An Interview With DEV
Dec 21, 2010 - by Alex Kazemi
Have you ever wondered who was the voice behind the smash hit "Like A G6" ? Well we shave scored an interviewed with recording artist DEV.
In the year 2010, there might not have been a time in your life where you didnt hear or see the following lyrics:
Poppin bottles in the ice, like a blizzard when we drink, we do it right, gettin slizzard/ Sippin sizzurp in my ride, like Three 6/ Now Im feelin so fly like a G6?
Your first instinct may be What the fuck does Slizzard mean and is a G6 some type of car? It then goes to I need this song as my ring tone right now and I need to spam my BBM status with these lyrics, oh my god! So hip!
After your mind goes through that, oh so intense process, you draw back and think about something else. Who the hell is that girl singing the hook?
Well on your iTunes purchase receipt it says DEV and thats who it is, its not Uffie and no its not Ke$ha. Its DEV. Well who is DEV? Pop class begins.
DEV is a singer/songwriter, discovered by LA Valley-boy group The Cataracs. To some that C-word might just be any other Snoop Dog lyric, but to others it may be the name of the group that is brewing up all the youthful pop music that todays radio stations, iPods and Facebook statuses are screaming for; basically brain-washing teens with fetch lingo and simple beats that will live in your brain. The same things Dr. Luke & Max Martin did in the late 90s to early 2000s with Britney, N*SYNC and The Backstreet-Boys. Coming strong with her recent Billboard hot 100 debut Bass Down Low, The Cataracs self-proclaimed mainstream top 40 revolutionizing muse is ready to use her debut album to tell listeners that she is really more than just the G6? girl. Before even going into writing/producing this album, she is coming off headstrong as ever with creative ideas employed by executive producers & non-stop collaborators The Cataracs. Just coming back from studio sessions with 50 Cent & Travis Barker and getting ready to fly to Costa Rica to begin her debut album sessions. I decided to call her up to find out what the whole G6 movement is about and how annoying it is to be only known as the G6 girl. When a pen, a paper and a Universal Republic contract seems to be living proof, she is so much more than that.
Dev: Hi Alex.
Alex Kazemi: Hey Dev, where are you right now?
Dev: Im good, in Florida!
DEV: Yeah, Just wrapped up the tour and then Im playing a show in Canada on the 20th.
Kazemi: Exciting, so I dont know how this works. You were a professional Olympic swimmer, swimming all your life and then one day you just decide to sing the hook to one of the biggest pop songs of the year 2010 Like A G6. Does California Valley boy production duo The Cataracs have anything to do with this decision and transition? Two Ss, swimmer to singer.
DEV: I was a swimmer for a long time and I guess I was pissed off because of my ex boyfriends new girlfriend, you know when your young and aggressive.. I decided put up this song on MySpace. MySpace was the place to be at the time, you know I recorded a song off my MacBook, it was basically a diss track and I didnt expect anything out of it? It was just to make me feel good like how music should but Niles came across of my page and was really into my voice and they kind of got me into singing and opened up my eyes to business opportunities. I didnt know wed ever be connoisseurs of party pop like G6? and Bass Down Low when we first met up and now we live with each other in LA and are on some real shit! [Laughs]
Kazemi: Real shit eh? How do you three sort out ideas as a constant collaborative group, what is a typical session like with DEV, Niles & Dave (The Cataracs.)
DEV: Were all completely random, unique and weird individuals that make each session very different and complicated in a way. It really depends, some times the boys will come to me and say Ive been wanting to do this song but this is more of a DEV track and from there Niles will show me the beat and me and David will come up with lyrics or some times I go to them when I have written some sort of idea and they will help me elaborate on it to the point where we can have a song. Its great having their two minds and two different personalities and its great that I live with them.
Kazemi: I assume they will be executive producing your whole album?
DEV: You assumed right! Were going to go to Costa Rica for a month and lock ourselves in this incredible beach house and do my whole album together. Producing and writing, I couldnt have asked for better people to work with on my album.
Kazemi: The Cataracs are really geniuses when it comes to the Dr. Luke formulaic sound that the audience of this generation wants to hear but will any other additional song-writer/producers be flying out to Costa Rica for the debut?
DEV: I might work with some people, Ive been contacted by a couple people that you might know of but its hard to say of right now but I think me and The Cataracs are on a really good streak right now and its not intentional. G6? was not planned, nothing has been planned and its always been really natural and I think were going into this album with the natural mindset weve gone into with any other session. If any of the producers really want me to come out and fly from Costa Rica, maybe I will but as of now Im focusing on working with The Cataracs for the time being in Costa Rica.
Well see, I guess?
Kazemi: I think working with other producers isnt a bad idea. You are becoming notoriously known as the hook-girl, you just reprised that role on a track on the new 50 Cent record, did your voices collide and compliment each other?
DEV: YES! Oh my god, its so cute! I was so excited because Im such a big 50 fan. I remember when In Da Club came out and being obsessed with it! The track is really cool; our voices definitely complimented each other in the bridge. The coolest thing about this was it was over a Cataracs beat and that was really comforting. The roughness of his voice contrasted really nicely with my little soft voice. It was dope.
Kazemi: Travis Barker and yourself were in the same studio, did you guys happen to cut anything?
DEV: We did! I actually got on one of his songs that will possibly be put out on the album hes working on.
