April 29th, 2022
Devora on creating Outlaw Pop, her new music and goth Dolly Parton.
Cowboys may have the glory, but it was outlaws who put the “wild” in the Wild West. Outlaws such as Billy the Kid and Jesse James tore up the American frontier, filling every town west of the Mississippi with rebellious energy. More than a century later, Devora has adopted that spirit—minus the cold-blooded murder, of course—and turned it into Outlaw Pop.
“Outlaw Pop is a musical genre that embodies pure fearlessness,” Devora says. “It’s all about going your own way and taking the road less traveled. I’ve stopped caring what people think about me, which I feel like most people do to some extent. It’s only human, but it’s the most liberating feeling when you let that go. There is such beauty in rebellion and standing out from the crowd.”
Growing up in the Southwest, Devora began listening to country music right out of the womb. However, aside from Johnny Cash, she didn’t feel like the music was dark and emotional enough to coincide with how she was feeling at the time. It was always bright and cheery. Therefore, when she began making music of her own, she decided to embrace the dark elements she found in emo and industrial music, but with a country-pop twist. Think goth Dolly Parton.
“I grew up in Arizona and didn’t really fit in in school, so my entire life revolved around music,” Devora says. “I couldn’t wait for class to end so I could write songs, go to my singing lessons and play guitar. After high school I moved to LA and was eventually led to the producers and writers I’m working with now. I quickly started writing and recording, then I landed a record deal pretty quickly after aligning the vision and the music.”
Devora’s journey into Outlaw Pop officially kicked off when she released her debut single “Not Dead Yet” in 2020. She used this single as her opportunity to create the music she was yearning for growing up, bringing some grit, anarchy and angst into country music. Or as she puts it, Nine Inch Nails meets Shania Twain. “After triumphantly coming out of a really dark time in my life, I wrote ‘Not Dead Yet,’” Devora says. “It was an ode to myself, an anthem really, to celebrate still being alive and having made it through one of the darkest times in my life. I wrote it for myself but I also wrote it for outlaws everywhere. Those who can relate and celebrate making it through their struggles. It’s about living life in the fast lane and persevering, yet living every second like it’s your last.”
After releasing her debut single, Devora never let up, releasing songs at a steady clip until she had enough material to release her first EP, aptly titled “Outlaw.” “I had collected a bunch of poems, stories and journal entries for a long time,” Devora says. “Through one of my managers, Rene Mata, I was connected to two incredibly talented producers and songwriters, Cass Dillon and Alex Aldi. They helped to bring my vision to life through song. Working with them was amazing and it was such a cathartic experience to write these songs with them. We had the time of our lives and were in such a great flow state, and the songs started to pile up. I went back and forth to New York from LA for many months while finishing the EP.
“I really wanted to write a song called ‘Outlaw,’” Devora says. “At the time, I was in a place in my life where I was taking the road less traveled. I was going in a different direction than my friends or family wanted me to go and making choices that didn’t align with whatever’s considered ‘normal.’ I wanted to write something that celebrated going your own way and highlighted the feeling of being alive, being a rebel and just not giving a fuck about anything.”
For Devora, being an outlaw harkens back to her upbringing in Arizona and many of the creatures she came in contact with in the desert. Devora started out her outlaw tattoo collection with a black-and-grey longhorn bull skull, then went with a snake wrapping around her arm. “As a kid, even though I was scared of snakes, I’ve always been attracted to their symbolism,” Devora says. “To me, snakes represent power and independence. They’re just an overall encompassing icon of being an outlaw and these tattoos represent that strength in a way.”
“Outlaw’” was just the beginning. Devora’s journey has just begun with more new music coming out later this year. As she discovers who she is musically, fans can expect her to continue to experiment with her sound. No matter which path Devora takes with her next project and which music genres she chooses to experiment with, you’ll never be able to take this outlaw away from her country roots.
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