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Spate Magazine Interview with Dev11n

Hey Dev11n, for those unfamiliar let the world know who you are and what you do.

My name is dev11n and I’m an artist and a songwriter. I never like to call myself a singer or rapper because even though those are things that I do, I feel like those titles come with a lot of stereotypes that are kind of limiting for what I’m hoping to accomplish with music. I also go by AC Matriarch when working within a collective called Always Cool Society.

When did you know music was the path for you? Who are some of your musical influences?

I’ve always known I wanted a career in the music industry but because I was always so shy, I thought I’d be better as a manager or an A&R. It actually took me a while to accept being an artist as a career. For years I was really self-conscious and afraid to let people hear me sing, but when I started rapping I was able to shake the insecurities I felt and really dive in and express my thoughts and myself. I’ve had a lot of influences. Growing up I was a huge fan of TLC. They were the first ones to really inspire me in terms of my attitude towards the way I saw and carried myself. Then as I got older I became a fan of the 90s R&B and Hip Hop and I also grew up listening to a lot of Jazz because of my parents. All of those factors definitely played a role in my journey to create my own sound.

Lets talk about your collective 'Always Cool Society', how did you all link and what's the overall movement stand for?

Always Cool Society is definitely the brainchild of my cousin AC McKenzye. He, his brother AC Millie Beamon and myself have been making music since we were kids. We always had different names for our crew but it was never an official brand until 2012. McKenzye thought of the idea to start a collective made up of the three of us along with two other MCs and as part of the collective we all adopted “AC names” to define ourselves as individuals. So for example, AC McKenzye’s name is really Abstract Child McKenzye; AC Millie Beamon is Assertive Caution Millie Beamon and I’m Allure Connoisseur Matriarch representing my intention to personify excellence as I embody the definition of Queen, being that I’m the only female in the crew. The goal with ACS is to express our individual truth while making undeniably dope music.

You recently dropped your video for 'Mind of A Mad Woman' and got a great response, talk about your creative approach to the visual and the bigger part it plays in your trilogy of musical releases along with your 2nd release 'I Feel It'.

The creative approach I took to make my videos was a very organic one. After I wrote and recorded the songs for the project I knew I wanted to do videos so that I could better illustrate the lyrics and help people to connect with my story. I had already worked with the director on a video that I starred in for AC McKenzye so we had already established chemistry by the time we sat down to map out the visuals for my project. The project #The11thHour though is just the story of my journey through life since my last year of college, which was when I decided that being an artist is what I want to do. Each video depicts a part of that journey - the ups and downs, the feelings of self-doubt and frustration with the state of my personal relationships. Each video goes a bit more in detail and from the first trailer down to the last official video, which has yet to be released, each installment is a continuation from the last. By the final video, the viewer will have a complete understanding of who I am based on where I’ve come from and all that I’ve gone through to get to this point in my life.

You seem to have a clear vision of where you want to go musically, for the readers and potential fans, where is that place of serenity for you?

It’s funny you asked that because part of the second video “I Feel It” was shot by the waterfront here in Buffalo, which is a spot that I go to regularly when I need to just breath and relax. Any time I’m by water and it’s quite I feel calm and at peace. Anywhere by water is always a place of serenity for me.

What are some of the tactics you are using to make your mark in this male saturated music industry?

Honestly, I plan to make my mark just by being myself. I feel like staying true is all that I could ever do to successfully accomplish my goals. I know that just from the way I look I stand out from the norm and I’m ok with that, but it’s not even that I’m trying. It just is that way because I don’t like to wear makeup or dress like most women my age. But doing anything other than being myself would mean using some gimmick that would eventually get played out. My plan is just to continue to be truthful with my message and honest with myself while I’m out here telling my stories. I think more than anything music lovers want to hear the truth and if I was out here talking about anything other than what I’ve already began to discuss, it would be obvious that I’m not about that life. So I just plan to keep being me and I have faith that if it’s meant for me to make a mark, I will.

What's next on your agenda for releases or project?

I’ll be releasing a video of one of my live performances in a few weeks so that those who haven’t gotten a chance to see me live will get an idea of what I do on stage and how it differs from the videos. The live show really does give #The11thHour an entirely new feel. I’ve also got a few features out now that I did with Always Cool Society and some other artists from Buffalo and I have some new material that I’ll be releasing very soon. The project #The11thHour will be out November 11th of this year.

Where can we find you online?

My website is That’s where you can find all the updates on new music and shows. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram @_dev11n and on YouTube you can always search dev11n and you’ll find all of my videos there.

Any last shouts?

I want to thank everyone who has ever showed me love, listened to my music, watched my videos, came to my shows or who has ever even wished me well on my journey with music. I appreciate love in any form. I also want to give a huge shout out to Always Cool Society and everyone involved with that movement. But above all I give God thanks for the blessing to be in the place physically and in this space mentally to be able to do what I’m doing. I don’t take any of this for granted and I know this is only the beginning.