New York | London
Hello. My name is Devonte Hynes. I make music under various guises such as Blood Orange, Lightspeed Champion. and sometimes, just under my own name, but that tends to be for more compositional or scoring work.
I grew up in London, which is where I spent the majority of my life up until 5 years ago, when I moved to New York City. My first foray into music was the piano at age 7. I was obsessed with my older sister Louise, and would follow her everywhere around my parents house. She was a wonderful pianist, I loved sitting with her as she played all these beautiful compositions. This naturally led to me following her to her piano lessons.
A few years after that I started to play the cello, which then became my first instrument, during these years I split my time evenly playing in local orchestras in Essex and playing football and basketball for local teams. Even to this day the jostle between sports and music is constantly fighting in my mind, although, music tends to win of late due to mid twenties disease (alcohol e.t.c.)
All through my teens I would then make albums on my tape recorder. Of varying genre’s i guess, but that wouldn’t cross my mind. At times it would be cello based, others piano, sometimes metal… and in the early days, pretty much solidly rap. I would give the tapes out at skate parks, basketball courts, to my mother, to my next door neighbors, to anyone that wanted it really. This was how Blood orange was initially handed out, to friends. House/dance dubs I worked on for long walks I would take around the city at night, I spent some time in L.A doing production work for people. Obviously because I’m from London, I don’t drive. So I would walk from Hollywood to Silverlake listening to the mixes I’d made.
I actually think I’ve only recently began to shake that habit, but due to a realization that lot’s of people in the world nowadays see music as a sport (irony?) and the more i begin to see this, the less I want to take part..
I entered a phase of transition 4 years ago, and after years of somewhat, turning my back on the things I loved as a child (as described above) I decided it was time to jump straight back in.
This all happened by chance, the jumping back in part that is, I was honored to be asked to perform the incredible soundtrack to Hal Asby’s “Harold & Maude” at the anniversary screening of the film at The British Film Institute in London. I had recently purchased a standup electric piano for my new apartment in Brooklyn, but was terrified at what I’d done (i.e purchasing a standup electric piano for my apartment in Brooklyn… ) This task proved to be the catalyst for finding my musical feet again. I was then asked to perform as part of the vocal group for a concert commemorating the composer Moondog at The Barbican, also in London. I flew into town early, excited to just sit back and watch the rehearsals of The Brittan Sinfonia, and the London Saxaphonic.. all of this and various songwriting jobs I was taking, all lead towards the Blood Orange album being made.. I know that sounds super vague.. but contrary to the length of this I don’t want to bore anyone!!!!!!
Anyway, the last few years has seen me concentrate on producing and writing for other artists, and scoring for documentaries or film. I’ve been creating music for my dear friend Karley Sciortino, who runs a website called “Slutever”. Karley is someone I have collaborated in some form with on and off for a long time now,and she is one of my best friends. She has been creating an amazing video series for Purple.TV with the loose theme of “sex” of which i have provided the music for.
Aside from the music I have been making under the name “Blood Orange” I have spent the last year or so working hard on the forthcoming album by Solange Knowles, i can honestly say it is the most i have worked on any music, and I am so excited for it to finally be released.. soon.
I read recently that you shouldn’t let your history get in front of your future. But with the 2012ness (I’m really sorry for that word !!) of how we live now, I can see why this is becoming increasingly difficult. nothing is ever lost, in the same regards, nothing from the future is ever really a surprise. We’re in a time where everything is constantly present. I’m not commenting on this as a bad thing, no. I’m just merely noting.
A specific thing I like in girls: Someone with an understanding of happiness and content is not too much to ask for. An easy-going soul with a hard-working personality…Patricia Highsmith for the “Usher generation”, Octavia St Laurent and her strong-willed sisters… or something?!
Blood Orange – Sutphin Boulevard
Malcolm McLaren – Madame Butterfly
Suzzane Vega- Solitude Standing
Come to 285kent where Blood Orange is gonna be special guesting this great show!!
While listening to Blood Orange’s Sutphin Boulevard, and in spite of its title, i kept having in mind images of Chinatown (the hood not the film) but could never tell where it was, in London or in NY, was totally disoriented, geographically. Devonte’s music is luscious and illusive, and the epic caressing vocals add a the soulful demeanor to it. There’s something effortlessly cool about his various projects, vids included. Follow Blood Orange in here and keep an eye for Devonte’s next!
Blood Orange- Forget It