“There was a time when record labels were more committed to developing the careers of their recording artists. There was more money changing hands and more time to accomplish the desired result. Today, it is much harder to find a record label committed to this goal. When a major or indie label signs a new artist or band, they presume the act has sufficient musical, songwriting and performance talent and are ready for the big time. The results of such assumptions are the predominantly mediocre recordings of the modern era.
Enter David Ivory. Over the years, Ivory has worked with some of music’s biggest names in a variety of genres and, in the process, encouraged some of their finest work. His passion for the overall development of his artists and their music remains the driving force of his approach
By focusing on songwriting, arrangement and live performance along with the record-making process, Ivory inspires that same passion in his artists, and provides them with the tools for success at a fraction of the price of a major studio in New York or Los Angeles. He runs a production company that offers all the benefits of a major studio in a quiet setting where the artist/band can focus on the music.
“David took a chance on us," lead singer Lizzy Hale of the band Halestorm (Atlantic Records) said. "I learned more about myself as a songwriter and vocalist in those first six months than I could have on my own in two years. He really helped accelerate the process! He’s someone who believed so wholeheartedly in what we can do and saw something in us, even in our rawest state.”
Ivory’s production and development style incorporates his many diverse musical influences. Although his roots are in rock, his first big shot came from recording and working with Philadelphia natives The Roots. Together they tracked four groundbreaking albums (Organix, Do You Want More?!!!??!, Illadelph Halflife, Things Fall Apart) that are revered by hip-hop fans worldwide. The sound of those recordings consequently evolved into the musical genre known as neo-soul, which Ivory continued to develop on Erykah Badu's Baduizm and Kindred the Family Soul's Rhythm of Life. His other major R&B/soul collaborations include Patti LaBelle's Gems and several single releases from soul legend Bunny Sigler.
In the world of rock music, Ivory scored a major coup with the Philadelphia band Silvertide. Ivory arranged, produced and even co-wrote a song for their first release entitled American Excess, which was released on industry icon Clive Davis's label J Records. Ivory also discovered and helped cultivate Pennsylvania native rockers Halestorm. His work with them resulted in the band signing a major label deal with Atlantic Records. Halestorm would go on to win a Grammy award in 2013 for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance.
Some of Ivory's latest successful collaborations include Stolen Rhodes’ new album Bend With The Wind, Baltimore-based rock band Silvertung’s single “Never Too Late” which charted on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Indicator Chart, and New Jersey-based pop singer Ces Picerno, who’s debut single “No Love” hit the Mediabase Top-40 charts.
His ability to wear many hats makes David Ivory and Ivory Productions a one-stop shop for many artists' needs. Over his career, Ivory has established many long-lasting relationships throughout the music industry, from A&R executives at major and indie labels to the hottest regional session players. He has been a member of the Philadelphia chapter of The Recording Academy (GRAMMY Awards) for over 20 years, and is currently serving as a national trustee for the organization after serving as the Philadelphia chapter’s president.
When Ivory opened Dylanava Studios in suburban Gwynedd Valley, PA, his idea was to create a quiet and convenient setting that would place the focus on creativity and expression while avoiding the distractions of a big city.
The studio is located on approximately three acres outside the white noise of a major metropolis. The onsite tracking/production facility allows Ivory to work closely with his artists and fully develop them in terms of songwriting, performance and recording. It also provides artists the opportunity to unwind in a quaint cabin dubbed “The Vinyl Room,” an analog recording studio circa 1986 where classic listening sessions occur fireside, and inspiration can even be recorded on a vintage analog console if the mood strikes.
Ivory believes deeply that the best bands are not afraid of being themselves. His conviction, with regard to songwriting and the full development of his artists before letting them out of the gate, builds upon the production side of his craft. His philosophy can be best described in his own words: “Don’t settle, go the extra distance, make your songs and performance the best it can be. Do less to do more. It’s not cliché, it’s the truth."
The music and his artists are personal to David Ivory. Simply put, they are his passion, his life and his story.
As Walt Lafty of Silvertide put it: "Dave Ivory, a true rebel and leader in a world of followers.”