Aisha Davis stars in McDonald’s UK commercial
Entertainer making big moves in London
Singer, songwriter, actor and dancer Aisha Davis, who is currently based in London, has been flexing all her muscles and now, her quads are becoming more noticeable as she stands out in several major roles acquired in the past six months.
Last summer Davis emerged as a triple threat, landing a lead role in award-winning director Bill Buckhurst’s theatre adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s bestselling novel The Time Traveler’s Wife, in which she played Dr Kendrick. The musical debuted at Storyhouse in Chester on September 15.
“All that was happening was in the space of months being in London,” Davis told The Gleaner. One phone call from one of her friends, Shelley Maxwell, another Jamaican living and making powerhouse moves as a choreographer in the UK, opened doors to new opportunities.
That is where it started, at least that is the condensed version. Davis, like the great storyteller she is, weaves a more interesting and broader tale of how she landed several jobs in a short time span. She would have first been shortlisted, following auditions, to be part of a television series for Amazon that Maxwell was choreographing, and then introduced to Michelle McGivern of Wright & Murray Creative Management, a boutique talent agency to which Davis is now signed. She also landed a role in a McDonald’s commercial.
“I needed an agent, they were a good fit, [so] we did up the paperwork. Not long after, I was cast for the series...and two weeks after that, I was informed of another audition; this was for the McDonald’s ad. I auditioned, and then a self-tape was requested. Little did I know that I would get casted [as] a lead in the ad.”
The commercial, which took four days to shoot in the middle of June, was premiered recently as McDonald’s launched its ‘Raise Your Arches’ campaign.
“We had such fun on set, I loved it. Right after shooting the ad, I left for Jamaica; we ended on June 18 ... and my son’s high-school graduation was on the 26th. And while in Jamaica, my agent emailed me of another opportunity – a two-day movement workshop. I returned to London on the very same day of the workshop; I showed up with luggage and all. By the end of the second day, I was asked to do a self-tape to audition for Dr Kendrick…it was bizarre because I wasn’t doing it with a role in mind, but I was like, ‘Ooh I guess I made an impression.’ I also had a Zoom work meeting with the director, and not long after I see my picture in the casting, I screamed ‘Yeeessssss!’ when I saw it.”
It isn’t her first time applying all her skills. She has quite an extensive resume and history in the arts and would radiate her talents in music videos. As a singer, she has toured the world as a solo act and also as a backing vocalist for the likes of Cocoa T, Ky-Mani Marley and Shaggy. Prior to leaving Jamaica, she was shooting scenes for the short film Absolute Power, and also commercials for corporate Jamaica, including Vita Malt, which also featured actor Glen Campbell.
FINDING HER WAY
Davis, who already knows what it is like to be finding her way through the high-traffic streets of the entertainment industry in Jamaica, made the decision to relocate at the end of 2021, during one of the most “transformational” times in her life. Migration was something that was weighing on her mind for a while, she said, but she did not want to uproot her son before he reached a particular age or had graduated high school.
“Then, the pandemic hit our industry like a ton of bricks, resulting in a lot of roadblocks. A lot of things happened within my personal life, including losing my stepmother. She had passed two days before and nobody knew, because she lived alone. It was heart-wrenching,” she shared. “Around the same time, my landlord had sold the property where I resided and it was a lot to take on; finding somewhere to live in Kingston was no easy feat. I thought there must be more…the opportunities were wider, and having British citizenship made it easier for me.”
Davis continues to pursue her career as a recording artiste and is working alongside Billboard producer Lenoi Bentley to complete a full project. She is also featured on a track on Bounty Killer’s King of Kingston album, and is the only female artistes who recorded for a ‘juggling’ produced by Mr G that is coming soon.
“I can’t believe it’s only been one year, because of all that has been accomplished – a lot – in a short window of time, but I also feel God and the universe sometimes make you uncomfortable, to get you out of your comfort zone to make moves to push you forward,” Davis said.