With Devlin's sophomore album A Moving Picture dropping in less than a week’s time via Island Records, we caught up with the Dagenham MC to discuss the album, his growth as an artist, his new singles with Ed Sheeran and Wretch 32, and the pressure to keep fans happy…
What should we expect from the new album?
I called it A Moving Picture, I think that when I’m making my songs, when I’m around that cinematic vibe, songs like Community Outcast, that’s where I thrive. So I tried to write a few deep meaningful songs. There’s a bit if me going in: me and Wretch have got a feature on there (Off With Their Heads) an old grime track. So it’s just me being me. I’ve got a tiny bit more freedom (so I’m) just trying to enjoy my music, and try to bring more strings and orchestral sounds to the record.
How would you describe you’re growth as an artist?
When we were young it was literally just about writing lyrics to bomb the radio, not songs as such. So I feel like my song-writing has progressed, touching on different themes and concepts and just a different form of writing. But it’s still got the same elements and the same vibe about it. (I’m) trying to make songs for the mainstream, to appeal to everyone, and still kept the same sentiment at the same time. It’s a balance innit.
What made you go from just spitting bars to starting to explore concepts more in your music?
When I was young I always loved that venomous vibe of grime, the fiery flows and the wordplay. But I just sat back and thought, and I’m quite a deep thoughtful person anyways- I think a lot, and just tried to look at if I’m coming in this game, then what have people not done? And I thought I could capture some concepts and make some big tunes. Take it a little deeper. So that’s the angle I try to come at it from at least.