(Photo Credit: Matthew Peters)
Devin Kennedy a Berklee College of Music graduate started creating music at a young age, teaching himself guitar, drums and piano. In 2018, he released a string of well-received singles. These days, his music is everywhere, with successful rotation on Los Angeles radio stations as well as features on the “Today At Apple Playlist” in all Apple stores nationwide, and BMI’s Music Monday. He’s partnered with ‘Steereo’ to stream his music for over 200k listening minutes in Lyfts and Uber’s across the U.S. In 2018, he was awarded “Best New Emerging Artist” by Hollywood Music in Media and sold-out his first headlining show at Los Angeles’ Peppermint Club LA. He’s performed nationwide with James Maslow (ex. Big Time Rush) at iHeartRadio festivals including Jingle Ball and was recently the opening act for Wesley of the hit band Emblem3. His newest single, “No Worries” has already garnered over 100k streams across all platforms, building the anticipation for the release of “You & Me, That’s Enough.”
Co-written and produced by Kennedy, “You & Me, That’s Enough” blasts off with a grooving jam-beat that triggers multiple repeat listens. “Champagne for Two” is the perfect introduction to the pulsing vibe of the EP, one that calls for a chill evening wrapped up in love. Its glistening synths and layered chorus lull you into vacation mode, laying the perfect foundation for the tracks to come. One of the singles off the project is the anti-FOMO, “No Worries.” The inspiration behind the name for the EP, the subtle bossanova vibe and stripped-down instrumentation wraps you in pop euphoria. If all you want is the soundtrack to your night in, this is it.
Kennedy’s smooth baritone remains the axis that each song revolves around, but it shines particularly bright on “Something Bout That Feeling.” Slapping bass melds with mid-tempo melodic fire to produce a funky, feel-good sound. On a track that explores the complicated emotions that come with chasing after love and being comfortable in your loneliness, Kennedy manages to make the chaotic feel almost peaceful. Things come to a quiet close on the final track, “The Way It Goes.” Between effected guitar and a hand clap beat, the singer undulates from falsetto and back, reflecting on the certainties of life. Haunting and layered vocals lend a sense of atmosphere, proving that the real star throughout each and every track is Devin himself.
When it comes to pop music that stands out from the masses, Devin Kennedy stopped by OLC! to talk about his brand new EP “You & Me, That’s Enough” out now.
Hi Devin and Welcome back to OLC! How have you been and what have you been up too?
Hello! Thanks for having me back. I’ve been well! I’ve been writing a ton of music and I’m super excited to have this new EP out!
You’ve finally released your highly anticipated EP “You & Me, That’s Enough,”, what can you tell me about it and what can your fans expect?
This is a really special release for me. Not only are these my favorite songs I’ve written to date, but also it really feels like the beginning of a very very exciting time for me and my music. Listeners can expect feel good California-Summer inspired pop/r&b songs that are all about genuinely connecting with other people.
Who helped you work on the EP?
I’m so lucky to have a bunch of awesome collaborators that I work with in LA. Each song has a different set of co-writers/producers on it. Ian Walsh, Patrick Hartman, Dan Burke, Anthony Reeder, Wolf Bradley (The Habits), and Chris Aguilo (NonSense) are all insanely talented writers/artists/producers and I feel very lucky to work with them.
You had input in every aspect of this EP from the songwriting to the production, how important do you think it is that artists have creative control over there own projects?
Every artist is different. I think the most important thing for an artist is that they understand the message of their project. Not every artist has to produce, mix, master, promote. No one person can do everything, but I feel it’s crucial that an artist understands what they’re trying to say with their music. In my case, I’m the first to admit that I’m a creative-control-freak, and sometimes that comes back to bite me in my personal life. I obsess over every detail in the writing, production, mix, master, music video, album art, budget, promotion..etc, and that’s because even though I’m lucky to have a growing (and very awesome) team, I’ve been pushing my artist project for a while and I know exactly what I want to look like.
What song on this EP means the most to you and why?
I love all these songs, but “Something Bout That Feeling” still hits home the most. My grandpa was a classically trained pianist. He passed away in the 90s. A few years ago my family and I found some original piano cassettes that he had recorded in his living room in the 80s. I digitized and re-mastered the cassettes and sampled him in the song. All the piano parts you hear in the pre-chorus and chorus are him. It’s a very special one.
My favourite song on the EP is “The Way It Goes”, what inspired this song?
I wrote this one with a close friend Anthony Reeder. We’ve written together a lot. We started a session one day and I was thinking about how much I write about relationships and other people, but had never really made a huge effort to be honest about myself on a songwriting level. “The Way It Goes” is as real as it gets for me, and I feel that a lot of people will be able to relate to that. It embraces all the ironies in my life: losing sleep to stay awake and work, having no alone time because I want to be with family/friends when I’m not working…etc. For me, the chorus sums up the EP perfectly. We all have ups and downs, but all you can do is your best. The rest is just up to fate. Go with the flow.
What was the reason behind calling it “You & Me, That’s Enough,”?
“You & Me, That’s Enough” is a lyric in my song “No Worries”. When it came time to decide on an EP title, it felt right to choose something on the topic of genuine human connection. I’m so guilty of feeling disconnected from the people that I love, and when I listen through all these songs, for me they really promote the message: nothing is more important than connecting with the people you care about. That can be your parents, significant other, friends, and in a lot of cases, yourself.
What message or feeling do you hope your fans take away from this EP?
I hope fans can jam out to these songs with the windows down, sing along and have a great time. On a deeper level, I hope it can serve as a reminder to spend quality time with your loved ones and to always give them the time and attention that they deserve.
Do you have any plans to go on a tour to promote the record?
Yeah! I have LA/NYC shows this fall, and will be announcing more dates very soon!
What’s next on the agenda for Devin Kennedy?
I have so many songs on the back-burner right now. The rest of 2019 will be full of promotion for the EP, and lot’s of production/writing. In 2020 I can confirm that I’ll be releasing an albums worth of music (at least) and will definitely be out on the road to promote the music and meet all the amazing supporters I have around the US and beyond.