Lime interview - Music
BETTER THE DEVLIN YOU KNOW
Semper - Azeez -Harris
Devlin is one of the hardest emcees to come out of London mixing his barrow boy like swagger with an infinitely street flex
to produce bars that are profound, brilliantly structured and authentic in the life they seek to convey of one Devlin and of course London Town.
His break out single to that effect has to be London City which was immediately engaging on so many levels and was hugely anthemic in that sound that seemed to capture London even without the need of Devlin. Devlin as the man of infinite bars on that track was not so much the icing on the cake for that track but merely a cake made of icing, entirely: he was a huge sugar rush.
What followed were appearances everywhere and his talent and hard work ethic were vindicated by being signing to Island Records. After dropping his widely received album Bud, Sweat and Tears (2010) which featured the brilliant Runaway with Yasmin, Devlin has been quiet…..until now.
“I am on a new campaign after being in the booth for a little while but now it is back to the real world. We did Bud, Sweat and Tears and we did all the promo and performances for that meanwhile I was deep in the studio really perfecting and crafting this new album.” Like so many highly anticipated projects timing and evidently marketing are key and so Devlin is understandably a bit cagey, “I cannot give you a name right now and I just want to announce this album properly so I do not want to say anything right now. I will say however that the album is quite epic with deep meaningful lyrics which I am renowned for anyway but as far as the music and the production we tried to keep it as musical as possible.” Devlin is rightly keen to stress musicality as our interview takes place at the iconic and steeped in history Maida Vale studios.
Devlin and other “urban” behemoths like Ms Dynamite, Fazer and Skepta are involved in a project to perform at the Barbican Centre in March in the aptly named Urban Classics. With the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Devlin and others will perform some of their classic tracks backed by the symphony. It promises to be amazing and Devlin readily speaks of his pride in being involved in such a dynamic project.
“I got involved through Bigga Fish and my brilliant management really and to be honest with you I proper appreciated it, you cannot beat real music and I have just a lot of respect for those people that play those instruments and it is great to be part of this and I cannot wait to hear how the music translates.” And when I asked him about the challenges he faced at the rehearsals a few hours before the interview he was suitably gracious?
“It was not really challenging because it translates well because the music I do is already quite musical. Obviously my lyrics have not changed and my flow is still the same so I have just got to spit, the orchestra have the hard job they have to learn the stuff”
It’s good to see the man with those profound bars back in the musical sphere once again. Look out for his forth coming EP.
“I have an EP dropping before the album called The Director’s Cut and that will be a five track EP to let people know am back so I will be dropping a few videos to go with that very soon”.
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