“What’s up! It’s me, Dev!n, and I am a singer/songwriter currently living, bi-coastally, between Los Angeles, CA and Tampa, FL.”
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
“I began my journey into the entertainment industry at a young age by training in Musical Theatre as early as 3rd grade. After getting a few shows under my belt, I was awarded the opportunity to tour with Sonny La Rosa & America’s Youngest Jazz Band where we toured the country as a Jazz/Big Band ensemble of musicians between the ages of 9-14 years old; opening for artists such as Chaka Khan, Dionne Warwick, Nancy Wilson, Roberta Flack and Al Jarreau.”
“Later, while attending the prestigious Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL – the capital of the Sunshine State, I participated as a member in the Incomparable Marching 100 – of whom performed in the 2009 Inaugural Parade for President Barack Obama.”
“After college I was able to take what I learned throughout my years at school, and combine all of the skills that I acquired into my solo artistry. From being in musicals, to marching band to a touring jazz ensemble… my life has pretty much been nonstop entertainment. And I thank God everyday for that, because without such an upbringing… I would not be the artist I am today.”
You were a member of Echo V, the first openly gay boy band. How did you end up in Echo V?
“Initially, when transitioning out to California, I did not know exactly what I wanted to do with all of my pent up creativity and energy. However, after only two short months of being in La La Land, my needs and aspirations were met upon joining Echo V.”
“Our group was founded by Tom Pergola – father to one of dynamic members of the EDM duo Phantoms – in 2016. After a few years of long studio hours and sweaty rehearsals, we released our first official single ‘Let You Go’ which received a great response. That was followed by our debut EP, ‘Rainbow’, which comprised 5 songs; one being written by each member of the group. We began touring in the Pride Festival Circuit, performing in some of the most amazing venues in Las Vegas, Palm Springs, West Hollywood, Long Beach and other locations. Although we have since separated, the love and passion we have for music is still echoing within all of us.”
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
“I enjoy listening to a wide range of artists, across multiple genres. Whether it is Country, Rap, Jazz or EDM; if it’s got a good beat and tight harmonies… I’m usually a fan.”
What was the first concert you attended?
“Chicago / Earth Wind & Fire……… IT WAS AMAZING!!!”
Are there any artists you’d like to be compared to?
“I, personally, try not to compare myself to other artists, so that I can focus on being the best entertainer that I can be. However, through my years as a performer, I have drawn inspiration from many talented individuals, warranting comparisons to other multifaceted artists. Primarily, an artist such as Todrick Hall, because of his high energy dancing and strong LGBTQ representation.”
Another artist I get compared to is P!nk, because of her ability to incorporate circus arts into her live shows. As a former circus performer myself, I plan to integrate some of those performance aspects into my acts in the future.
If you could open a show for an artist who would it be?
“With the overall direction I plan on taking my artistry, I think it would be so amazing to open for a powerhouse female performer like P!nk or Lady GaGa!!! Both of those women have such stage presence, and I think their fans really appreciate that about them. I pride myself in extracting and building on the magnetic qualities of such artists who can command a stage. Both of those ladies exemplify all of the aforementioned qualities, and so much more. Therefore, I think it would be amazing to open for either of them.”
Are there any artists you would particularly like to collaborate with?
“I would love to collaborate with other LGBTQ artists such as Sam Smith & Kehlani, but honestly, there are so many amazing artists that I could definitely see myself working with. I guess only time will tell.”
Do you have any hobbies that rejuvate you creativity?
“Aside from singing, I do quite a number of other things within the entertainment field, one of which is stilt walking. I became exposed to stilts during my senior year in high school, and I fell in love with the craft. I’ve performed as a stilt walker all over the nation, including at Universal Studios, Hollywood and Warner Brothers Studios. Although stilt walking is a part of my career, I also love to do it recreationally. There is something about the elevation and the risk factor of it all that excites me. One day soon, I hope to incorporate my love for stilt walking, with my musical abilities and become the world’s 1st stilt walking pop sensation! Dance and Choreography is another hobby that has saturated my interests. Creative movement is truly a way of life for me, and fortunately, there is a lucrative market for this skill.”
“With me, you can always expect something fresh and new. I love evolving my musical style to reflect the current stage of life I’m in, and with so much happening in the past year, my brain is overflowing with new ways to tell my story. Without giving too much away, I will say that I’ve partnered with one of my favorite producers, Eric “DGV” DiGiovanni, the founder of BopMop, and we have some great material that will be available sooner than you think.”
In the Release Talk for ‘Cash That’ you mentioned the music video. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about the video?
“Yes. There will be a cool BTS video that will be uploaded to my YouTube channel before the end of the month. So, make sure you are subscribed to that, so that you can watch the making of ‘Cash That’ and so much more.”
You’ve recently started a Patreon. What can your Patreon members expect?
“Going forward, I’d like to tailor my music to what my fans want to hear. Therefore, with my Patreon, I plan to partially leave the future of my music in the hands of my fans, by offering special media, polls and livestream events, of which I will be previewing unreleased music, photos and videos. I will also be doing occasional merch giveaways that will be exclusive to Patreon Members.”
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
“My current goal is to release a plethora of new singles, collaborations and possibly an EP; all within the next 12 months. I feel as if I am more aligned with my personal goals than ever, and ready to give the world as much Dev!n as it can handle. Keep your ears tuned, because you never know what I may drop next.”
Where would you like to be in 10 years?
“I have big dreams for myself; therefore, in 10 years I see myself headlining my own stadium world tour, while having directed/produced at least one Broadway hit musical and one movie musical. I see myself owning my own production company, so that I can continue to expand my creative ideas on other projects as well. Most importantly, I still see myself being the same ole me… just a better version of myself.”
What’s your favorite song from the Cool Top 20?
“Well, there’s some really great artists on the Cool Top 20 Spotify playlist, but I think my current favorite is the song, ‘It’s You‘ by The Frontier. It’s such an open air song that makes me wanna ride down the California PCH with my top down, and just cruise.”
What song would you like to add as a bonus track and why?
“I’d love to add a throwback track from my old boyband called ‘L.I.E.’! Being that our group, Echo V, was “America’s 1st Openly Gay Boyband”, we were set on being a force to be fabulous with and I think this tune really shows off our unique sound. To me personally, this song epitomizes the 90’s flare of pop music and throws the listener into a flurry of nostalgia; while also conveying a relatable message about love, and the sometimes unfortunate lack there of in relationships.”
After spending the last few years dabbling in and out of the music industry, Lee O’Brien took the opportunity that the global pandemic gave him to create his latest body of work. During the lockdown he finished various songs he had started to write years ago. He called producer Francis Rossi (Status Quo) and asked if he could help with the music. Together, they penned three singles for the upcoming […]
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Johnny on May 30, 2021
Great article. I’m hooked to Dev!n’s music now, he’s great.