During one of the weekends of Coachella, a publicist (their name will not be disclosed because they are really sweet) contacted us to interview Dev Hynes. We were entitled up to 10 questions with the musical genius. We were totally stoked at the opportunity and called up friends and coworkers to join in on the question process…
Needless to repeat but we are anyway, it didn’t happen. Read our meaty questions below and answer them like Dev would in the comments section. *If your responses are inappropriate, they will be flagged.
From Test Icicles to Blood Orange, Dev Hynes is the “Real McCoy”
(1) Many people may not know this but I’d like to think you’ve lived many lives. In your past lives, you were a member of the amazing yet short-lived experimental dance-punk trio Test Icicles and shortly after, you were reincarnated to a folk-driven vessel named Lightspeed Champion, who went on hiatus and now, you’re Blood Orange — What a journey. My first question is, are you exhausted, and why do you think you’ve been able to transcend and become so successful on the commercial or mainstream tip this time around? Whom or what do you give credit to?
(2) Recently, you performed a set in Greenpoint (Brooklyn) for Cutty Sark, a whisky brand that introduced its newest whisky marque to the U.S. since the original blend was smuggled into America over 80 years ago.
According to you, “Cutty Sark’s background is steeped in the history of Prohibition – a time when people pushed boundaries and rebelled against the status quo in pursuit of authenticity.”
You even went on to say that your “musical style is similar in that it can’t be categorized into one style.”
Without a doubt, we, your fans, can understand why you’re aligned with Cutty Sark Whisky, but I must ask: What did you listen to as a child? Who are some of your biggest musical influences? (We imagine that it’s a wide range of music.)
(3) In February, Adrian from Rap Genius invited us (myself and my guest Angelena, whom is also a huge fan of yours) to your show at Webster Hall and you were just so gracious onstage. There wasn’t a dull moment in that room, the floor was shaking and when you came into the crowd, my girl Angelena almost lost it. You’re magical. Now, just two months later, over the weekend, you’re playing Coachella! As a musician / performance artist who’s been around for over a decade, how does it feel to be recognized by and placed on the bill to rock at Coachella?
(4) You’ve worked with a few of my favourite bands: Arctic Monkeys, Bleeding Knees Club (who I saw perform live at Mercury Lounge some time ago), Theophilus London and now, Solange Knowles. Do you enjoy writing and producing for others as much as you enjoy creating for yourself or does one outweigh the other?
(5) On the Internet, you’ve been dubbed the king of modern “normcore” fashion. Are you aware of it and does it bother you? Your outfit for your Cutty Sark performance looks plush, can you share the names of the items you were wearing? What is one item of clothing you think you cannot live without?
(6) I’m a Queens girl; born and raised and Sutphin Boulevard once played a significant part of my life. I shopped for food on Sutphin, I worked on Sutphin, I fell in love on and dated a guy who lived off of Sutphin, I traveled on Sutphin to get to high school and college. I lost some of my best friends on Sutphin Boulevard. For a long time, it was a conduit for my life. Now, Merrick Boulevard is that boulevard for me. What is your connection to Sutphin Boulevard and what inspired you write a song about it? (I’m curious.)
(7) In laymen’s terms, what is synesthesia and how does it play into your second album Cupid Deluxe? When is your TEDx Talk about synesthesia going to be available?
(8) You seem to have a really unique relationship with MoMA and you’ve played some super exclusive shows there recently. Could you elaborate on your relationship with the MoMA? How did it come to be, and will there more MoMA and / or Cutty Sark Whisky shows featuring Blood Orange this year?
(9) If GrungeCake (the name of my online publication) was a fruit, what would it taste like?
(10) What’s next for you? Is there any exclusive information that you can share?
For more Dev Hynes, just click here.