Photo Credit: Matthew Peters
Written By Kelly Holm
Two percent. It’s a nutritious type of milk, or the fraction of the world’s population born with green eyes. It’s also the percentage of songs Devin Kennedy wrote this year that actually made it onto his new EP “You & Me, That’s Enough.”
You read that right, out of 200 songs that Kennedy’s written this year, only four of them can be found on the EP.
“It’s an interesting process to write that many songs and then figure out what you want to say as an artist in 2019,” Kennedy said. “This EP is about truly connecting with yourself and the important people in your life.”
Kennedy promises that You & Me, That’s Enough is a step up from his previously released EPs No Boundaries and Love Language.
“I’m consistently raising the bar for myself,” he says. “I put way more thought into the concepts of these songs… I’ve really found the lane that I want to be in now.”
Of the four, Kennedy’s favorite track is “No Worries.”
“It came at a time where I wasn’t sure what was next for my sound. It came quickly and naturally and I fell in love with it,” he said. “…we do this insane extended outro with a guitar solo.”
The new sound can also be compared to a more electronic Shawn Mendes, as evidenced by “Champagne for Two.” Its music video, in which roses are a prominent motif, dropped October 14th.
Yes, Kennedy has certainly come a long way since his first nerve-wracking drum solo in sixth grade. But, he’s still cruising up an inclined plane when it comes to success. He believes collaborating is “the best way to learn and get better,” and mentions that working with John Mayer would be a pinnacle for him. Mayer has been his idol ever since 2007’s Continuum Tour.
“Thank you for helping me fall in love with true musicality in pop music,” he says in a shout-out to the “Daughters” singer. “Can we write a song together?”
The ball’s now in your court, John! Until Mayer responds, however, Kennedy knows that his main focus is to stay true to his authentic soul.
“I spent so much time learning what other people think is right, now all I focus on are songs that I think are awesome,” Kennedy said. “At the end of the day, I think artists have to be tastemakers… I’ll build a cool track and then try freestyling melodies to it until something sticks.”
It can be a cruel world when musicians often have to put aside their inner creativity in favor of “the message, the branding, the content [and] the cultural relevance,” as Kennedy puts it. But sometimes, it’s in the most unexpected and hidden places that lyrics resonate. At a recent Los Angeles show in July, Kennedy wasn’t the headlining act. His name wasn’t prominent in any of the marketing materials, yet a concert-goer approached him after his opening set to say that “every song you played spoke to me. You sang about exactly what I’m going through and I just want to say thank you.”
“Mission accomplished,” Kennedy says of that experience. It’s those intimate types of moments, he realized, that has been the most rewarding aspect of the business. Knowing that his music has inspired someone makes all the nerves and all the pre-show tiredness worth it.
“If someone came up to me and told me that I was the reason they wanted to write songs… that would be all I need,” he says.
Follow Devin Kennedy
Check out Elicit Magazine’s review of Devin Kennedy’s “No Worries” here.