« I’ve been doing this for a long time, and finally I have a group of songs that I’m completely excited for people to hear. »
Coming from Charlotte, NC, Devon Elizabeth released her last EP « The Loneliest dream » in 2013 on Jamendo with 5 dynamic pop/rock tracks where she tells us about love and boys who don’t like her back.
• Hi Devon! We’re glad to have you on Jamendo! Could you introduce yourself to our readers and tell us more about your story as an artist and your album?
Haha kind of a long story! I started performing music 10 years ago. I got my first guitar for Christmas in 2004 and less than a year later I was playing gigs around my University's town, Columbia, South Carolina. After graduating, I lived in Berlin, Germany where I released an EP of 6 dance-pop tracks called As of Late. I then moved to Charlotte, NC and released another EP in 2012 called Neon Night (kinda Motown-y pop-rock stuff) and then The Loneliest Dream in 2013. The same year I moved to the beach in Charleston, South Carolina and formed a band called Half Strangers with a few friends. We released a self titled alt-country EP in 2013 and played in Nashville, DC and around North and South Carolina. We were a great band, but for most of the last year I slammed into a huge period of writers block. My job at the time was really stressful, I barely touched my guitar and lost a lot of motivation to create. I think I just burned out. BUT you can always make changes to your life. We all have control over how we live, and there is no excuse to let yourself get stuck. Earlier this year I relocated back to Charlotte and have a few new songs that will be released June 16th on Summer Suite Vol. 1.
• In your album, you’re writing about a heartbreak and upsetting relationships. Do you mostly write about your personal experiences or do you often get inspired by other people or stories?
I write from personal experience almost all the time. I was 23 when I wrote all the songs on The Loneliest Dream. Dating and relationships during your early 20s are so uncomfortable and awkward, especially in the United States and especially with Facebook and dating apps eliminating crazy concepts like "having face to face conversations" and "developing a healthy sense of self worth". While I got hurt a few times, I grew up a lot and The Loneliest Dream would not have happened without those experiences. So in a way, I'm proud of my missteps because I would not have what I do today without them.
• Do you write all your songs yourself or do you have collaborators? Also, how do you produce your music?
I write everything. When I was younger I thought that made me really great and special, but I think that is a huge mistake a lot of young songwriters make. 2 heads are definitely better than 1 and young songwriters should embrace other musicians' ideas, not feel threatened by them. Jason Scavone produced The Loneliest Dream with me and before we started recording he had me send over some demos for each song. Basically he came back with "Your songs are too long, you need to get rid of a few verses because all those words are not important." After the initial panic of someone actually being honest with me, we were able to condense each song to the best lyrics and arrangements. The arrangements on The Loneliest Dream are very full, so I had two friends come in for bass and drums and Jason filled in on some of the guitar and piano parts. I definitely value the talent and input of others.
• You sell your music online, but you also share it for free on Jamendo: what encouraged such a decision?
Jamendo offers a community of music lovers who are ravenous for new and unknown artists. I have been playing music for a long time, but I am unknown to that entire community. At this point in my journey, I just want people to enjoy and share my tracks, money doesn't matter.
• Is it something important for you to manage your music yourself as an independent artist?
At the moment I do not have management, but just like creating music, I absolutely value input and guidance from talented people. It's important to know the kind of artist you want to be, but it's also important to get rid of the ego and just let people help you.
• You perform multiple shows around Charlotte, NC, could you share with us your best live memory?
Probably Pride Charlotte a few years back. Beautiful weather, great crowd, lots of love all around.
• Any plans for the future?
My next EP, Summer Suite Vol. 1, will be released on June 16th through Jamendo. 4 stripped down, acoustic/soul/jazz tracks with a summer vibe. Lots of shows coming up too!