Drinking Chai with DAV

The Coffeehouse Invite sips some chai lattes with multi-talented actor/rap artist David Morales aka Dav! I met Dav a few years back in theater class. He's added his rapping skills to a few of my tracks and he's such a great artist to work with. He has been acting for 10 years and rapping for 5 years. At age 23, he has released two mixtapes and has performed at open mics and shows around the Bay Area. I believe consistency is key and he definitely embodies that as an artist. Dav has been involved in short films, web series, app commercials, and numerous theatre companies and recently received an AA in Theatre Arts from Foothill College. Congratulations! I enjoy hearing what makes people tick, what inspires and motivates them to pursue their dreams. Dav explains it all in his interview below.

The Coffeehouse Invite: I first met you as an actor in theatre class and then I found out you do music as well. Tell us more about your work. What do you feel like you’re more passionate in?

Dav: Well, my work is focused around entertaining people because that's what I’ve always want to do for a living, I enjoy creating genuine response in people regardless if it’s good or bad. As cliche as it sounds I feel more like myself on stage performing putting on “an act” than I do anywhere else. Its funny because ever since I was little I wanted to be an actor and be on TV especially after watching shows like All That, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and Even Stevens.  But music is more of a recent passion that cultivated in High School and College writing songs and freestyling with friends but I never imagined for it to take off to where it has. Honestly, they both have definitely grown so much that I can see careers in either field but if I had to say which one I was more passionate about... I would say acting but just by a little because it's my first love.

The Coffeehouse Invite: How do you prepare for a show whether in acting or in music?

Dav: I prepare for a show by freeing up my schedule first and foremost. I believe it is my job to entertain people therefore perfect practice makes perfect especially with rapping. If I have a show in two weeks everyday I will go through my set at least once so the flow and my lyrics become second nature to me. Then I will add in details making this performances different from any previous ones, which may be engaging the audience, talking about myself, or doing some choreography.... Acting, on the other hand is more about the time I have with the script and developing chemistry with the director and fellow actors. For example, it's not about delivering a line a certain way every time, its about understand why the character says the line therefore before a performance I refamiliarize myself with this connection/feeling to my character, if that makes sense. I love dissecting a script, finding it’s subtext, and learning how each character is different from me.

The Coffeehouse Invite: Walk me through your writing session. How do you create and what moments make you feel most inspired?

Dav: Things that inspire me are seeing other people in their element, which means watching them doing what they do best or what they love. I swear every time I come home from an open mic or a performance of any kind I am inspired! Instrumentals/Beats my friend make or ones I find online usually spark my writing process, which begins by freestyling until I get into a rhythm and I find something I like. And most of the times what I like is just a feeling, a melody, or a catchy line that I hold on to, to drive the song.

The Coffeehouse Invite: What is one of your favorite songs you have written and can you give us a little background on your song? Why did you choose this song?

Dav: One of my favorite songs that I have ever written would have to be Unpublished Poet (Everyday). That song means so much to me because it took so long to write and because it represents myself at the time very well. I remember every time I would write to that beat I would do so much rewriting because I was never satisfied with what I was saying but it taught me that I should never with settle for work I wasn't proud of because when I finally finished it  I was more stoked on it than anything I’ve ever written. Even til today I  still feel this energy every time I perform that song making it always a good time.


The Coffeehouse Invite: What hurdles have you overcome while pursuing your dreams? Any advice you would give to others?

Dav: In the beginning of my acting career I remember feeling really discouraged like I was never good enough. I was always comparing myself to others who were better and letting the things they said eat at my consciousness. But it wasn’t til College until I realized my talent and I stopped beating myself off because of others. When it comes to acting advice to aspiring actors I would say, even if you’re not getting casted where you want to be keep working hard and someone will take a chance you some day. Also sometime you are not going to fit a certain role that you may want but don't worry there is always a role for you. With music I’ve had people take advantage of my inexperience, having me waiting on others for months just to make things happen for myself, and I had neighbors who actually called the city and file complaints making me have to tear down a studio I built to help further my music career just because they didn't like myself and family. So my advice for music is educate yourself with this business and perform as much as possible. Don't wait on others, Never pay to perform, and most importantly believe in your craft and don't let any bring you down by their words or actions.

The Coffeehouse Invite: Tell us about your current projects! What can we expect from you in 2016?

Dav: You can expect a lot from me in 2016! I will be dropping at least 2 projects along with a couple music videos and skits. Acting wise I’m always auditioning so I probably be in a play or short film sometime soon. If you follow me I will keep you posted!

The Coffeehouse Invite: Anything else you would like to add?

Dav: I have just reinvented myself and the music I want to make ( I used to go by Duke Fresh but now i just by Dav @activepoet) so this is my year is all about showcasing the growth with my sound. You can look up some of my old work but I wouldn’t recommend it. They’re a million Dav’s so making my name Dav @activepoet connects me to my listeners right away if anyone was curious about why thee @activepoet, which you can find me on any social media platform. Also I’ve been working a lot with a upcoming agency called BAMN Ent. So you will see me working with them a lot in these next years of my career!

There you have it! A peek inside Dav's artist life. If you'd like to learn more about him check out his social media pages. Drop him a line, ask a question or leave a comment below.


The Coffeehouse Invite will be seeing you in 2016 with our next feature!

Best wishes,
The Coffeehouse Invite