tay devenny cross

The Up-Turn Presents: A Conversation with Tay Devenny

Tay Devenny doesn’t just want to be your next favorite rapper, he wants to be your next favorite artist.  Although he has been following the expected projection of an internet-age rapper thus far his most recent 11-minute track “vancouver/Palme” forces listeners to take Devenny as something different than just another rapper.  He has ambition and the creativity and drive to see his ambition fulfilled.  Hit the jump to read my recent conversation with Devenny in which we chat about Sussex, reaching his shrine and Riley Reid.

PK: when did you start rapping?

TD: erm fuck it would of been about 5 years ago when I would chill with dudes that I don’t talk to know cause of what they were like and shit but we would always end up free styling ect. and I was one of two who was brave enough to do it.  After doing that nearly every time we were out I started writing lyrics to shitty beats on old phones like old school grime beats or whatever but it was when I hit my final year of secondary school (middle school for you guys) when I delved into hip-hop more and it just elevated and expanded from there.  Plus my family is pretty musically orientated, my mum would always bump a LOT of R&B and soul like India Arie and Macy Gray but I always wanted to be involved in music and anything creative

PK: are a lot of kids in Sussex big on hip-hop?

TD: erm yeah man course anywhere you go in the world there will always be dudes into the same shit as you. I’ve got friends that are into hardcore I’ve got friends that are heavily into hip hop but there all diverse dudes man like they like a lot of types if music and styles and that is the best thing about being around them is finding new music and sharing ect.. I mean in terms of Sussex, Brighton is kind of the Mecca of UK hip hop or the other would be Bristol I guess.  I fuck with UK hip hop but find that shit stagnant and way samey so I try to distance myself from that scene and sound. I’ll tell u something though, dude, as the years are progressing I’m further trying to achieve a sound that is in it’s own lane if you feel me. Because as I have dipped more into GOOD music these past three years such as George Benson, Shakatak, Tarkus, Dwele, man the list can go on and I will talk more about what I fuck with later on but I have realized I do kinda wanna ease away from the hip-hop genre.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel as if I have conquered the genre now I’m on some next level but I feel I truly need to experiment.

PK: yeah that’s awesome, I mean “vancouver/Palme” definitely had you moving beyond what most people would expect from a traditional hip-hop track

TD: Oh thank you man for sure that was what I was going for, hip-hop in different shades of sounds and feels. It wasn’t completely what I wanted and to be honest the upcoming project Shrine has more of that feel to it but still keeps within the grasps of hip-hop.

PK: I’m psyched to hear it.  Who were some of the early artists you guys would listen to that got you into hip-hop?

TD: erm some of the dudes I would listen would be Blu, man.  That guy right there hands down the best rapper that’s ever existed plus herfavcolour is in my top five fav albums, man.  For sure the dudes collection of music is just pure poetry so him for sure. Mos Def is one because his soul infused sound and honest lyrics stood out for me. For me those two dudes really stood out at the beggining and for sure still do

PK: are there any more recent musicians who you’ve been vibing to?

TD: Yeah, jonwayne is an insane lyricist the man has a great taste in sounds and composed beautifully structured verses. The dudes Danny Watts and Stanley Ipkuss are dope. Blood Oranges new album is beautiful. King Krule’s shit is on point, “Cementality” is a new level. ILLFIGHTYOU’s shit is fuckin dope there so much but to be honest I’ve been listening to a lot of the records I’ve been digging

PK: All those guys are obviously cool.  ILLFIGHTYOU is really awesome, I wasn’t expecting you’d dig them but really cool that you mentioned them

TD: Too right man they’re so dope.  Their last record had me so hyped and “Potty” is just some straight up ignorant shit but their flow and wordplay is too much especially Ugly Frank, fucking shout out to him I want the cuh on my next shit after Shrine comes out end of this month.

PK: oh nice so Shrine is next

TD: Yeah dude Shrine is the piece, the work I have been trying to put out for time but its finally come. I have reached the shrine myself (well almost)

PK: what does reaching the shrine mean for you?

TD: What a good question. It means inner peace I guess. Recently these past few months have been so hard and I nearly gave up on anything not seeing friends, taking pictures, videoing stuff and making music. Shit was so dark but I’m nearly recoved man but then recovery is only what you make it.  But the LP is about tryin to find someone to share the shrine with and it’s more about the shrine within people and places than other shit

PK: has music helped you recover?

TD: yeah I guess. If anything I’ve become more productive and made the right decisions in friend choises and lifestyle. I’ve stopped drinking and smoking or anything man but music, photography and writing and filming have all helped and are helping

PK: it’s really good to hear that you’re able to find creative outlets as a way to move away from drugs and alcohol instead of a platform to fall into it as so many musicians and artists do

TD: Yeah for sure man I can see the appeal and have experimented with shit myself but man the way that people think a drink or smoke or a prescription drug will cure the pain is bullshit. It only numbs the pain and eventually that pain will become too strong and will overcome. The shit can help but is never a solution, man. It’s within all I us to recover but having people around you and creating is the true way without sounding like a preachy dick

PK: no worries you don’t sound like a preachy dick

TD: The amount of artists that use like creative people is insane.  It’s because a lot of these people are sad without releasing it man for real. It takes you to step away from all that shit to see how it effects you

PK: who are some of the people you’ve surrounded yourself with, are they all artists?

TD: Some are drawers, producers, musicians, directors. Just anyone creative is also a beautiful thing to have creative people around u. It took a whole for me to realize that.  I’ll chill with anyone dude I just won’t surround myself with bad vibes and lost people

PK: that’s awesome, definitely a good rule to live by. what do you want for the future of your music moving past Shrine?

TD: I don’t know, more music, more pictures and a LOT more videos ect. Films is what I studied at college and is my second love so I’m going to somehow merge my shit together. I want to direct and write films. I would love to draw more but I suck at that shit. I need to take more rolls of film and experiment with images. Just be involved in as much creativity as I can. But after Shrine, hopefully it will gain a fair bit of attention, I can start building. Work on a huge project.

PK: If you could have dinner with any artist dead or alive who would it be?

TD: I’m gunna say James Avery like he isn’t an artist but at the same time is. The dude captured me as Uncle Phil.  People fuck with him because he was that dude in fresh prince but there was something about him and on an ignorant tip I would say Frank Sinatra so he could take me on a trip to Las Vegas in the late 50’s.  Man, that would be cool or maybe the members of Black Street those dudes socked the knickers of many women back in the 90’s.  oh and The Bones Brigade back when they made the search for animal chin

PK: that all sounds dope, if you could be any animal what would you be?

TD: Erm either a monkey or a bird, birds are tight.

PK: any last shout outs you wanna give to people?

TD: My main man HUNGRY doing is thing sliding up in the grooves like a chilled water melon. Mah hardcore hustlers the gentleman of HARDOUT and the my dudes Hunter, Chaz and everyone else that I love and wanna make it to the top with *does a black street eyebrow raise and throws a peace sign*. Oh and shouts to The Up-Turn for always showing love, you the homies for sure

PK: haha thanks man, any thing else the good people of the internet should know about Tay Devenny?

TD: I will one day play a boiler room set. I will one day meet all my idols, and I am in love with Riley Reid that girl is my dream. She will be my queen. Plus go get Shrine on the 31st, shit’s free, teamSESH producer Cosmic did all the production and the whole vibe so so spaced and different.  Hopefully people fuck with it.

Check back here for Shrine on the 31st, we’re psyched.


pkelly94The Up-Turn Presents: A Conversation with Tay Devenny