Blood Orange

Blood Orange

Tuesday 26th July, 2011 8:36AM

Mutli-disciplinary musician Dev Hynes changes his moniker and his style for latest release, Coastal Grooves by Blood Orange.

Hey, what are you up to at the moment?

I guess Iíve been doing a lot of that but at the moment Iím at home just working on various music things.

Youíve got a new album coming out under the moniker Blood Orange and youíve also got Lightspeed Champion. Tell me about the differences and why you wanted to separate them out.

I just thought these songs were so different even though itís still just me. Iím wary of connotations and pre-conceived notions and I wish that people could just see the music without really seeing me. I didnít want people to listen to this and say things like ĎWow the new Lightspeed Champion stuff is really weirdí. Itís like itís not weird at all but Iím aware that it doesnít sound like the last official Lightspeed Champion album so I thought changing the name was just easier.

Tell me about about the latest album, Coastal Grooves.

A couple of years ago I was just writing in my downtime from working on other people stuff which I was doing a lot. Lawrence from Domino Records heard this stuff and he was the one that wanted to put them out. Originally I didnít want to release anything ever again, I was just tired of the industry and just wanted to give music to my friends, or just listen to it myself. But yeah thatís why it took a couple of years from that point because I decided to re-record a bunch of stuff. I had to motivate myself to write some lyrics and get out there again. I write a lot of different stuff and itís what happens when I turn my brain off really.

Tell me what the starting point is for you, tell me a bit about your process.

Well, the last couple of years itís been mainly that Iíll start with the percussion first, and then itís usually chords and then itís kind of like a melody and then it builds from that. In the last five minutes Iíll do the lyrics, which is kind of something Iíve always done but Iím trying to spend a bit more time on lyrics now. I never really know where itís going to go it just kind of happens and I have so many things that I love musically and I never know what is going to come out.

Was there any starting inspiration for the Blood Orange album?

I donno, last year I was working on the Solange Knowles album and there were certain factors we both loved so working together those things combined and we bought them out more in each other and I think thatís what happens; we brought things out in each other more and more. I think there are more particular influences than usual this time around but I also think that itís a piece of myself in some way and Iím starting to realize what is more natural for me.

You mentioned earlier you didn't want to release music again. Have you had tumultuous experiences with the music industry?

Um, yeah. I mean itís like I love Domino theyíre the best. The idea of putting music out and having it so open to mass opinion is really troublesome to me. Iím struggling to get to grips with it and I donít know if I ever will, like I donít read anything Ė reviews or interviews or anything. The whole thing was always like hard for me to wrap my head around and I had to retreat into myself and hide behind other people before I could kind of really be OK.

You've done heaps of work with and for other musicians too. What makes you want to work on a project like this?

Iím kind of willing to write music with anyone because I feel like Iím always just looking for a good song thatís fun to listen to. The worst thing that can happen with making music is that youíll make a bad song. You know, no-one dies and itís not the end of the world. I think itís always worth trying and maybe at the end you have something thatís really good musically that you can just chill and listen to.

Have you had a favourite collaborative experience?

The Solange album because we spent so long doing it. Itís the most Iíve ever worked on something in my entire life, my own record included. Itís really fun because we grew close as friends and itís been a learning experience so thatís been really cool.

Youíve put out a couple of books and comics and things as well. Tell me a little bit about that work.

Itís been a while since I put out a comic but I used to do it quite a lot. But it has really been a long time nowÖI would like to do it more but Iíve gotten so busy lately that it just hasnít happened.

When you were doing it what did you like about it?

I just love comics. I love comics so much that I wanted to write one. When I was younger I just loved reading comics.

What have you got coming up for Lightspeed Champion and / or Blood Orange?

I have no idea. Iíve written new songs for something, I have a lot of songs! Iíve started working on music for myself again for the first time in eight or nine months to try and possibly release another Blood Orange album but weíll see what happens. I donít really know what Iím doing in a couple of hours.

Courtney Sanders

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