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Devon has never let small-town life hold him back. In fact, the dreamy alt-pop songwriter’s hometown is his greatest muse. Born and raised in South West England in a bucolic village in the Forest of Dean, Devon went from singing Johnny Cash covers at the local pub to landing prime spots on taste-making playlists including Spotify’s All New Indie and Apple Music’s New in Pop. Still, the self-taught artist remains adamantly DIY. “I feel more comfortable when I have less,” he says. That mentality comes from growing up as a creative spirit in an isolated area.
Devon may now have a headline tour under his belt, but he still works from his bedroom. There, pinned to the wall, is a weathered note from his fifth-grade teacher who taught him how to play guitar. The note contains the quote, “Nothing ever happens by itself.” It’s a line from the Steppenwolf song “Hey Lawdy Mama,” and it’s the motto that Devon lives by. “If I want to do something, it’s all on me. Nothing’s ever going to come to me,” he says. “That little nugget of advice has stopped me from making excuses.” And while he continues to yearn for something beyond his secluded environs, Devon still finds the most inspiration in his own backyard. “I don’t think I’ve written a piece of music that hasn’t got a bit of hometown blood in it,” he says. “Being so isolated, with no outside influences, it’s always felt so easy to stay true to myself.”
Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1JY