This week’s featured artist is a man who has only been involved in the music industry for a short time, but he is someone who already has begun the climb to the top. The artist’s name is Devin Hardy, but in the world of music he is known as Devrun. Devrun may fool you with his big smile and kind demeanor; but this guy’s sound will knock you off your feet. Before I share Devrun’s style of music, though, let’s explore a little of his past, to see what started him on the path of DJing and producing.
Before there was Devrun, there was just Devin. A skinny kid from Northern California, Devin had always been into music. Mainly focusing on Indie rock and alternative music, Devin had never really encountered dance music for most of his life. However, one day in early 2010, Devin’s friends ‘forced’ him to attend the music festival called Coachella, where he had his mind sufficiently blown by none other than the DJ phenomenon David Guetta. After seeing Guetta, Devin’s musical taste broadened, and he began to explore the world of EDM.
The next stop on Devin’s journey was a little event known as Electro Daisy Carnival 2010 in Los Angeles. When I spoke with Devin, all he wanted to talk about were the performances by Benny Benassi and Boys Noize. In my humble opinion, these two artists have shaped Devin’s style; Benassi is the king of thundering bass lines, while Boys Noize is one of the most talented electro artists on the scene today. After seeing both of them at this event, Devin began his transformation into Devrun.
Upon returning from EDC, Devin didn’t waste any time on his quest for musical prowess. Seeking resources to aid him, Devin reached out to John Smith, who Devin knew had been involved in dance music, and could provide valuable insight. Devin got to work. He tirelessly trained with John that summer nearly everyday, usually for 8 or more hours a day, and quite often late into the night. John taught Devin his way around the equipment, certain techniques that would be valuable for a beginner, and a few tricks John had picked up along the way.
It wasn’t long before Devin was attending another show where he could observe the musical talents and learn as much as possible from them. This time the event was Audiotistic, and it only expanded Devin’s interest in creating and mixing music. After Audiotistic, Devin decided he needed a stage name, because he wanted to perform. It didn’t take long to adopt a nickname from high school that his friends had bestowed upon him: Devrun. The reason for his name came from his less than stellar poker playing abilities, which usually placed him first out at the table. Being a natural-born entertainer, Devin would hop on an iPod or laptop and make song selections for the rest of the game. This earned him the name ‘DJ Devrun’ from his friends, and it has stuck with him even until now (shortened to just ‘Devrun’ of course).
Devrun didn’t stop. His hunger for mixing grew rapidly, and almost daily Devrun was sending John Smith new mixes for him to critique and give feedback. Devin’s skills continued to grow, and within 6 months of ever touching a piece of DJ equipment, Devrun had a small piece of his dream fulfilled. He landed his first gig. It was called Electro Winter, and he was opening for Casa St. Hooligans! I actually was able to attend this event in person, but of course had never heard of Devrun because he had never performed live before. I was blown away (and that was before I knew he’d only been playing for a little over 6 months). It seemed already at this stage in his career that Devrun was destined to DJ.
Devrun’s first performance was instantly renowned by the promoters he had become involved with, and they wanted to see more. It wasn’t long before Devrun was being chosen for some of the biggest shows to ever come to San Luis Obispo! Now a mere year after Devrun started mixing, he has already opened for the likes of The Cataracs, HyperCrush, PeaceTreaty and Porter Robinson; not to mention playing multiple shows with Casa St Hooligans and other local DJ’s. Devin most recently performed at CON10UUM in a competition of the area’s top DJ’s. His set was explosive, and had the crowd dancing and fist-pumping the entire time.
Devrun’s music is his own mix of bouncy Techno and melodic Electro House. Many of his sets feature tracks with prominent vocals that help to create the melody of his set, and get the crowd involved by singing along with the lyrics. He likes to play tracks with softer, bouncing bass lines that cause most people to swing their hips and bob their heads to the beat. Each set is carefully pieced together to ensure a steady buildup to the climax of his show, where he gets into louder, more house oriented tracks. When he reaches the peak of his set, the crowd is absolutely going insane to the huge buildups and heavy drops he starts laying on thick.
The reason Devrun is so enjoyable to listen to, is because as a member of the audience, you are always on edge for what he will play next. He teases the crowd by creating buildups that slowly fade back into the melody of the song. He does this until the crowd is practically begging for a buildup and the beat to drop and then he melts their faces. It’s exciting to watch and great to be a part of. What I really enjoy about Devrun’s music are his mash-ups. Already with 3 to his name, Devrun’s specialty is blending tracks together to form a perfect union, and what better way to do this than a mash-up. His newest track, Promise Glasgow, features two of the best artists out there: David Guetta and Calvin Harris. It’s a banger that will be sure to get your fists in the air.
The future is very promising for Devrun; with an impressive performance resume already under his belt, Devrun looks to continue to grow as an artist and expand his skills. He already has landed a deal with a smaller label, and wishes to focus on music for as long as he can put the best possible material out for his fans. I am excited to see what someone with limited experience, but so muchtalent can achieve in the years to come! Look out for his next event coming up in September: MoTav/HLGN Pro Presents: Pulse 9/13!!!
Check out all of Devrun’s original mash-ups on his Soundcloud!
Check out Devrun’s Webpage
Listen to Devrun’s mash-up No Beef on Acid below!