(Image via devinnashmusic)
R&B without a doubt is my favorite genre, so when I stumbled upon O.D. by Devin Nash, I had to find out who he was as an artist. I was fortunate enough to talk with Devin, an artist from Atlanta, Georgia. His producer, Ryan Marsh, was also present.
Let’s start with the basics. Devin Nash is originally from Baltimore, Maryland. His influences are Prince, Bell Biv Devoe, Michael Jackson, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, and The Dream. His latest EP is called “Her” which includes “O.D.”, “Calico/Kristols”, “Part-Time Lover”, “Cry”, “Tears From My Heart”, “Her”, and “Love Won’t Hurt”.
As an artist what drives and fuels his passion is the feeling of creating something new and special that could last forever and inspire people.
When I asked what was his favorite song that he’s written so far, as well as what video was his favorite Devin was a bit stumped, but went on to say The EP Her means a lot to him. Even Ryan Marsh spoke about how he can relate to it due to his past relationships, and agreed that Her is special. Ryan spoke about how Kristols was significant since it was the beginning of the EP. For Devin Nash it was the embodiment of a sad feeling he needed to release.
I was curious about the creating process so Ryan took over to explain how the creating of the music happens. The music process generally starts with a hook or verse or something Devin has been feeling and then the music will be shaped around that. It mostly starts with a feeling or a vibe. They have rule, they have to love it. Sometimes Devin sits down at the piano and comes up with something, then takes it to Ryan. Part-Time Lover started with a few chords played by Ryan and then Devin came up with the verses. Devin went on to say that he usually knows when they’re creating something great. It’s a gift I wish I had.
When asked where he got his musicality. Devin said that he’s worked really hard in developing himself, but also had some help from a college roommate, as well as Ryan Marsh in terms of vocal production and creating songs. Something that has stuck with him that Ryan told him is that in order for a song to be good it doesn’t necessarily have to have a bunch of harmonies. Devin doesn’t come from a musical family and shared that if he wanted to listen to certain artists like BBD or Prince he had to go to his aunt’s house. At his house they’d listen to artists like Luther Vandross or The Temptations, but music wasn’t played all the time…just around the holidays. He remembers a family trip to Florida consistently listening to Boys 2 Men who he is also influenced by.
I told him that he reminds me of Miguel, though Miguel is bit more rock influenced. I think he took that as a compliment. My next questions for him were “As an artist what is your goal, how would you like to impact people? How do you want people to perceive you as an artist?” He would like to be seen as an artist and inspire people. He doesn’t see everyone in today’s industry as an artist. Which I could agree with. He looks at Kanye West as an artist, because his music goes beyond rap and he inspires him to be better and do something crazy.
Devin has quite the sense of humor so when I asked him what he did to get rid of nerves before going on stage he said “I do a lot of drugs” which got a laugh from me. After establishing that he was joking he went on to say that he should probably have a ritual, but doesn’t. He imagines himself on stage,likes to relax, chat, and sometimes he’ll take a shot. He admits that when he does consistent shows he doesn’t get as nervous. Performing in LA was a time in which he does recall being nervous.
In the industry he would like to hear more singing. He thinks that there are a lot of artists who should be highlighted but are looked over because of the industry being more geared towards rap. There isn’t enough r&b right now. He would like to see more artists who dance, play instruments and sing; as well as more lyrics. Don’t we all? He wants to feel goosebumps when he listens to music, which is something that seldom happens. Devin mentioned how he talked with a friend about this and he heard Celine Dion’s “I’m Your Angel” and that gave him goosebumps. That is produced by a combination of both vocals and lyrics. I asked if this applied to the music industry in general or locally as well. He said “People imitate whats popular so what you’re getting that’s popular is what you’re getting in Atlanta.” He also said that the rap in the area is over saturated. If that’s all that people are doing then that isn’t very creative. He said “We all imitate someone and they say imitation is the highest form of flattery. However, we do it to some extent, but its good to always have something of your own niche”. He mentioned how I commented on how we want to hear something different. Everyone sounds the same these days. That’s what he and Ryan are trying to accomplish, something different.
In the next 5 years Devin Nash sees himself winning a Grammy, he’s not too sure for what, but he also sees himself writing songs for different people and having a multimedia company.
I asked if he had any crazy fan or embarrassing stories. He had a “cool” fan story. He use to be apart of group and the fan drew a picture of them as ghosts and said they’d live forever. In my mind that’s a little crazy. As for an embarrassing moment, he once got heckled..by the man who introduced him. Why? He corrected the man on stage after he called him the wrong name. He hopes it doesn’t get anymore embarrassing than that.
The next part of the interview were questions more about him as a listener. I asked him what his top 3 genres were. He named the Singer/Songwriter, Pop, Rock genres. He doesn’t listen to the radio too much and prefers using Tidal. His favorite band is Kings Of Leon, so when he wants to really enjoy music that who he listens to. His top 6 all time favorite artists are: Prince, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, John Mayer, Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross. I asked him who he could listen to once a day and he said he’d be really bored if did that, but if he were on an island…after much deliberation, anything Timbaland has produced. That was a brilliant answer, he found the loophole in my question. His current favorite song is “Slide” by Calvin Harris featuring Frank Ocean and Migos. That’s one crazy combination. I had never heard of this song so I had to go find it immediately, and I see why he really likes it. It’s a nice summer hit and it’s a little funky and a little groovy. He also named another song I had yet to hear. It’s called “Mic Jack” by Big Boi and it features Adam Levine.
When it came to naming an artist dead or alive who he could write or work with he named Prince. He came to realize around 5 years ago that Prince was a Rock Star, a Pop Star, and many other things. He used “Let’s Go Crazy” as an example. He said if he were asked 10 years ago he would have said Michael Jackson. I understand, we have seen Prince work and collab with various people and it has worked really well.
We went on to discuss his age. He naturally looks 21, but he’s actually 32. We discussed how some people feel discouraged in listing their age, but in reality you can have success at any age. It doesn’t bother him.
Before we finished our interview I wanted to ask Ryan Marsh a couple of questions. How’d Ryan get his start? Ryan was right out of high school and he started singing with a group called “Status”, they were supposed to be signed to Death Row but Death Row closed down. From there he started performing as a solo artist and then he started producing for other artists. His advice for people who want to produce like he does is “try to look at the big picture and not focus on just making a beat. It is your responsibility for that final product. However you get there is fine but ya know you’re responsible for that final product.”
If you want to hear Devin’s album it can be found on his website; devinnashmusic.com. “Kristols” and “Cry” are currently on Itunes, Tidal, Amazon Music.
Devin Nash has 2 EP’s coming out in the near future. One will have a more urban sound, the other will be more old school. I asked what he meant by old school he named Phil Collins, Elton John, and Prince. Prince is huge influence for him.
The links are tagged for each of Devin’s Social Media accounts below:
I’d like to take this time to thank Devin Nash and Ryan Marsh for taking time out of their super busy schedule to share with me. Also thank you, to you, the reader. Share with all of your friends!