C2C Interview with Devon Mayson – conducted by Nick Cantwell

Devon Mayson has been one of our favourite artists at Belles and Gals from the start. Devon’s debut album ‘Lie To Me’ was simply brilliant and at the start of 2017 we named Devon our newcomer of the year. After a surprise set at C2C we were delighted to catch up with Devon shortly after!

Hi Devon! You’ve just played at C2C, a surprise last minute call-up!

Yes, I just did an Under the Apple Tree session, which was really good fun. It was completely spontaneous, but yeah it was great to be here – we thought we’d wander down for Saturday and have a look around and accidentally ended up doing that! I got a little bit more involved than I thought I would.

Last year, you were named Belles and Gals ‘Newcomer of the Year’, what does 2018 in have in store?

I’ve been writing like a crazy person at the moment. I mean, it’s tricky because I just want to release it and show everyone, but at the same time, the next album needs to be the first album. There are some really exciting support gigs which I’m about to announce, which is something to look forward to and I’ll have a few mini tours this year as well. I’m heading over to the states again in November, to Vegas, Florida and we’re going to try and get to Nashville too.

Has it always been a dream of yours to be a singer?

When I was 3 or 4, if anyone asked me what I wanted to be, I wanted to be a singer. And then at around the age of 14, they take you into the careers office and I told them I want to be a musician, but then they asked what I wanted to do for a real job. It stung a little bit, but I took it on board and went to Uni and did psychology. I loved my degree, but it was something that I ‘almost’ wanted to do. In my last year I thought I’d give it a go for a year, see if I can keep myself afloat enough to maybe make this work – I’m still here! It is a real job!

Which artists have influenced you in your career?

I’ve always had like a real leaning towards folk music. In growing up I’ve listened to Fleetwood Mac, Alison Krauss and the Cranberries – it’s that mix, so you end up with a kind of blend of everything.

And which artists are you listening to right now?

I love Catherine McGrath. It’s really good to see this music – it’s really like early Taylor Swift and her vocals are just insane, there is such a gap in the market for that.

You’re hosting a fantasy dinner party. You’re allowed to invite three celebrity guests. Who do you invite?

I would invite, hmmm. It would have to be a musical party, so I would invite Whitney Houston and I would invite Johnny Cash. And then Taylor Swift, just because my whole childhood, that was what got me into country music.

If you could give 16 year-old Devon Mayson some advice, what would you say?

It doesn’t matter what people think. I think I spent so long trying to people please, but it doesn’t matter. I delayed releasing that first album probably five years, if I’m honest, as I was so worried people wouldn’t like my music and it was too honest and maybe what I was putting out there wasn’t what people wanted to hear – and actually I put out exactly what I liked and people seemed to like it. When you write music you’re almost giving your diary for someone to read if you’re a songwriter who writes from the heart and your experiences – you’re putting something really personal out there. I had all these songs and I sat there thinking ‘I can’t put that out there because that’s about death, or that’s about the LBGT community’ and actually it doesn’t matter. When I was 16 if someone had said I would be doing country music, all of the stereotypical connotations would have come to mind and I’d have thought about all of the people at school who would bullied me for listening to Taylor Swift’s first album and for liking Dolly Parton. But people love you for being yourself.

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