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Interview
Blood Orange

Blood Orange

date
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 I’ve been doing a lot of that but at the moment I’m at home just working on various music things.

You’ve got a new album coming out under the moniker Blood Orange and you’ve 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 it’s still just me. I’m wary of connotations and pre-conceived notions and I wish that people could just see the music without really seeing me. I didn’t want people to listen to this and say things like ‘Wow the new Lightspeed Champion stuff is really weird’. It’s like it’s not weird at all but I’m aware that it doesn’t 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 didn’t 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 that’s 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 it’s 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 it’s been mainly that I’ll start with the percussion first, and then it’s usually chords and then it’s kind of like a melody and then it builds from that. In the last five minutes I’ll do the lyrics, which is kind of something I’ve always done but I’m trying to spend a bit more time on lyrics now. I never really know where it’s 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 that’s 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 it’s a piece of myself in some way and I’m 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 it’s like I love Domino they’re the best. The idea of putting music out and having it so open to mass opinion is really troublesome to me. I’m struggling to get to grips with it and I don’t know if I ever will, like I don’t read anything – 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?

I’m kind of willing to write music with anyone because I feel like I’m always just looking for a good song that’s fun to listen to. The worst thing that can happen with making music is that you’ll make a bad song. You know, no-one dies and it’s not the end of the world. I think it’s always worth trying and maybe at the end you have something that’s 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. It’s the most I’ve ever worked on something in my entire life, my own record included. It’s really fun because we grew close as friends and it’s been a learning experience so that’s been really cool.

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

It’s 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 now…I would like to do it more but I’ve gotten so busy lately that it just hasn’t 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. I’ve written new songs for something, I have a lot of songs! I’ve 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 we’ll see what happens. I don’t really know what I’m doing in a couple of hours.

Courtney Sanders



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