by Lindsey Shaw
I stand with my pen and paper on the venue floor, having carved out an area for one. There are fleeting moments in the beginning of the set I’m reviewing where I get a little self-conscious about not having an entourage of fellow fans and friends standing by. There are groups around me — they’ve ostensibly purchased show tickets weeks in advance after coordinating the outing through a string of e-mails. But why let my lack of camaraderie spoil a show? After all, I'm not a 15-year-old that worries about such things.
Shortly before Deanna Devore sings, I’m hit on by another solo attendee, and he chats me up until he sees the headliner walk by and implores my pardon as he ditches our encounter to chase another, perhaps more celebrity-worthy, tryst. Men. Alone once again, I hear Deanna croon, "If you’ve had a change of heart," in a sultry voice to an upbeat, electro-pop tune, "and now someone else gets the best of you." One may assume such love lyrics are soaked in whatever broke the musician’s heart, but this is not the case when it comes to an artist like Deanna Devore.
“The majority of my lyrics come from my own experiences, although the lyrics and emotion are both something that come last for me. I sit down and write without an idea in mind. Just music. And then from there, I’ll write a melody. Once I’ve finalized a melody, I’ll write lyrics,” Deanna says in explaining her musical process.
As a writer and someone who generally draws creativity directly from feelings brought on by heartache or triumph, the idea of producing something from another angle and writing the music first befuddled me. Initially, I was unable to process the concept of emotions being secondary when interviewing Deanna, and she and I ran into a bit of a deadlock in communication. Once my confusion fell away in understanding her artistic process, however, I found it very refreshing to realize that the creation of art doesn’t have to depend on emotions at all, whether positive or negative.
“I'm not the type of writer that writes a song after a break-up or a love song purposely. Writing just sort of happens, no matter what is going on. I don't usually have a goal set of what I want it to be about,” Deanna says, further solidifying her explanation of art coming from a place solely inspired by her innate ability to develop sound. Because of this, Deanna calls herself a "musician, musician."
Deanna Devore's talent was discovered at the ripe age of three (before she was big enough to even hold a guitar) when she started writing music on a baritone ukulele. With no sole source of inspiration outside of writing "for the sake of writing," Deanna admits, with the same tomboy conviction she presents on stage, that she does what she does because she "honestly loves it."
I will admit I was a bit disappointed when I found out the emotional connection I felt with Deanna when she bolted out the lyrics, "you’re gorgeously ugly inside," wasn’t based on a break-up or ex-lover. At the same time, the fact that the song wasn't based on a failed relationship or heartache really impressed me. Above all, Deanna is a musician. Music itself drives her to create, not emotions. Unlike Taylor Swift, Deanna's music doesn't serve as some kind of relationship diary or means to call out an ex. When asked what kind of mark she'd like to leave on the industry, Deanna says, "I'd like to show other females that girls can be real musicians too. Not just singers, but musicians."
Deanna Devore plays at the Metro Friday, March 8th at 8PM. Go to her show and see how she makes you feel... GET TICKETS NOW!
LISTEN to Deanna Devore through Soundcloud below: