Devyn Adair sat down from her spot in LA recently to talk about her music, fashion inspo, and being a Virgo. Read her full interview below.
Tell me about where you grew up, how you got started, how long you’ve been performing?
So I grew up in Puyallup, Washington. It’s kind of a bigger town now, but when I first moved there it was kind of small. But yeah, my dad was in the military so we traveled a lot, but he retired there. And then I’ve always loved music and have always been in choir and I was a part of singing groups and just always practicing. I trained in Korea when I was younger, I just didn’t know how to really get into it professionally. And then when I started modeling I started meeting more people in the industry and stuff. I’ve been really doing it for like a year and a half. I’ve tried before, I just had no idea what I was doing. But now with the team we have, [my manager] Natalie’s by my side and it’s helped me so much. We’ve had a very productive year and a half. So yeah.
Who’s been your inspiration the most, musically and personally?
Oh God. Musically I have so many. Rihanna’s been a consistent one. I looked up to Dean. He’s a Korean artist. I grew up listening to rock and soul, and then like KR&B and K-Pop from my mom. So I’ve just always been a fan of contemporary pop and like experimental kinds of sounds and R&B. Yeah, I would say like Dean, Rihanna, I love SZA, I just love everything, you know, Imogen Heap. Like I’ll pull inspo from, like I’m just listening to everything across the board, besides country. I will say I was never a fan of country.
Yeah, because I feel like I listened to your music a little bit and I do feel like it’s a lot lighter than like a lot of the R&B and soul stuff that’s been put out.
I don’t know, I really pull in influence from like KR&B, which is a lot lighter and softer than American R&B. And then obviously I love pop in a sense, like experimental, anti-pop. And then my dad– I just remember growing up, listening to System of A Down and Black Hole Sun and like all these bands that he would just blast in his Mustang. And I just love guitar and strings and heavy bass and stuff like that. So yeah, I guess I’m just like a mixture of things I like.
Very eclectic. System of A Down and then SZA.
Yeah, it’s very different.
Yeah, so then how would you describe your music to people that haven’t heard of you, in a few words?
I would describe it as soft, but also with a little edge. And I am very, very adamant about having lyrics that can relate and tell my own story and move people. In that sense, obviously my sound is always developing. So far I’d say it’s soft with a little bit of edge. That’s how I’d like to describe it. I’ve had producers tell me, “Your voice sounds like butter and sandpaper.” And I was like, huh. That’s cool. That’s literally like soft and hard.
“I’ve had producers tell me, ‘Your voice sounds like butter and sandpaper.'”
Are there any producers or other artists you want to work with?
Yeah. I mean, Rihanna’s always gonna be like an end goal. But, you know, as I’m growing and changing and diving more into my own artistry, I would love to work with Dean, like that would be a dream. And then there’s a couple Korean artists I’d love to collab with. There’s a couple American artists as well but I’m just really trying to embrace my Korean heritage as well. So, yeah, like Rihanna, Dean, DPR, I would literally be so happy.
What are your plans for the future, extending beyond music and then within music?
Yeah. So within music, obviously I want to just experiment with different sounds but also try and stay true to myself. Right now, I’m kind of leaning towards making songs that are more commercial and more pop with a heavy R&B influence. When the stuff I’ve been putting out is very personal and very like, Sad girl, kind of but the next stuff I really want it to be fun and something you can actually dance to. And then future goals, I have so many. I’m a Virgo. So I have a plan A B C D, E F, G all the way to Z.
Virgo, say less.
So I obviously like performing and, you know, getting more into that is obviously a goal. I actually used to draw, so eventually I want to sell children’s books. And modeling is always there. I just, I really would love to collab with big brands and put my creative input in it as well, not just model, but have the ability to actually have a creative input in a lot of things like, you know, brand deals and stuff. So those are some goals of mine out of a lot. Those are the main main ones.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as an emerging artist?
Within the last year and a half I’m really proud of me and Natalie and our team because we figured out a lot of stuff on our own. Especially being a woman in the music industry, it’s like sometimes we cannot be taken seriously or, you know, taken advantage of.
Work twice as hard.
