It’s always been about music. Born in South Bend, Indiana, the 21-year old Dev09 sang before she could talk. Sing-alongs to Frank Sinatra on car rides, to Verdi at dinner, and to all of the Nina Simone and Wilco, New Order, Nirvana, English Beat, Libertines, and Charlie Parker that played when her mom was cooking are among Dev’s best childhood memories. Her favorite toy was a microphone. A decade of cello lessons began at age three.
Trading her cello for a guitar in middle school, things changed for Dev even as they stayed the same. A$AP Rocky replaced Sinatra, but Dev kept writing and singing. Excited by new hip hop idols, she reached beyond Indiana for collaborators without ever leaving South Bend. In fact – she tweeted at A$AP Yams, the founder of the A$AP Mob, how many retweets she would need for him to escort her to senior prom. His response, “1K boo” is now one of her several tattoos. Unfortunately, Yams died shortly after their exchange, but the experience connected the teen vocalist with A$AP Ferg’s producer, Stelios Phili.
Dev collaborated long distance with Phili, and released her breakout single, “You Made Me.” Called “sparse and stylish,” this mashup of hip hop and club pop was named one of 2015’s best songs by Pigeons and Planes.
Seizing the moment, Dev followed the success of “You Made Me” with a move to Los Angeles—a fast and furious beginning cut short by her bi-polar II diagnosis and rehabilitation in 2016. Fully recovered, Dev signed with 300 and is already back to doing what she loves. Her forthcoming EP sees Dev navigate her journey with mental health – touching on things like addiction.
Explaining the meaning behind the song, Dev explained – “Bored is a song I wrote when I was 18 & it’s about using another person for drugs & affection. A lot of people hear the song & think it’s emasculating, that it’s refreshing to see a role reversal with the woman in power… they say this as a compliment. I think that’s totally backwards. To me it sounds like a sad, vulnerable, insecure girl using a sad, vulnerable, insecure guy. Nobody wins. It’s a lit song tho.“