Madcamp! Dav Grimes and The Audible Doctor unite for best new Madison release this year?

Madison Capitol Night cropped

The return of our music discovery feature Madcamp! puts a spotlight on the mysterious Davenport Grimes, or Dav as his friends like to call him. The Madison-based hip-hop vocalist and songwriter has seemingly come out of nowhere to release one of the most captivating local records of the year.

"I Doubt You'll Ever Know Me" popped up on Bandcamp last week. The four-song EP is an inventive and sophisticated effort with a true Madison stamp of originality. Dav will be the first to tell you it was a team effort that included a certain Mark Woodford who knows the streets of Madison well.

Woodford, better know as the The Audible Doctor, is a former Madisonian now living in Brooklyn. An in-demand producer and underground rapper, he's made a name for himself as a member of the Brown Bag Allstars. His distinctive production style can be found on many critically acclaimed records and mixtapes including 50 Cent. The combination of Audible's crisp insipired style and Dav's soulful vocals is a knockout home run. A full-length album is already in the works.

Dav and Audible are long-time friends and the pairing shows the depth of talent bubbling under the Madison glass ceiling for hip-hop.

Call it R&B. Call it hip-hop. Call it whatever you want. We call it good! Listen to the EP and form your own opinion.

  • Dav Grimes

Dav has been living in a world of anonymity. Pictures on his Facebook and Twitter accounts are blacked out. There is scant information about him online except for guest vocal mentions on mixtapes by The Audible Doctor and Ghanaian rapper Recognize Ali. When you release one of the best Madison records of the year without much contact with the local music community, it sparked our curiosity to find out more about this reclusive vocalist with the Brooklyn connection.

Tell us your story Dav. How did you get started in music?

To be honest, my history with music is a weird one. I've always loved music and always loved to sing but my family is VERY traditional and they were very strict as I was growing up so it was understood at a young age that music, (specifically the style I love), was a waste of time and not an acceptable pursuit. Because of that I've always hidden my passion from my family and my community. To this day, there are probably fewer than five people in my personal and work life that even know how much I love music, and even less that know I've been making it. That's why there's all this anonymity in my music related social media, and that's meaning behind the EP title "I Doubt You'll Ever Know Me". That KRS line always stuck with me, but in the sense that if you're not already on the inside of my musical circle and know me personally, there's a good chance you never will know me outside of my music.

Mark Woodford (aka The Audible Doctor) is originally from Madison. What were the circumstances surrounding you hooking up with The Audible Doctor?

I met Audible when he was in high school. My family lived next door to one of his close friends and one day I saw them outside testing out his friend's car system. They were playing a mixtape that Audible made, I basically just wandered over and asked them what they were doing haha. I was pretty naive but they were really cool and Audible told me he was a DJ, Rapper & Producer and they were testing his new mix on his friends car system. We started hanging out shortly after that. I truly have Audible to thank for putting me on to so much music over the years and for giving me the opportunity to create my own.

The track ‘Running’ sounds like it came from a personal experience. Can you elaborate on the message behind the song?

Running wasn't about me personally. It was about a friend of mine. He got caught up in something stupid and was actually on the run for a little while. I had a conversation with him about it later and he was telling me about the feeling of being fed up with the anxiety and stress and paranoia of running from something like that. Although I've never dealt with that situation specifically, I very much related to the feelings he described.

Where was the new EP recorded?

This EP was actually recorded at Audible's new studio in The Bronx. Most of the stuff I've done with him has been done when I go out to visit him in NYC but I recently got a little set up so I can record at home now too.

What’s your take (if any) on the local Madison hip-hop scene?

I've honestly never been that involved in the Madison scene. I've been aware of some local artists doing their thing but I've always distanced myself from the scene here because of my family and my community's views on music.

Any plans for a tour or a local show?

I would love to, but for now I don't think it's in the cards.

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