Rea Davis has made her mark in the entertainment industry with her very unique interviews on major red carpets like The Grammy’s and events like when Babyface received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Like many other journalists, Davis has had to go through many ups and downs to get to where she is now from getting fired from her 9-5 at the height of her career to battling how the industry perceived her physically. Through it all, watching her mother as music journalist, Davis knew exactly what she wanted to do when she became an adult and nothing was going to stop her.
I had a chance to chat with Rea Davis to learn more about her journey so far and what she has planned for the future.
How did you know that music is what you loved so much that you wanted to be in the music industry some way, before you even became a writer? AKA, when did you fall in love with Hip Hop?
I fell in love with Hip Hop and R&B simultaneously when I was a little girl. Interesting enough, my mom was also a music journalist. My grandparents lived down the street so when I wasn’t with my mom and dad, I was at my grandparents house who had every single CD, tape, and vinyl and somehow I became a BET, MTV, VH1 type of kid where I was glued to music videos. I just knew I loved music and I knew that I wanted to be a VJ and a journalist to interview people about music. My parents will tell you I always wanted to be a music journalist and VJ. I was obsessed with Donnie Simpson, Sway, La La, Bill Bellamy, AJ & Free etc.
How did you get into actually doing interviews and journalism?
In elementary school, most schools didn’t have a news program, but mine did so I was an anchor and reporter on the elementary news and I was on middle school news, high school news and college news (laughs). Middle school and high school years, my mom would somehow get us backstage and when I was 16, she would give me her press passes and tell me not to come back without a story and from then on I knew this was what I had to do.
How did you get your start with AllHipHop.com?
I did a very short stint as a freelance writer with The Source magazine after college, I actually forget that sometimes. I interned at different radio stations and when the concerts would come to North Carolina, I would shoot the behind the scenes stuff because I knew how to work the big news cameras and edit my own videos. I’m from Charlotte, NC and I would always go back and forth to Atlanta for award shows, music videos, anything entertainment. It’s really crazy, Columbia. SC is the most random place to get into the music industry because nothing was really there. RIP Tonya Peyton who was Jay-Z’s publicist at Roc-A-Fella; [she] had a summit and I hate driving period so I really was thinking. “I’m not driving to another state for a conference, especially not country South Carolina,” but I’m big on support and wanted to support Tonya. Also, the panel had Sway Calloway, Chuck Creekmur (my boss and CEO of AllHipHop.com), Memphitz, Reggie Hawkins of Sirius Radio and many more. I was big on always getting everyone’s contact info so I introduced myself to Chuck and asked him if I could Freelance for All HipHop and got his card and when I moved to Atlanta from North Carolina, I hit him up and he really came through.
What would you say to younger women who are aspiring to be a music journalist?
Be strategic and don’t give up. A lot of people are going to say no but be diligent. Intern early; I never really interned in college for broadcasting because I was working and I was in every campus organization so other than the radio station, I didn’t intern. Have a plan, daily affirmations and work towards your goal everyday.
I have this quote that I made up “Plan to succeed, seek to inspire.”
How does beauty intersect with your career?
It’s so much pressure to look the part. You have to always be camera ready from hair to makeup. My blonde tresses have become a signature part of my brand and the Lyfe Of Lux Salon (@lyfeofluxe) along with celebrity hair stylists Billions (@billions_pink) and Astara (@imurderherweavez) have helped to cultivate unique looks and various shades of blonde over the years.
I love all things beauty! When you look great you feel great and you perform really well.
What’s next for Rea Davis?
Television correspondent and I’m moving my base to L.A. I’m really excited about that. I’ll still be working with AllHipHop.com [but] I will be bi-coastal. I work behind the scenes as well, so I’ll also be doing artist development, visuals, branding, even some A&R.
I’m also working on a book, sort of parallel to the starving artist.
How can people keep up with you?
Log onto AllHipHop.com. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @iamreadavis
Featured Image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images For BET and R. Davis Publicity