Dev is the kind of artist you see in videos and at shows and say to yourself, “Can we please hang out?” It’s hard not to love Dev’s high energy and outgoing persona. There is a sort of pizzazz about her that shines even in a crowded room. Not to mention, how can you resist not singing aloud to her latest single ‘Bass Down Low’?
Your first single ‘Bass Down Low’ has elements of pop, dance, and hip hop to it. How did you first conceptualize your brand of music?
It was something me and The Cateracs did so naturally off top since we met. They used to just rap. I grew up listening to everything – bands, pop artists and rappers, underground hip hop. So when it came time for me to work on my music I wanted to grab little pieces that I like until I sort of found my own way.
Upon meeting The Cateracs, did you immediately bond with them and know they’re the guys you want to help steer your career?
I was a fan of The Cateracs for sure. We were both living in Northern California at the time. I grew up listening to them all the time in the car and at parties. When they hit me up on MySpace I was definitely flattered and excited and I just wanted to make music. That’s what they did 24/7. They put out so much music even back then and that’s what I wanted to be a part of. These kids were making really awesome tracks and they were still the dudes next door eating burritos and I loved that.
A lot of people don’t know that the club anthem ‘Like a G6’ is sampled from ‘Booty Bounce’ and Perez Hilton was one of the first people to set the record straight. How cool is that?
Perez is so cool. I actually met him. I did one of his shows last August or September, which was dope. La Roux was there, Keri Hilson – a bunch of really cool female artist. It’s really cool that he has my back. He thinks I’m cool which is awesome because Perez is the shit.
Is it hard cultivating your career and image when so early on people make comparisons to other artists?
That drives me nuts sometimes when I think about too much or if I read too many tweets or blogs, but you know, that’s what people do to feel comfortable. You can’t really blame people because when something new comes out, it’s a little difficult to say, “Oh this is cool”. They want to go, “This sounds like this so I like it”, which is cool. Everybody kind of does it and everybody hates some days. I’m the biggest hater so I can’t really get mad. It’s okay because when my album comes out next September people will be so confused, I’m excited to see who they compare me to next.
For the ‘Booty Bounce’ music video, how many outfits did you put on altogether?
I think it was 36, maybe even more. I changed into them a few times, which was nuts and then went through the song 130 times. It was the gnarliest video ever.
In ‘Bass Down Low’ and ‘Sunrise’, you describe the club life. Is there any part of it you are parodying?
[Laughs] When me and The Cateracs went into the studio to make those songs, we actually made them in our house. We used to all live together and we had a little studio in there. We had just moved to LA. I was 19 or 20 and I lived in a small town my entire life. I think we were feeling ourselves a little too much. As you can tell there really isn’t too much thought that goes behind those songs. They’re just fun times.
Written from experience then?
A little bit. We had our fun times. [Laughs].
The new album is out in September. What can we expect from it?
A little bit of everything. The Cateracs did most of the production. We recorded most of it in Costa Rica so the vibe is really cool. Timbaland did some stuff on it as well. I have a lot of ballads and I have a lot of stories. I have some really cool stripper club songs. It’ll be interesting. The flow of it is really cool, natural and it’s super personal to me. I touch on being Mexican-Portuguese, moving to California from my home town – lots of different tempo and textures. I’m really excited for everyone to see that I’m good at poppin’ bottles, but I’m good at some other stuff too and I do have a soul. I can’t wait.
You have a large repertoire of music floating around the Internet now including ‘Monster’ and ‘Fireball’. Will those tracks be included on the album?
No, I don’t think so. It was important for me to have a clean slate, but I do like that those songs are out on the Internet and floating around. I think its fun little treasures for people to find. I wanted to start fresh so that’s what I did. When I recorded ‘Fireball’ I just turned 19.
How much does fashion and style tie into your music?
Even though I’m in sweats right now? [Laughs] I always pack a lot of clothes and [people] would be like, “Why don’t you just pack four outfits”, but there’s no fun in that. I like trying things on. I’ve always had fun my whole life wearing what ever I wanted and expressing myself that way. Now that I get to do it in front of mass amounts of people, it’s really cool. I work a lot with the women’s brand Hellz Bellz. They’re amazing. They style my videos.
I noticed you have a few tattoos. Are there any of them you can share with us and the significance behind them?
They’re all really not too significant. I do have Caterac lyrics on my arm from their song called ‘Undercover’ and it says “we used to talk like lovers”. It’s one of my favourite Cateracs songs and it’s an ode to my boys. I have this ‘and what’ tattooed on my wrist that me and my mom got matching. That was just kind of an F-you to all the world. And I have Portuguese writing on my arm.
What’s the rest of the year looking like for you?
A lot of shows, I’m going to be all over the place. I come back to Canada a few times and then all over the States, hopefully an amazing album that everybody likes and a lot of videos. I think in the next few months I’m shooting five. I’m trying to have a lot of goodies come out for everybody this year. It’s my time!