Yeah, we have to work twice as hard. It’s like, you know, if they find you attractive, they’ll try and pull some shit. Or try and take advantage of you. But I’m really lucky to have the team that I have because they’ve taught me a lot that I had no idea before so that when we do go into these kinds of situations, we know what we’re talking about and we’re firm in what we believe in and what we want. So that was kind of what we learned and it was a challenge at first, but we’ve overcome that challenge so we’re really grateful for that.
Totally. So then your latest song, Too Comfortable. What can you tell us about the process for it?
I saw some toxic relationships that a couple of my best friends and people close in my life were in, and then also a toxic relationship I was in. I just was sad one day and wanted to really be transparent in what a toxic relationship does and what it could bring out in certain people. And that’s where, you know, I just got inspired to write about it and really dove deeper into that kind of relationship. And you know, people don’t realize that some people don’t say anything if they’re in a toxic relationship because they’re too comfortable, and they’re scared of changing or scared of taking a chance because they are too comfortable. So yeah, I just started writing it one day and I sent it to my guitarist and friend and was like, “I really want this to sound sweet but I also want people to hear the lyrics, I want it to be kind of raw.” So he sent me these pretty guitar chords and that was it. It was a pretty easy process.
You’ve talked about modeling. What are some of your favorite brands and stuff that you’ve been wearing?
I think recently after we started rebranding and going in a different direction I really started taking fashion more seriously and was very inspired by it and started just doing my research and stuff. Natalie would send me some brands too, so then I dove deeper into it and I love it. But yeah I recently just had a shoot where I was wearing Ottolinger and thought it was fire, like their new line is so sick. And I really like a lot of Korean brands, like Hyein Seo is really fire, Heliot Emil. I’ll even go on SSENSE and look at their articles and stuff just to see what brands are, you know, up and coming. And Pinterest is a constant inspiration. I’m always on there. But yeah just experiment with what I have and get some essential pieces, stuff like that. My closet has definitely changed a lot this last year.
Speaking of this last year, how has COVID changed anything about how you have been working and operating?
Oh my God, it changed so much. I feel like it did for everyone else as well. It really gave us a chance to pause and reflect and think about who we really, you know, want to surround ourselves with and the energy we spend on certain people and certain things. I think COVID really helped me find the people that I needed to be surrounded by. And then also, gave me the chance to kind of just pause and really dive deeper into who I am as an artist and who I am as a woman. So yeah. I I know COVID is like so fucking annoying and it’s been so long. But also there were some positives that came with it.
And then, going back to your look and everything and your style when it comes to photos and artwork, what is the inspiration for the shoots you have?
I don’t want to just pose, you know, I want to create a moment. A vibe. Like, I really want to connect with the direction of the shoot or the creative direction of the shoot. I don’t want to just look at the camera, I want to really connect and like, I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like an alter ego comes out but it’s really just me. I don’t know, I guess it is an alter ego. But yeah, I’m just always trying to create a vibe or show some of my personality, not just like a canvas, you know? So yeah. Whatever the mood or the inspiration is behind the shoot, I’ll try and really connect with that.
Do you have anything new in the works for release?
Yes, we have a lot! We’re in the works of a single that’s coming out. It’s a collab with a group called the Torsades and they’re like my main guys when it comes to making my stuff as well. So we created this song together and we’re planning on releasing it in January, but I’m really excited for it because it’s definitely like a darker, sexier kind of mood. So I’m super excited to just start showing different sounds and different styles I also enjoy making. And then yeah, I’m working on like three other singles that are again, like, more fun and not so sad. Yeah, so there’s stuff we have in the works. For sure.
Nice. And then, my final question. What does it mean to you to be Frank, to keep it real?
Oh my God it means everything. I’ve never been the one to like pussyfoot around or like, you know, I just like to go straight to it and sometimes it can come off as harsh or, you know, bitchy but I guess I’ll have to work on my delivery. I have always been very adamant about being myself and not changing for others. I’ve hated it and I’ve been in that situation. Mentally it’s good for you to stay true to yourself and honesty is the best way to go on. Honesty is policy.
Is it bitchy or assertive? Just saying.
You know what? You right. It’s assertive. I am woman, hear me roar.