Photo Credit: Ashley Bronson

Written by: Ashley Friedman

Today, Santa Monica Rapper, DEVMO, releases her long awaited EP, Tears. The EP is a journey into the hardships that come along with getting older, striving for success and overcoming self-doubt.

You might recognize the name DEVMO because of her recently released song “Too Many Shoes.” The single was originally written for a DSW TikTok campaign that went insanely viral. The singer-songwriter has released a number of full-length projects, each one offering a completely different vibe than the one before.

“I feel as if my music changes so much every time I release a new project. So much so, that they cannot be compared,” DEVMO says. “My first album was very low-key hip hop, my second EP was very pop, the third project was grundier and harder and explicit. This EP has serious sad elements but you can nod your head to all of them.” 

DEVMO

In her latest EP, Tears, it starts off with the song, “Detached.” The beat is very mainstream and offers an alt-pop vibe. With a chorus that hooks you in, “I’m detached, / ain’t no going back, / I can flip it off like a light switch…” the singer-songwriter hones in on the craziness of love and the feeling of wanting to feel wanted. The lyrics, “I needed love, / you needed space /… think about you, / but you told me too late, / detaching my feelings and throw em’ away,” we get the vibe that DEVMO has officially given up on trying and is making an effort to move on. An exclusive cameo from DEVMO’s good friend, Dean Risko, happens mid-song and plays devil’s advocate to DEVMO’s verses.

“‘Detached’ is a full-blown pop song about shutting my feelings down when I wasn’t being treated right by someone I liked.”

DEVMO

“Self Depreciation” starts with a monologue of DEVMO talking outloud as if she’s in an interview. She mentions she is back in LA after being gone for so long and, although everything around her is the same, it’s a different feeling. “Self Depreciation” feels like a diary entry. It’s one of those songs where you took all of your negative thoughts, wrote them down and read them outloud to yourself. It’s a break into feeling what people often don’t want to feel at all — trying to avoid all the mayhem or drama surrounded by self-doubt and self-worth. It’s an unapologetics stance to say everything outloud, even if it’s negative, for the pure fact that it’s reality and these things happen.

“‘Self-Deprecation’ is extremely vulnerable and a bit kooky,” the singer-songwriter comments. “…listeners can hear the mean things I used to say to myself and how worthless I really felt at the time.”

DEVMO

DEVMO tells us that she wrote most of the EP prior to COVID-19, besides her song “Getting in the Way.” Everything was produced in her home studio and features works from producers H3 Music & Vodka Gravas with the mix and mastering by Jordan River Recordings.

“I had just spent six months in Chicago getting away from all these crazy things that happened in LA, and was moving back to Los Angeles. I kind of ran away from my problems in Los Angeles and was worried about moving back because I knew I’d have to deal with them when I got there.”

DEVMO

“Getting in the Way” is so in tune with today’s mainstream. The song offers a pop-club vibe with an ingressive sounding intro as DEVMO’s sings the loop, “I wish I had some self control, / but I don’t, / call your phone, / you’re not alone.” The song is framed around that feeling of holding onto something that once was and trying to move in.

When writing the EP, DEVMO comments, “I felt really lost and hopeless at the time. I didn’t know where I was going in life because at that point I had been making music for 7+ years and didn’t have much success. I had extremely low self-esteem and wasn’t sure about the person I was dating or the friends I was hanging out with.” She continues, “I felt like I had nothing secure in my life. Each song of the EP has a different story attached to it. I just thought the vibes of all of them went together well.”

Next, we move into the song, “Hatin.’” It’s here that I have to say how insanely talented DEVMO is. She’s the next up and coming rapper in the industry; Quick verses, thought-out lyrics that are personable, but straight to the point. She has a way of hitting the listener with quick-witted verses and then going into these beautiful melodic hooks.

“Hatin’” touches on the journey as an up and coming musician. Lyrics like, “I’ve been writing all Summer, / just hoping I could make a little bit…” and “Seven years in beast mode, / thought it would be easy like a free throw, / three projects and singles and I’m still eating ramen…” It acknowledges the amount of thought that goes into the feeling of “hate.”

“’Hatin’ dives deep into why people hate on me and why people hate in general. I found it usually has a lot more to do with the hater than the target. As an artist, in general, I get a lot of opinions and judgments on my music. I try not to take it personally but it’s difficult when I know all the work and money I put into creating and perfecting my craft. It’s important to remember that when someone doesn’t like you, and there’s no good reason, that they really are just unhappy with themselves.”

DEVMO

“Scared to Die,” almost has a Post Malone type intro vibe; starting with a subtle beat, as she lays a set of melodic vocals, “Day after day, / week after week,/  time just be rollin’ on.” Just like in “Hatin’” this song focuses in on the everyday grind towards success. But, also touches on how time is going by so fast and despite how much she has put into her career, her life, she doesn’t feel quite there yet.

“‘Scared to Die’ is about how frightening it is to grow up. This one makes me cry listening to it. It feels very personal to me.”

DEVMO

Without further ado, listen to DEVMO’s EP Tears below!

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EP Credits:

  • “Detached”, “Self-Deprecation”, “Hatin'”, and “Scared to Die” produced by H3 Music
  • “Getting in the Way” produced by Vodka Gravas
  • The EP was mixed and mastered by Jordan River Recordings