In the realm of grime music, few artists possess the raw energy and unyielding spirit that Devilman embodies. Hailing from the vibrant streets of Birmingham, he has forged a path through adversity, captivating audiences with his lyrical prowess and unapologetic style. As we sit down with Devilman, we explore his journey from a gritty upbringing to becoming a force to be reckoned with in the grime scene. Join us as we delve into his early influences, the evolution of his sound, the pros and cons of independence, and his unwavering passion for the craft. Get ready to unleash the fire in this exclusive interview with Devilman.
Unleashing the Fire: An Exclusive Interview with Devilman
Devilman Interview by Student Pocket Guide
Hey Devilman, can we start at the beginning… What was life like for you growing up in Birmingham?
Growing up in Birmingham was crazy, I grew up around a lot of gang activity with hard drug-infested areas and poverty, but as years went on everything changed for the better.
When did you first realise you had a talent on the mic?
I first realised I had talent on the mic in school when I used to spit bars in the playground with friends, seeing my mates gassed over my bars gave me the energy to keep practising to take it to the next level.
You had a clash with Skepta years ago – did that sort itself out in the end?
The clash with Skepta was really enjoyable to do and came from mutual musical respect. It’s left behind a really great legacy for both of us and has gone down in the grime history books as one of the greatest clashes of all time. It’s a shame more artists don’t want to clash me anymore, they must all be shook!
I guess it helped introduce you to new fans in London. What’s the Grime scene like these days in terms of areas, and why, in your opinion does a postcode matter (or doesn’t it)?
Currently, the grime scene isn’t too healthy because the main players have moved on to different genres, I think the postcode situation meant a lot to people because it represents where they come from, but in my opinion, it doesn’t mean anything because my end goal is moving away from the bad energies of where I grew up.
How has your music style changed over the years, and how important is it to adapt your sound over time?
My style has changed dramatically over the years, some may not like it but adapting is really important because everything is constantly evolving so an artist has to keep up with the times and maintain keeping it real.
You’ve been grafting for years and remain independent with a small team. Why did you decide to go that route versus getting signed to a major label?
Being independent always seemed like the best option because I have control over everything and I’m not the kind of person to be told what I can and can’t do. Getting signed to a major could still be an option if the deal is right but being independent has worked well for me with my SIKA team so far.
Is it harder to create a successful music career as an independent artist? What are the pros and cons?
It’s definitely harder on average to become successful as an independent artist but in some cases it’s not, it just depends on the artist and how long they can stay relevant. A successful independent artist will be in a better position because they get a larger share of the revenue made from your art but a major label could give you more exposure and make you more money so it could go either way.
What words of inspiration can you offer to someone who is a talented musician but is maybe struggling to get noticed?
I’d say if you’re really serious about it then keep going because you never know when it will be your time, keep focused on yourself and don’t let anything distract you from your craft. Writing lyrics can be a way of helping you process this crazy thing we call life, it’s not all about making money from your art.
How often are you getting gigs and are there any stand-out festivals you’re looking forward to this summer?
I do gigs quite often, the amount can vary depending on the time of year. I’m looking forward to the SIKA stage at Nass festival this summer.
What are your favourite tracks at the moment?
My favourite tracks are “Follow No trend”, “Drum and Bass Father”, “Cold and Shivery”, and “Out on Road”.
Do you have much-unreleased music sitting on your hard drive? Will any of it get published?
I’ve always got unreleased music on the hard drive, I will be releasing them, but I’ve just got to wait for the right time.
What is your proudest career moment?
My proudest career moment is getting 24 million plus views on YouTube and creating so many memories travelling the world performing my music.
What’s the perfect day for Devilman?
The perfect day for me is waking up abroad doing a bit of exercise, going studio all day, eating a lovely meal then going to a performance and having extra fun with an iPhone charger at night!
Devilman Interview by Student Pocket Guide