Dev Hynes (aka Blood Orange) dropped his self-produced new album on Monday night. “Freetown Sound” is named for the capital of Sierra Leone, where Hynes’ father was born.
When he visited our studio for a live session in 2012 (mere months after being being part of our SXSW showcase, where we highlight artists we expect to breakout big) he told me about how he doesn’t actually love to be at the forefront and seemed to prefer writing for others.
That said, this album seems to be all about Dev.
The opening on an NPR piece on the artist says listening to this album, “you might feel as if you’re opening up a diary Hynes kept from his youth. The album explains one scar after another — growing up black in suburban England, being an outcast even within the black community, the pains of modern-day racism.”
Dev has a strongly recognizable sound and voice and is always up to something interesting — whether it’s moonlighting as a songwriter for artists like Solange Knowles, Sky Ferreira, FKA twigs, Florence and the Machine, and the Chemical Brothers or releasing his solo material.
Revisit our live performance from 2012 here. He’ll be appearing at FYF Fest in LA next month.