Deanna Devore is a singer/songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist based in Chicago and Toronto.
Devore revealed her first project in 2008, followed by her second EP entitled “X Number of Days” released in 2013. The multi-instrumentalist has opened for major artists such as Jamie Cullum, Bonobo and SG Lewis and performed at various festivals such as Summerfest, CMJ, NXNE, and 80/35.
She is now offering her new project entitled “half and half” released on September 27th. Half electronic and half acoustic, the self-produced EP explores the darkness and light of love and life.
“half and half” is now available on major streaming platforms.
I’m Deanna Devore, a songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and producer based in Chicago and Toronto.
Tell us a little bit about your childhood. At what point did you know music had a special place in your life?
Music was my world since I was a kid. I learned to play instruments at a young age and then starting writing music. Writing and playing always went hand in hand for me - which is why I started writing songs when I was really young.
When did you start making music?
I started writing songs when my dad bought me a baritone ukulele at the age of 3. I think my first song was about my cats haha. From then, I continued to write and play. I recorded demos in my basement throughout middle school and high school.
What gave you the confidence to release your original music and become an artist?
It wasn’t until a couple of producers heard my music that I decided to put out my first album. I figured if I wanted to give it a real shot, there was no time like the present.
You’ve released three albums so far. How did your sound and artistry evolve since your first release?
I think the sound has evolved with the times. My sound has always been the mix of electronic music with real instrumentation but this newest release has a little more of a jazz/RnB influence.
You’ve just released your latest album “half and half”. What made you want to call this album “half and half”?
It’s called half and half because half the album is electronic and half is acoustic (some songs are in between - picture a spectrum of sound).
What are the different topics you are talking about on this album?
It delves into the darkness and light of love and life.
When did you start working on this album? Who did you work with?
I actually started the recording process of this album about three years ago. It went through many transformations, because originally I was planning on recording an all acoustic album. The album is mainly self-produced. I record in a home studio in Toronto and perform all the parts myself. There are a couple of tracks that had additional production by Hugh Fothergill, a producer/engineer in London, UK. I went out there for a couple weeks to finish those specific tracks.
What was the hardest part about making this album? And what was the best part?
I think the hardest part was deciding the direction of the album, sonically. I kept on changing my mind. It first started off as an acoustic album, but then I started writing more rnb/jazz influenced songs. That would also make it the best part of making this album - I’m happy with the sonic choice I made - the whole half and half idea.
What did you learn about yourself after finishing this album?
That I am a perfectionist haha.
As an artist, what are the biggest obstacles you had to overcome? How did you overcome these challenges?
I think as a female musician, there’s always a feeling of needing to “prove yourself” and then theres’s also the need to get the music out there to as many people as you can through social media etc. I hope this new album does just that and reaches new listeners.
You got to open for major artists such as Jamie Cullum, Bonobo, and SG Lewis. Any favorite memory for these experiences?
The Jamie Cullum concert stands out because I was literally playing solo for 900 silent, seated people. It was a bit of a nightmare moment, like the anxiety dreams you have that never actually come true. But at the same time, it was a wonderful moment because once I got over that initial intimidation, it was a surreal experience with 900 people actually listening to me and taking it all in.
How does Toronto influence your creativity?
I think the Toronto music scene has influenced my creativity in terms of the sound of my music. Toronto has a lot of downtempo/minimal RnB type music and I use the same flavors.
What advices would you give to young songwriters?
To not be afraid of writing outside the box; it’s better to be unique in my opinion and not sound like everyone else.
What does music make you feel?
I describe the feeling as making your heart hurt. Similar to the goosebumps you feel when you are moved by music. For me, when I hear a pretty chord or melody, I feel it in my heart but not in a bad way.
What are the things you are the most proud of?
I think it’s the songs themselves that I’m most proud of. They’re my babies and seeing the music get out there makes me feel like they are leaving the nest, so to speak.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
If people would spend more time being present and put down their phones.
What’s your purpose?
To songwrite, both for myself and hopefully for other artists.
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