Im on the hook with a song that has verses from E-40, Snoop & Ludacris. He liked it enough, kept it and hopefully is out on the album. It was really cool as well, same kind of situation with 50. I had a big poster of Travis on my wall and I was obsessed with Blink.
Kazemi: Thats fandom at its best, what was the story with Booty Bounce and G6? were they produced and written around the same time? Whose idea was it to use the Like A G6 hook from Booty Bounce for the final track Like A G6.
DEV: They were made in the same summer; it was a time where The Cataracs and myself were grinding it out in the studio pretty tough together. We made a bunch of simplistic random tracks, the sounds are similar and I can understand why you thought they were made around the same time. It was a really cool phase, swagging it out basically and telling the world we were the shit! Super sassy tracks, it was actually The Cataracs idea to take the bridge of Booty Bounce and put it over G6. The bridge became a hook basically.
Kazemi: Did you write this bridge/hook?
DEV: No, The Cataracs & Myself did it together, we were all kind of sitting down and I had to approve it before I sang it. They approached me like any other time they have written lyrics they thought Id like and I was obviously down, that beat was amazing and to switch it from Booty Bounce to G6? was not a problem for me. Everybody thought it was a great idea and we swung with it.
Kazemi: On the topic of Lyricism was the line And we sip champagne when we thirsty from Bass Down Low a tribute to the Biggie classic Juicy.
DEV: It was a tribute to the big poppa, yes.
Kazemi: I think this needs to be said, its going to be hard drifting from being the Like A G6? girl and its going to take time but what do you think will isolate you from that tile music wise. On the debut album, will there be a balance of icy pop songs like Bass Down Low but then other material that could be seen as different and could be the DEV-edge, DEv- aesthetic. Your own sound that could make people thinks differently.
DEV: You are the coolest dude in the world.
Kazemi: Thank You.
DEV: Your Welcome!
So yes, thankfully G6? gave me enough attention and it gave me a good amount of success and obviously has put me on the pop music scene, its a good time to push my music to more people rather then before when a demo would only have a couple thousand hits on MySpace. Im playing bigger shows, traveling different places but with that, it comes to the point where people put me in a box and everyone says Wow, is that all she can do? People should be more curious, my voice is weird and it is capable of things and that hook everyone knows from G6? has given me a lot of attention but not too much. Im confident in The Cataracs and myself that this album is going to speak for its self and I wont just be known as the G6? girl. Pop songs with the feel of Bass Down Low will be included but I grew up being into helluva different music! I know that my intricate influences and The Cataracs simple influences are going to come out on this album as one. Typical pop music is not what I am only good at doing; I have a lot of ideas and hip-hop influence records, some electro ballads. Im really excited for it; my sound is going to come out. I think when my album is out people arent going to say So did you hear The G6 girl has an album? Its going to be I just bought DEVs album on ITunes and its sick as fuck.
Wait till April bitch!!!
Kazemi: [laughs] Every artist gets compared and I was wondering what its like being a white girl coming up on the scene who has saliva and can spit on a microphone and then is all of a sudden sinked towards more mainstream artists like Uffie and Ke$ha. Every-time you hear a white girl rapping on the radio, an avid mainstream music listener will say Like, Oh my god! What a Ke$ha wannabe.
Who the fuck is DEV? Why isnt she Uffie & Ke$ha?
DEV: I just feel that I have a lot more to say and the ability to have an eclectic sound, a very diverse pop album. Im not bashing either artist, but Im going to be able to give you a little bit more then what youve heard on those record. When my album comes out, hopefully I wont have to hear another reference or comparison. I am such a brat, I dont want to be compared to anyone, I dont care if its the greatest person in the world. Fuck it. Both artists are cool but whatever, wait till April.
You know what Im saying Kazemi?
Kazemi: Im on it, I think. Would you ever want to pen songs for any other pop artists, outside song writing?
DEV: I think when the time comes; Im focusing on DEV right now. My energy is on finishing touring and making the best pop album I can. I plan to explore my artistry after this record is done and when Im taking a break right before the sessions for the next record.
Kazemi: Are you a morning or night writer?
DEV: I write the best from 4AM to 6AM, its super strange but this is going to sound really stupid but I use to have swim practice at 6AM. I think all my energy is use to that hour and my mind can function the best at the hour from practice.
Kazemi: Thats a fair change of workout. Alcohol, Sex and gossip and every element a youth talks about in there personal conversations is kind of translated in the pop music today, when you write do you feel you have to cater to this and join the whole fuck yah partying, fake ID and underage sex pop song movement.
DEV: I personally dont go into songs thinking about all of the misfits and each social clique at high school who will be into my song. The Cataracs are really good at doing that and they will know when to calm me down. Im not going to be the one who says Everybody underage get drunk and go fuck people!!
I am not going to say that in a song, I feel like I can say a bit more then that but I know the teens are down with it and they want to hear words like slizzard.
The boys and me have that under control but listeners should understand music is self-expression and dont take anything too seriously. In 2011 The Cataracs and myself have the ability to change the game, blend the music world by providing the weird California swag and sound were on. The sounds, The Cataracs & me choose, the lingo we use, and we know whats up. I feel like a lot of artists try to get there and its almost there but the lingo is off, the beats are wrong and I can tell those things because weve already started the movement, that pop revolution everyone is talking about.
LINK LOVE: Alex Kazemi