With his debut album slated for release on Ninja Tune later this year, it looks like the Californian is well on his way to the big time. But his success didn’t always look so assured.

Davis was raised in a gospel household, and initially groomed for success in that world. But as his teenage years wore on and his musical predilections got weirder, label execs and fellow musicians began to think he’d lost the plot. From there, Davis took a meandering path to success, ghostwriting for hip-hop groups on the West Coast and grappling with drug and alcohol problems.

He discovered house music just as he entered his twenties, and it’s house which, years later, has finally given him his break. A handful of recent EPs have established Davis as a dazzling dance-floor outsider, his idiosyncratic, pop-wise songs recalling auteurs like Prince as much as classic Chicago and New York club fare. 

Hi-speed disco-funk ditty "Wild Hearts" – the first evidence of Davis’ album – is one of his straighter compositions, but it’s still joyously, wonderfully weird. When Davis sings, “wild hearts, they never break”, he might well be thinking of his own long road to the top. 

"Wild Hearts" is due out via Ninja Tune on 9 February.

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