dev hynes's next album is about identity and politics
The upcoming Blood Orange album takes inspiration from Ferguson and the novelist James Baldwin.
dev hynes by stephanie sian smith
Fortunately our ears haven't been devoid of Dev Hynes recently. He's produced a couple of film scores - one he was apparently fired from, and one with his pal Gia Coppola (#squadgoals). He's collaborated with Tinashe, Heems and, in a marriage as unlikely but harmonious as French fries and soft serve, Carly Rae Jepsen. But now - after a bit of Twitter teasing - we finally have more news of an album of full Dev. And it's all good.
In an interview with Complex, the UK-born, US-based musician discusses how this distance from Britain has given him a new perspective on it. Speaking of American novelist James Baldwin, Hynes says, "He wasn't ashamed to talk about how he did try and reject who people thought he was. But then grew to understand that he could reclaim that image, re-appropriate it and own it. That's something that, even before I read Baldwin, it felt like something I was doing and going through. That's actually the main theme of the next album".
His time in the socially turbulent United States has also triggered him to channel politics into his ever-intelligent pop. After tweeting that he wrote a track inspired by an article on the recent injustices in Ferguson, it now seems that this politicised tune will punctuate the much of the upcoming album. "It's not a case of wanting to change the world. It's more of a case of, if you're gonna speak, people are gonna listen to you, so speak things that are really on your mind," he explains, adding, "If I have this very tiny platform, I might as well fucking say something."
We'll be listening.
Text Georgie Wright