On the release of her latest single and music video “Wah Wah Wah”, I got a chance to learn more about up and coming talented female rap artist DEVMO who is pushing the boundaries, in good ways. In this latest release, she tells the true story of falling for a girl whose family didn’t approve of their relationship. “She got a boyfriend as a cover,” explains DEVMO. “So it sort of turned into a strange competition between this guy and me.”
“Wah Wah Wah” is about DEVMO coming to terms with the mentally damaging situation and accepting her role in it. “I must have had a skewed vision of love to even entertain such an awful relationship” she reflects now.
DEVMO released her first album “Real Talk” in March 2015 where she explores several sub-genres of hip-hop and speaks on subject matters such as love, death, sexuality and women’s rights. Prior to then she was doing what many passionately artistic people do, the routine, daily grind, crappy jobs. She ultimately decided to study what she was passionate about, music.
At age 14 when she moved to Los Angeles, DEVMO learned to play the guitar and started to privately write her own songs. The west coast rap sound of the day, including Tupac, were her early influences. When she was confident enough, the first person she decided to share her talent with was her mother. At that moment, her mother, emotionally overwrought with her daughter’s talent, encouraged her to pursue her passion. Over time DEVMO would study at Musicians Institute and meet others in the Santa Monica area who were into rap. As she shared with others, they grew into her and her style.
At the ripe age of around 20 DEVMO was writing constantly and was channeling a lot of her emotional pain into her songs. She was learning who she was and what she stood for. Some fans would like some parts of her music and some would like others better. And in 2015 she released “Real Talk.”
Since that release she has developed a larger fan base, has performed in front of huge audiences, all boosting her confidence and encouraging her to continue her style of unique hooks, fast paced rapping verses and to deliver “fiery and capturing performances.”
When we discussed the industry’s reception of her lyrics and content and references that are a-typical in the rap genre, DEVMO shared, “Most people are turned on. Nobody is really clowning on me or talking shit.” In fact, earlier this year DEVMO made it into the Top 6 from over 2,400 submissions over at TeamBackPack where they showcase talented artists across all spectrums of hip-hop culture globally.
She adds, “Guys think you’re hotter when you’re bi.” But she also shares, “Shit can be dirty and people don’t like it.” Like so many others who are finding themselves and identifying their voice, DEVMO has had her own challenges dealing with family and friends. When asked if she thinks she is pushing change DEVMO says, “Yes. I’d like to think I am.”
I also had to take the time to talk about the stories DEVMO shares in her song. As a gay man I explained that I thought issues of sex, addiction, and unhealthy relationships were more closely identified with the gay male community. When I asked about the state of affairs in the lesbian community DEVMO shared, “Girls can be fucking crazy!” In the end, we agreed that no matter your sexual orientation or identity, “People are fucked!” and can do some stupid, messed up things.
Her latest release, “Wah Wah Wah” is about a shitty ex. So I asked if there were any red flags to let us know it’s time to exit a relationship. “When they are texting one word answers or bailing on plans all the time,” it’s time to get out, she says. “Honestly, if I could give any advice based on the experience that inspired ‘Wah Wah Wah’, it would be: if you don’t like someone, leave them the hell alone. It’s so unfair to hold a girl on a string simply because you can. It’s not fun to be someone’s side chick. I’ve been there but I’ll never do it again…At least I like to think I won’t.”
With interviews, we like to end them by asking, “What is something you have done that would be considered edgy, unconventional, or tight-lipped?” DEVMO shared her story from high school when she drank a bottle of Nyquil and ran through the boys locker room and got into lots of trouble for it. I’d say that’s pretty unconventional.
Upcoming projects in the new year include “Call it a Night” a 5 track alternative rap EP where she is producing the music. It will drop on Los Angeles indie label, Bodega Suprette, started by Ellis Miah, a producer or RuPaul’s Drag Race. And keep an eye out for a possible West Coast tour in the new year. Don’t worry DEVMO fans, she tells us she’s not leaving rap or her rap roots, she’s just taking a moment to explore her singing talents.