Saturday, May 21, 2011
How is the Usher “OMG Tour” going?
Dev: It’s amazing. Me and the Cataracs have been traveling around in this big ol’ bus. Itg’s been great!
For people that haven’t seen you live, what can they expect when they come to see a show with you and the Cataracs?
Dev: It depends, we play a lot of everything. The Cataracs do a mash-up set that really show off their production and all of the songs that they have produced. I sing a couple of “ballady” songs, and then I jump around. We play “Bass Down Low,” “Like a G6” and stuff like that, so it is pretty much non-stop for about thirty minutes. They can expect a lot of everything(laughs).
How was SXSW this year?
Dev: I was out there and I did a Moodswing360 showcase, which is my booking agency. I was also out there for the MTV Woodie Awards. I was nominated and then I got to present an award which was pretty rad!
Your full-length is set to drop in the fall, are you completely done with the recording?
Dev: Its pretty much done, there’s still a little bit that I want to go in and fix up. Yeah, it comes out in September and there’s a lot of little dittys on there for everybody. I’m really excited for it to come out! I can’t wait!
I heard that you did some of the recording in Costa Rica, how was that experience?
Dev: It was amazing! It was everything that I could ever have wanted or imagined. It was just me, the Cataracs, our manager and a friend that came down and filmed everything. The was me living in a house on the beach with like 12 bros. It was amazing, we were literally in the studio everyday, but whenever we took a break or were done for the night, we were right on the ocean. It was absolutely beautiful. I had never really been out of the states like that, except for Canada. I was in heaven, as you can imagine(laughs).
Did you decide to go there to record, to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life?
Dev: Yeah, that is pretty much exact idea behind it(laughs).
How does the writing process normally pan out for you? Does it vary from song to song?
Dev: It is very organized and very unorganized at the same time. Its really organic, I guess. The Cataracs and I did the whole album together. They sort of “found me” or “discovered” me three years ago, and they have been the people that I have been learning the whole process from. It is dope for me that I get to work with, and write with people that know me so well. I’m with them all of the time(laughs). The process behind it is really cool, sometime I will come to them with an idea, or maybe I will write something to one of their beats. Sometimes they will come to me and say “hey, I have this idea but obviously it is more from a ‘girl’s point of view’ and I couldn’t really get away with singing about this(laughs).” They really help me get everything that I want, out. Sometimes I am a little neurotic and they really help me get it all down. They have really taught me a lot when it comes to songwriting. So yeah, I guess it is whatever we feel (laughs). There’s never really any pressures or anything like that when we get into the studio. We kind of just vibe it out every time, which is kind of how we have always worked.
Is the writing/recording with you guys fast-paced, or chill normally?
Dev: It depends, it seems like it is always really chill. We all work together so well, we kind of have it down now it thin. So we can really go in and knock stuff out for sure. I guess it really just depends on how much time we have to make a song, or if its something that needs to be quick and finished up. It depends on how we feel for the day. Our manager is usually like “stop messing around(laughs),” because we just want to kick it all of the time. But, we got it down, so I guess it depends on how we feel.
Since you have been working with the Cataracs, what would you say are some of the biggest things that you have learn/picked up from them?
Dev: I definitely think that the process of making and creating a song in the biggest thing. I hadn’t really even sang in from of anyone until I met them. I had this idea, and vision of what I really wanted to pursue and and I always enjoyed it personally. When I met them they helped me learn how to structure out my writings. I didn’t know what a bridge was, or anything like that. They also taught me how to work in the studio, and how to paint pictures with my words and say what I really feel. Its really dope. So I guess the whole process going into that i what I definitely learned most form them.
How did you get hooked up with the Cataracs in the beginning?
Dev: I had recorded a song or two into my Macbook on Garageband and put it up on the Internet with my friend who had a MySpace page with beats on it. It was literally up there for like two months maybe. I was just messing around, still living in northern California and I got in contact with them. They were like “your sound is kind of cool, and weird. You should come and we should make music.” So I drove to Berkley and we clicked really well off the top, so I would just go out there four times a week in between work and school to record as much as possible and soak up as much as I could.
How did your latest single “In The Dark” come together? What was the idea behind it?
Dev: That song was made in Costa Rica, as you can probably tell because its so flavorful. Going into the album, it was important for me to make music that was really close to me. I talk a lot about moving, abut the whole entertainment process so far, about my family, I make Portuguese and Mexican references. The sax line, was just a really cool line that Niles from the Cataracs had for awhile. We kind of wanted to play it up a little bit, and I felt that the vibe really represented what I wanted. I just wanted to make sure that I added the whole cultural vibe into the album. It is this kind of weird, creepy and yet sexy song to fit along to it. Then it ended up being a really cool sounding song that everyone around us like, so we thought that we should push it and see what everyone else thinks. It was just super nonchalant, and we were just in the studio in Costa Rica and just came up with it.
You have had some very successful features come out as of late. Do you have any features coming up soon?Dev: I have one with Timbaland that is coming out, that I am so excited about. He is amazing and I got to work with him for a few days in a studio in Miami over new year’s. He is completely talented, its unreal.
Is it for your album, or for one of his records?
Dev: Well, we have one for both. Which on we are going to go with first, I do not know. I don’t know if he is going to beat me to it or not(laughs).
How did you get hooked up with him?
Dev: Through a mutual friend, then they sort of went through my management and he was down and interested to how I was. I went into the and we vibed so well, it was insane, so I went back there two days after. So yeah, just through some mutual friends, then our management and stuff.
Was it intimidating?Dev: Well, he sat down right next to me and I felt like he was definitely was going to boss up on me, you know? After he saw how I acted, and that I wasn’t some pretentious person that was trying to run the studio, I think he realized that I was there just to learn from him. It was really cool. He’s nuts. The way that he goes and makes music is really dope. Also, it was cool to learn a different way, because I am so used to working alone with the Cataracs. It was definitely an amazing experience for sure.
Speaking of features, how did “Backseat” with the New Boyz come together? Was that through the Cataracs?
Dev: Yeah, I think that the Cataracs and the New Boyz had seen each other around L.A. a few times and they came over to the studio type of thing. We had a studio in our loft, that we lived in together (me and the Cataracs) and the New Boyz came by and made a couple of songs.
Has it been surprising that the song has been huge so far?
Dev: It’s so amazing. I hear it all the time(laughs). No matter where I’m at, it’s so great!
I heard you were a swimmer growing up, like me. What was your main event?Dev: That is so dope! I did the 200 breaststroke. I always swam random events though, like I would swim the two hundred IM every now and then. But breaststroke was my thing.
200 breaststroke sounds like club-level swimming?
Dev: Yeah, I swam Varsity in high school all four years, and then I was on a club team for a few years. It was gnarly, it was all I did every morning and every afternoon.
Perfect day windows down, driving in the car what are you listening to?Dev: It depends on my mood. I would either want Rick Ross or Radiohead(laughs).