Singer/songwriter Devi has experienced everything that life has to offer. From material comfort to heartbreak (and discovering that the two are not mutually exclusive), she has weathered and savored it all.
And while didn’t actually begin making music until she was deep into her creative voyage, she took mental notes and filed away every pain and pleasure along the way.
Devi has been called an “indomitable spirit” by those who know her. Now, with release of her upcoming EP Heart Stone on May 3rd, Devi shares what she’s learned with all who perhaps are in need of a little light, some hope and a laugh or two as they make their own journeys.
Produced by Devi and Ali Theodore, Heart Stone offers five songs, each one a disarmingly candid reflection set to strong and accessible melodies. Her decisions to “keep the faith and turn to another page” on the title track, and to “take the reins” in “It’s Your Life”, reflect the wisdom Devi has learned to apply to experiencing every moment. “Each day is a wonder,” she insists on “One More Day.” And on “Promises” she shares a fundamental lesson: “Honesty is a must if we’re gonna make it work.”
“This music resonates from my life,” Devi explains. “I feel like God is holding may hand and giving me a platform to speak out for so many people — for women who have gone through so much and have decided to take control of their lives.”
This insight resonates in probably the most surprising track on Heart Stone. On first listen, “My One and Only Love” sounds like an affirmation of love. It feels dizzy, excited, and even ecstatic.
Devi smiles, “Now, let me tell you what that song is really about,” she says. “It’s about taking back control of my life. It’s about falling in love with the life that God has given me. That’s where that song came from — a new awakening, a new chapter.”
The seeds of Heart Stone were sewn before Devi first picked up a guitar or wrote a lyric to a tune. Yet music has always been critically important to her. “It’s always been my salvation. It’s something I was born with. I always sang in the school chorus. I played the flute. I seemed to know every word to every song on the radio.
“But it wasn’t just music,” she clarifies. “Even when I was just listening, before I wrote anything, I felt what the songwriters were writing and musicians were playing. I was already on the path, although I didn’t realize it until later. Then I began actualizing my life with it. I taught myself guitar, put shows together with cover songs and some things I had written. I didn’t really know if my songs were worthy; it was just something I loved to do.”
Listening to Heart Stone, one would never guess Devi’s two early passions. The first was rock ’n’ roll. Todd Rundgren, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and even Disturbed were more like lifelines than influences. “I was growing up in Philadelphia with a dysfunctional family, kind of on my own,” she says. “And every kid I knew was involved with a lot of vices. I would go to parties and just put my ear to the speaker, lay there and take in every word. Dark Side of the Moon was my drug. Currently I’m inspired by Channel 63, The Message, on Sirius/XM, specifically Daniel Gokey’s “Tell Your Heart To Beat Again”.
At a young age, Devi married a Mexican man. She visited Mexico and instantly fell in love with the music and culture. “I learned the language through song and from connecting with Vicente Fernández, Rocio Durcal and so many other great singers. I even sang mariachi. And I recorded my first album, Devi, in Spanish.” Subsequently, she recorded two EPs, Take Me Away and Believe, which set the stage for Heart Stone. “I collect heart stones,” she notes. “One day I found a broken heart stone, which inspired me to write the song.”
That, and the songs that follow; paint an especially vivid picture of Devi, a gifted artist who knows how to channel emotion and insight through her writing and performance. And, yes, the intensity of her rock chick period and Spanish explorations, though ephemeral, are at the heart of her expression.