Over the past few months, many of us have turned to social media as an escape from our lockdown blues. With more eyes than ever on the social landscape, the opportunities have been endless when it comes to dominating the content creation space. Someone who has really taken advantage of this has been violinist Davina Mae Gordon. Davina, together with boyfriend and comedian Donovan Goliath, has put out some of the most hilarious and relatable content to come out of Mzansi during lockdown – and it’s pushed her into a massive new playing field when it comes to her public persona.
Davina, however, is far from new to the content creation space. Over the past few years, the star has made a name for herself as a remarkable violinist and her violin covers of popular songs has made her an Instagram sensation. Covering tracks from Master KG’s ‘Jerusalema’ to The Black Eyed Peas’ ‘Where Is The Love?’, Davina has commanded attention thanks to her unique twist on classics we know and love.
Playing the violin has been something Davina has been passionate about since she was a little girl. “When I was really little I attended a talent show at my sister’s high school. A string quartet was performing and I was immediately drawn to the violin,” Davina says. “I couldn’t shut up about it on the way home so my mom took the opportunity to start inquiring about lessons.”
Now, her covers have brought more eyes than ever before to her talent and it’s helped her become one of the most popular violin players in South Africa today. “I think there was a certain level of familiarity and relatability with the well-known covers that I would do on social media and mixed with the unexpected use of a classical instrument, the combination really hooked people.”
After wowing audiences with her impressive covers, Davina started branching out into a different side of content creation which was boosted by the national lockdown due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. Davina explains that she has never taken herself too seriously and that while the country is only seeing this side of her personality now, it’s a trait that has been with her for years. “This fun side is basically a part of my personality that one wouldn’t ordinarily see when I play the violin,” she explains. “I’ve always been creative and I’m quite quirky and a little weird. I always loved comedy and I suppose this time in lockdown just forced me to bring it out. Of course Donovan’s quite the motivator too.”
Naturally, comedian Donovan Goliath is a remarkable creative himself, coming from an advertising background, and Davina admits he’s taught her a lot about how to create the right type of content. “Donovan has shared so many important lessons with me about content creation but the one I try to hold onto the most, which is the exact same sentiment my dad has always taught me, is to always be myself. And be comfortable enough to laugh at yourself.”
The duo started creating some ads for luxury brands with a Covid-19-inspired twist – and it quickly captured the eyes of millions around the country and abroad. “After our first few parodies, we quickly realized that it’s the one commonality we all have right now, we’re all going through this together so I think finding the ideas were fairly easy and, more importantly, relatable,” Davina explains. Now, the duo have been hired by brands like Gumtree and Standard Bank and add their hilarious flair to marketing campaigns. “We’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other whether it’s something we’ve seen on an episode from a series or from our own life experiences,” Davina says about their brainstorming sessions.
Now, as the duo get more and more followers and views on their social media platforms, the pressure to deliver is higher than ever before – but the duo don’t let the stress get to them. “Luckily we’re perfectionists so we’ll do a couple of variations of takes and choose the one we’re happiest with most,” she explains. “There has to be a consensus on the theme and angle though.”
While the lockdown period has been difficult for everyone, in the entertainment space specifically, Davina admits that she, like everyone, has had good days and bad days. But, creating content for social media and teaching online has helped her stay focused on the things she has been able to control – and she’s grabbed every opportunity that has come her way by the horns. “My days are busy with my online teaching as well as having to create content. We’re very lucky to have work so our minds are constantly occupied,” she admits.
But, while Davina’s profile has exploded exponentially since the beginning of lockdown, she doesn’t have any plans on slowing down. “I have a couple of campaigns with various brands coming up but the thing I’m most excited about is dropping my first ever EP. I am so excited to share more about this closer to release.”
While Davina is keeping herself busy, she is still basking in this period of uncertainty and admits to chilling on the couch catching up on series and spending time with her new puppy Charlie to keep her mind and sanity in check – all while constantly thinking of new content ideas of course.