Dagenham-based grime MC Devlin tells us about growing up with Wretch 32 and his follow-up LP, A Moving Picture.
His turbo-charged debut Bud, Sweat And Beers launched him into the critical mainstream and the London wordsmith is hoping for even bigger commercial and critical acclaim with A Moving Picture, released earlier this week and featuring collabs with everyone from Ed Sheeran and Katy B. Wonderland went in to find out exactly what we can expect from the dark, soulful rhymer with the venomous delivery.
You released your debut record in 2010. What’s been the highlights of your musical journey?
I would definitely say it has to be getting a gold album with Bud Sweat And Beers, and coming back after that with Watchtower going Top 10.
What have you been up to in between records?
I’ve either been writing, in the studio or if I’m not doing either of them then I’m at interviews or shows. It’s been mad busy, always have something to do!
Your new album A Moving Picture was out this week. What can your fans expect from the long-awaited record?
You can expect some new sounds, a few collaborations with the likes of Wretch 32, Katy B and Ed Sheeran. A lot has happened since my last album so I’ve had more to write about. I’d say the overall sound of A Moving Picture is more cinematic than the first album. The music has grown and I’ve grown as an artist so this album will definitely offer something different to the first.
You seem to draw lyrical inspirations from personal experiences. Is songwriting almost therapy for you?
Yeah, I suppose so. It’s my outlet to express opinions and my experiences in my own way.
Will the lyrics differ from this record to the last, considering how successful you’ve become?
The content is always going to evolve as time moves on and new things happen in my life. My life, the people around me and what I see has been the biggest inspiration for this record.
How does it feel to see friends like Wretch 32 becoming so successful alongside you?
It’s great because I’ve known Wretch for years so to see him doing him thing and becoming so successful is a good feeling.
Is there a track on the new album that you’re particularly proud of?
I think it’s got to be the song with Katy B, ‘Sun Goes Down’. Her voice sounds beautiful on it and I’ve always wanted to work with her, so it was a real pleasure being able to have her on my album.
What else do you have planned for the forthcoming year, barring the album release? Any festivals or a tour?
Yeah, I’m gonna hit up a lot of festivals this year and a tour later on, which I’m really looking forward to.
A Moving Picture is out now on Island Records. officialdevlin.com
Words: Shane Hawkins