For New Pop Sensation Dev –The Sun Has Come Up
In the past decade, female pop artists have been dominating the airwaves, record sales, digital downloads and the top of the Billboard pop charts. Another common thread of the past decade is that many of these new hit makers are one-named performers. Sure, it’s easy to say that Cher began the trend in the 60s, but wasn’t she always ahead of her time? Since then, the most notable one-named performers have been kept to a minimum, but Madonna has proudly lead that pack since the early 80s. The 2000s was the beginning of a new era, and when we started to hear artists such as P!nk, Beyoncé (post Destiny’s Child), Rihanna, Fergie and Ke$ha all go from obscurity to superstardom. The latest to claim membership in this prestigious one-named club is a 22-year-old pop singer named Dev. She hails from Northern California, and if you’re not familiar with her name, I’m sure you’re familiar with the hits songs she’s been featured on.
Far East Movement’s “Like A G6” is the most successful of the bunch, dominating the airwaves and hitting the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100 exactly one year ago, selling over two million copies…so far. After being “featured” on everyone else’s hit records from Flo Rida to New Boyz to Demi Lovato, Dev found the time was right to take center stage. With her second solo single, center stage is an understatement. In just the past few weeks, her single “In The Dark” has raced up the pop charts. At the time this article is being written, “In The Dark” is already at #14 with a bullet ready to break into the Top Ten. Get ready for the next queen of pop. Pop's most exciting new temptress decided to add two scorching, hot songs to the album, and she needed a little extra time to perfect everything. Among those tracks, the record now boasts the addition of "Naked," an irresistible, infectious new single with label-mate and superstar ENRIQUE IGLESIAS. This sizzling, sexy duet is available on iTunes now and is off to an incredible start at radio, already added to over 15 major market Top 40 Stations in 2012! DEV brings a seductive flavor that flawlessly fits with Iglesias's immortal croon, making for another bonafide club banger. It perfectly follows up the success of her now platinum single, "In the Dark." Also added is the viral hit, “Kiss My Lips” feat. Fabulous. The collection arrives March 27th, 2012. You know her songs and her remarkable voice – it’s time you know her name. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Dev.
When “Like A G6” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, did that song’s success exceed your expectations?
Yeah, I guess to a certain extent it did. When we made the song, we [the Cataracs] didn’t have any pressure of creating a huge #1 single. It was kind of effortless, and I think because it blew up so massively, it was cool and caught me off guard. But at the same time, I’d like to think potentially that all of our songs are amazing…(laughs).
Did Far East Movement approach you after hearing your promo single “Booty Bounce”? How did your collaboration come about?
It was actually through our managers at Indie Pop. They hooked us up with Far East Movement. The Cataracs and Far East got into the studio together, made the beat, and then the Cataracs brought up the idea and said ‘there’s this part of one of Dev’s songs we just recently recorded that we think could be kind of interesting as a hook.’ And then we tried it out, everybody loved it and we just stuck with it. It kind of just came from there. I think the Cataracs just said ‘Hey guys, we have this really weird piece that we’d like to make into a hook’ and everybody was in.
Speaking of the Cataracs, you’ve worked quite a bit with them. What’s your history with them, as in how were you introduced, and how did they end up producing your upcoming disc?
The Cataracs and I are both from Northern California and I was a fan of theirs when they were just making music out of their mom’s basement in Berkeley. I posted a couple of my songs up on MySpace and I wasn’t even thinking about it. I was in school and working, and about a month later, I was found by them. They were like ‘Your voice is really weird and kind of cool and you should come out and record with us’ and I was like ‘Really? OK, cool’ because I definitely loved what they were doing. It was refreshing for me to see these guys grinding and hustling out of their house, getting a lot of love. I thought it was really refreshing. They were just normal kids and I liked that. I went out to the Bay and then started going out there four to five times a week to learn anything I could and to record anything I could. I had no idea about anything in the studio. Fast forward a couple of years and we’ve done a lot together – we made “G6,” “Bass Down Low,” and my debut album.
You’ve also been featured on a lot of artists’ songs, from New Boyz’s “Backseat” to JLS’s “She Makes Me Wanna” and Demi Lovato’s “Who’s That Boy” (which you also co-wrote), etc. But your latest single, “In The Dark,” is your highest solo Hot 100 single to date (ascending to #14 at press time). Are you living your dream?
I am! Every Thursday I am so anxious to check the Billboard updates. It’s been absolutely wonderful! “In The Dark” was one of the first songs we made for the album in January in Costa Rica, so to see it evolve into what it has and knowing there are tons of people out there that are enjoying it as well, ah yes, I couldn’t ask for more. It’s been great so far.
Do you remember where you were when you heard your vocals on the radio for the first time and how it felt?
I was in Berkeley, CA, picking up burritos for me and the Cataracs for lunch, and I heard it. I think I was with my parents or something. We rolled down all the windows and opened up the sunroof and it was the best feeling in the world! I still love hearing my voice on the radio. It never gets old.
The video for “In The Dark” is incredibly sexy and getting a lot of hits. Was that shoot difficult?
It was interesting. The video director that I worked with for “In The Dark,” I had worked with for my video for “Booty Bounce” and “Bass Down Low” and the Cataracs’ “Top Of The World” video. So we had worked together a few times, so collaborating on all of the ideas was really easy, he made that part really easy. The actual shoot was about twenty hours, but I had amazing extras that were very patient with me.
What about all of those hands all over your naked body?
I painted all of their hands and made them all pile on top of each other and stick their arms through these holes of a green screen for hours on end. They were awesome.
Female singers from Lady Gaga to Katy Perry to Ke$ha are dominating the charts at this time. How does it feel to be included in their company, and do you have any opinions of them or any female artists in particular?
First of all, thank you. It’s great to hear that. I work really hard and those female artists are all very talented and very good at what they do. No matter what anybody says, at the end of the day, they’re the bosses. To think that one day I could be one of those names is really cool and hopefully can happen.
When you were younger, did you dream of this type of career? If so, what artists were your biggest influences?
I did. I did. I always studied music and was a big fan. I went to plenty of shows, but I was a swimmer for about 14 years. I started competitive swimming when I was about four years old. So, that’s kind of what I did, but I knew in the back of my mind that I always wanted something different and something more. I always knew it but I never told anybody, and I think people see me now and they think it’s absolutely insane that Dev’s doing this, but I always knew I wanted to and I always knew that this would be the outcome if I worked really, really hard. I promised myself that if an opportunity comes along, I would take it and do it 100%, and I did. As far as influences, I was listening to everybody from Nirvana to No Doubt, and I went through rap artists like Eminem and Outkast and listened to Britney Spears – everything, I mean I was into everything. I also couldn’t get enough of any sort of live performances or musical artists.
Your style of music (which is typically labeled electro-pop) has been popular with general audiences and especially with the gay community. Do you have any feeling about your rapidly growing gay fan base?
I understand you’re pregnant. First of all, congratulations! Would you care to reveal who the father of your child is?
Because of your pregnancy, were you previously touring or do you have plans to tour to coincide with the release of your debut album?
That’s so funny. Well, I wanted a title that sort of reflected my little transformation from where I was in my hometown to being a traveling musician with a debut album coming out. The album is my fairytale storybook and I felt that the title very much reflected that. It’s very personal, but I also think that people can relate to it in a sense that a lot can happen in the night before the sun comes up, and I think they can hopefully fit all their own little personal stories to it.
*Jimmy Gorecki is a professional Skateboarder
© 2011 Steven M. Housman. All Rights Reserved.