Dev, thanks for taking the time to meet with us for our first ever #EpicMixtapeRelease. I bet you are more than ready for this project to drop, it’s been a long time coming. How would you describe the feelings you have about finally releasing?
Thank you for allowing me this opportunity, and man, the feeling is awesome. I feel really confident and proud of this project. From production to mastering, I’ve worked wit a lot of talented people and this project was as fun to make as it is to listen to. I am really anxious to hear the reactions from the town and my fans.
The tape was put together well, solid track list, bangin beats, and witty, puncy lyrics. When did you start production of the tape?
I actually started working on this project last summer, which is longer then it usually takes me to put out a mixtape. I wanted this one to be bigger and better than my previous projects, so I had to put in that extra effort. I decided to make 20 songs and choose the best 13 for The Long Weekend. I also went through 2 moves where I had to rebuild my booth and set up my studio again all the while my girl had our baby. This year was taxing to say the least, and balancing this project between that and building the brand, making videos, getting connections and all that has been a great eye opener to the business.
Sounds like you have a busy life, a lot to juggle while maintaining relevance in the music scene. All that work wasn’t for nothing that’s for sure, I have probably listened to the tape 15 times or so on my travel to the studio and back. It is one of those projects where it will stay in my playlist right along with “Blacc Hollywood” and “28grams.” Who were all the producers that contributed to the tape?
Ay, thank you mane. I take that as a very big compliment. I am super glad to hear that. I wanted to give people something they could have a good time with, put them in the mode to go have fun you know and just share some of my energy with the people who listen. But, yeah man, life is busy but this music passion is strong enough to always find its way into my daily schedule. As for the producer, I got Aviel to produce the intro song ‘Until The End’ and he did his thing on that beat. I got my guy Meezymean on there, he produced ‘Drive By’. My guy Holofloss came through with the production for ‘Jus Bounce’ and I linked with this guy Dinamico that I met online for a few songs on the project. Made probably 8 tracks with him but they didn’t all make the tape. Some of them are being saved for my next project. I got a Royal Audio Tunes on there a couple times, The Unbeatables and Tristan on there. I threw on a couple remixes, one over Wiz Khalifa ‘So High’ and the other over Dej Loafs ‘Try Me.’
Big variety of producers was a smart move, different styles to play with and other “walks of life” made an impact. The creative process you went through must have been real, what were some of the biggest lessons you learned throughout the process both about the art and life?
Hell yeah. It was real, to the point of really motivating me to make this my life. A lot of fun too, as I wanted to give people something that would make them have fun, I had to have fun while doing it. I don’t like making music feel like a job, so just letting my creativity lead me into every song was a pivotal piece to making this project. Plus, I learned a lot of tricks on engineering. I had been my own engineer for a while, but I feel like all the years of learning really came together while building this project. With so many things being thrown at me this last year, life changes an what not, I learned how to balance career and personal life on a new level.
I can relate to the struggles of juggling music, work and family, and now that music is my job it seems to only have gotten busier. The fruits of the labors is what the grind is for, am I right? Do you have visuals to drop with the tape?
I think it’s something we are all battling with. But, like you said, the fruits of our labors is what the grind is for and at the end of the day, it’s worth it. Aside from the potential money to be made, allowing people even just a few minutes of freedom from their situation through music is fruitful in my opinion. I do have a video for ‘Try Me’ out already and I have one in the works for ‘My Time’. I am aiming to put together at least one more video for the project though, I just want to let the reaction to the music choose that video. Whatever song people are enjoying most will be turned into a video and I will just build from there.
I escape through music daily, each song is a chance to really emancipate your problems for that time. To be able to make that type of music, I applaud you. What do you feel will really make you sit back and say, “Man, I made it.”
That is a good question. Simply put, I think that I made it feeling for me is all based on impact. I want to hop on stage and know that everyone is dying to hear me spit because I make them feel good. I want to provide the best life possible to my family of course, and music is my job, so money has its part in everything. But to me, I want to impact people. I want to be an idea that you can do whatever you set your mind to. So in order to really prove that I will have to always upstage my last goal. I know that successful people are people who always search for a new goal; So by the time I reach one goal I will have five more goals set to reach. That’s just how I am though. I am my biggest critic and I doubt I will ever be satisfied. That’s what I have always prided myself on, I have skills because I took my talents an developed them. I will out work my opponent, period. So, when I can relay that feeling to people and show them it’s possible I will feel great and feel like “I made it.” But that won’t stop me from pursuing the next goal and the next goal and the next, until I’m gone.
Building an organic fan base that vibes with my energy and to be able to offer the best for family really would have me feeling I have made it as well. And as for never comfortable, there are always barriers to smash, new heights to reach. Life is constantly in motion, continuous improvement is the motivation I am feeling from you. So am I right to assume you’ve already started the process for your next project?
Exactly. I mean, I like to think of myself as no different from anyone else. I just believe in myself and know my worth. I think everyone’s goal should be to make an impact, big or small, and provide for their own. I push my self to make that a reality everyday. I am constantly moving and thinking about the next thing. I have plenty of quality songs on the back burner right now, but I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m starting the next project. I am more so finding the idea for the next project. I have some deep songs in the works right now, about life and love because I want to express that side of myself. I want to express myself on all levels, but the critic in me has to make sure I am giving relatable and real situations to my music. Going forward there will be tons of that as well as me branching out and showing that I can make music for everyone. So musically, I am working but searching for the path I want to shape out for the next project.
So stoked on what’s to come, but the focus is this gem that is dropping. Who else are we going to be hearing that is featured on these bangers?
To put the focus back on The Long Weekend, I kept it to the people I have always made music with. I got B-Snyda and J-Plath on there the most. They have been a part of the grind since day one. I got my guy Meezymean on there, he is who introduced me to the Yetti movement. And I got Hidden Technique who is another member of the YettiGang, as well as one3 on the hook of “Mary Jane.” They all dropped amazing verses and helped bring the songs they are on to life. I am stoked to continue working with them and the rest of the team in the next project. As for major features, I didn’t reach for any. As much as it is important, I wanted to keep this tape within my main circle of people. And it worked out beautifully man.
Not a bad move there, keeping it in the circle giving the whole crew some great exposure. Anyone special that you want to shout out?
That’s the goal too, getting them the exposure they deserve. Plus, having the team on the record gives them even more reason to push it to the fullest extent. But yes, I would like to give a huge shot out to Trap Master Productions for putting the final touches on the project. Really helped elevate the sound of the project. I wanna thank y’all for giving me this outlet to promote. Another big shout out to everyone involved in the Keep Portland Real movement for helping me gain exposure in the town. And a huge shot out to my guy Austin Reed for his help with the visuals for the project and for all the other areas he has been helping out in. I have got a pretty solid team going right now and I am involved with a lot of talented, hard working cats and I jus wanna give a huge thanks to all of them. Plus everyone in the town doing their thing right now, I respect everyone’s hustle and want to see us all win.
I was glad to be a part of it. What would you like to say to your current and future fans?
I would just like to say, expect to see more of me; Expect to see me working harder, doing more shows and droping more songs for y’all. If you are a fan, thank you. If you aren’t a fan, get wit it. This is Dev The Baker, My Yettis Ent. Stay tuned for The Long Weekend come the 1st of may!