If you saw Devyn Tailes on the street, you might not think twice as you passed by. Her outfits aren’t as outlandish as Ke$ha’s, and she doesn’t have the underground following of Uffie, but if you’ve ever heard that soft, undeniably catchy hook and club anthem “popping bottles in the ice, like a blizzard” you know all too well who Ms. Tailes is.
Better known as her moniker Dev, the crowd broke its noon silence into shouts and applause when she casually took center stage and introduced herself, welcoming everyone to ACL Fest. Sporting green hipster frames, a purple sheer blouse and red highlights, the familiar beats of her production duo, The Cataracs (now defunct), spewed into the audience as she danced, rapped and joked throughout her set.
Not particularly known for her vocal prowess, Dev surprisingly held her own. She didn’t miss a beat throughout her 30 minute performance. And when the beats are pumping out at 128 per minute, that’s quite a feat. Dev kept the crowd engaged and always swaying to the tempo whether it was to a chopped and screwed version of her radio breakout “Dancing in the Dark” or the pulsing beats of her recent hit with Enrique Iglesias, “Naked.”
Dev’s talent particularly shone through while she spit her quick quips through her growing catalogue, but slightly lagged when it came to midtempos like “Me.” A true performer, I believe she recognized this and quickly swapped the tempo with “Take Her From You” from her Night the Sun Came Up debut from last year.
You may assume Dev’s audience was limited to those born after 1992, but as I looked around I saw quite an array of generations all bobbing their heads while shouting “like a g6, like a g6 na na na na na na.” Taking a cue from one of her biggest influences, Eminem, she put the audience to work making us “wave our hands like we just don’t care.” She may not be quite to her inspirations stature, but judging from the large pull she brought at noon on a Saturday, she could be well on her way.
Overall, Dev stands high to other pop artists doing similar sounds. Her personality is effervescent and she knows her audience well. As long as she can set herself apart from the Ke$ha’s/Katy Perry’s of the oversaturated market she could have a very successful career. One word of advice: stick to the floor stompers, ditch the personal ballads!
– Submitted by Tristan Bolden, Music Design