for advocating for creative artists and the power of human connection.