Dev

Photos: Mike Selsky
Words: Emily Draznik

Devin Tailes is a fellow taco lover and vintage fashion enthusiast, but you might know her better as Dev – the electro-pop singer who burst onto the scene after The Far East Movement sampled her banger of a party track, ‘Booty Bounce’ back in 2010. ‘Like a G6’ infected the radio waves that summer, meteorically soared to number 1 and famously coined the term “slizzard”. Throwing it back, Dev was discovered in 2008 by producer project The Cataracts after they stumbled upon a cover of hers via MySpace. Remember MySpace? Well Dev’s music has outlived the social platform that not even Justin Timberlake could save, and is gearing up for a second round after taking time off to tour, get engaged, and – oh yeah – have a baby.


You’re gearing up to release new music after taking a couple of years off, how has your sound evolved in the meantime?
After the release of my first album I took a couple years to tour, to get in the studio with as many people as I could, take time to really try and learn more about myself as an artist and develop my certain weaknesses into strengths. I released two EPs (BITTERSWEET JULY PT 1 & 2) independently and had the opportunity to be the boss of everything that was going on. I think those years were super important for me to experience and gather new stories to tell. Tons of emotions go into my work and also my personal life, being a mom now and a fiancée. So I'd like to think I've grown a little, even though I'm very much still a brat—that'll never change.

We heard through the grapevine that you were discovered through MySpace. Can you remember who was in your top 8?
Haha! I can't remember my top 8 actually. But I remember my headline was "AND SHE LOVES TO SHOW ME OFF OF COURSE" from 'Juicy' by B.I.G. And I remember my playlist had Craig Mack and Brand New.


Your daughter has the lovely name, Emilia Lovely. Where did you get the inspiration for her unique name?
My fiancé was coming up with the worst names during my pregnancy and it eventually turned into a joke where he'd rapid fire insane ideas. One day I said, "I really want her to be named Emilia" and Jimmy said "Emilia Lovely". It was as simple and perfect as that.

Considering you’re California raised, where’s your favorite weekend getaway in Cali?
Man, I'm kind of a homebody when I'm not traveling. I love to lay on the grass in my front yard, drink beer and BBQ. But honestly, California is the best. San Diego, Angels Camp, San Francisco, Malibu. There are just too many options for a good time!


Is there a particular artist or song that made you want to get into music?
When I was younger I loved Nirvana and Alice in Chains. I also loved Queen and Elton John. I always studied music in school and knew I somehow wanted to grow up and create for a living. I've been very blessed to be doing so.

Where are your favorite hangouts in LA? More importantly, favorite taco joint?
There's a good taco truck in Downtown on Hope and 8th. It moves around but it's so good. They make homemade corn tortillas that I hella f*ck with. I also like this little yellow taco spot on Spring Street between 6th and 7th—the burritos are awesome. If you're ever in Northern California you have to hit up La Costa. Hands down. I'm a little partial to a lot of tacos spots because my dad and my Mexican side of the family cooks amazingly, so the bar is set high! Hangouts in LA would have to be Villa Sombrero (for their margaritas), The Gorbals, Bar Black, The Frolic Room, Davey Wayne's. LA seriously has every option for hangout spots. I could go on forever.

Tons of emotions go into my work and also my personal life, being a mom now and a fiancée.

With your upcoming EP release, will you get the chance to tour the new material? Will you be taking your fiance and daughter on the road with you?
I like to tour as much as I can since that's what I enjoy the most. When I'm on the road I get very inspired and motivated. I try to bring my fiancé and daughter as much as I can, as long as the travel isn't too gnarly for her. She spent 30 days on a bus with us when she was little and even has a little baby passport! She's a pro at the airport and at packing. It's awesome.

You have a very unique sense of style. What inspires how you dress? Do you take inspiration from anything specific?
I pull from a lot of different things and people. I have my favorite websites and blogs that I get inspiration from & my favorite stores in LA. I grew up loving the punk of Karen 0 and the weirdness of Robyn so I definitely like to mix it up and it totally helps having a fiancé who is into fashion as much as I am. I steal his clothes all of the time.