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There can’t be many places as perfect to have a musical base than the heart of New York City. What is it like to be a musician based in such a location?
Devon: Making music comes naturally when you’re inspired by your surroundings, and NYC never disappoints. With crazy levels of talent and copious amounts of collaboration, even in the midst of a pandemic, this city always excites me and challenges me to embrace the nuances in my own work.
Coming from Philly, I was already familiar with the upfront and straight forward attitudes of city dwellers, but what I was pleasantly surprised to find in NYC was the same sense of community that I had grown to love and appreciate in Philly. I’ve found that sense of camaraderie in the music industry, and it has been exciting to witness how creative my peers are when sharing their art and how ready they are to share their creativity with other artists.
Times have been difficult for everyone during the recent lockdown, perhaps hitting musicians and performers particularly hard. But what have you learned from it, good or bad, and are there any things that you might do differently when you head back out in front of a live audience?
Devon: Late last year, I wrapped up my yoga teacher training and became a certified yoga instructor. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I am so grateful to have built that foundation for my yoga practice before going into quarantine. Moving mindfully, on the mat, in the recording studio, and through daily life, has been a huge help in keeping me present and in keeping me motivated. I’m excited to bring more awareness to my live shows and interactions!
And how much do you think the effects of the recent pandemic has changed the landscape for artists?
Devon: The world is very attentive right now, and I think listeners are going to be searching for music that really speaks to them. Artists currently have the time to be intentional about what messages they communicate through their art, and I think that the ones who are able to really connect with their audiences on a lyrical level are going to develop fans for life.
Ahead of your latest release “Never Mind”, you covered Charli XCX’s “Boys”, why did you chose that song in particular and is it going to be a regular feature of the live set?
Devon: I’ve always been a big Charli XCX fan, and that particular song resonates with me on so many levels. It’s fun; it’s pop; it’s in your face; and it has no inhibitions. Some of my friends recently pointed out that a lot of my own songs are written about boys, so covering this classic bop was my way of poking fun at myself with all the confidence and playfulness of Charli XCX.
We had already begun including it in our setlists pre-covid19, and we will absolutely keep playing it when the world resumes!
Genres seem to be out of fashion these days but if you had to sum up your music which would you pick to describe it, or do such things not really matter?
Devon: I like to think of my music as indie-pop. It has the melodies and the beats of poppy bops, but I aim to keep my lyrics pretty transparent, more in line with the indie / singer-songwriter style. Genres don’t necessarily matter, but they’re a quick and easy way for me to tell people what I do and why they should come to my concert ☺
Music seems to be moving more towards a political and social messaging system. Is there any particular message that you hope people get from your music?
Devon: My music is all about love through inspired self-discovery. The overall intention of my music is to encourage listeners to find what they are passionate about, so much so that they need to show the world. Society feels poised for change right now, especially with regards to longstanding racism, but also extending to all aspects of humanity, such as discrimination based on sexuality. The more compassionate we are towards ourselves, the more compassionate we are towards others who need it most. I believe that’s when change happens.
Finally, what does the future hold for you, both in the short term and also thinking about the longer game?
Devon: I have a new single, “Never Mind,” coming out on 7/10, and it’s the first of a few leading into my new EP, Sitting Up Straight. This project has been incredibly satisfying to create – I wrote and produced it all myself, and it chronicles some key events over the last few years that have taught me what I needed to know to be able to sit up straight and take up space. Through the process, I actually ended up writing a second EP as well, so that will be coming at the top of next year. I can’t wait to share it all with you!
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