DeVries has become a bold, energetic, authentic, and fantastic pop singer-songwriter. We sat down with the pop songstress to talk about everything from her musical roots to what shaped her as an artist. Please keep reading to learn more about DeVries and her latest single, “Faking.”
The Musical Beginning of DeVries
Coincidentally, the last three artists we have interviewed were born in New York State. It was in upstate New York, in which DeVries began moving along her life’s journey. DeVries said, “I grew up near Rochester, New York, which is upstate. I got my start in music through community theatre and church. Being raised super religious, I began singing in church as a worship leader when I was thirteen or fourteen. That is also where I learned to play piano and sing at the same time.”
Many songwriters begin writing music after learning to play guitar, but DeVries took a different path. The singer-songwriter said, “My parents bought me an electric piano, and I started writing music all the time. I even put out an album on Reverb Nation, but it’s terrible, and nobody should listen to it. The album sounded like Emo meets Disney Princess. Songwriting got me to the place where I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Devries recalled the first song she ever wrote. She said, “This is gross, but I wrote my first song about a guy I was dating at the time for our six-month anniversary. I played it for him without telling him it was me. He didn’t even notice! At the end of the song, I asked him if he liked it. He said, “it was fine; why?” We broke up shortly after that.”
From American Idol to Nashville
DeVries has come along way since being a contestant on the farewell season of American Idol on Fox. If you are curious, her audition video is on YouTube. It’s amusing and fantastic at the same time. Jenna Renae, the contestant, was singing country music, but as DeVries, she continues to produce killer pop music. DeVries said, “I moved to Nashville after American Idol, but I was a contestant on America’s Got Talent before Idol. I made it through the first two rounds on AGT, and I made it to the top 24 on Idol. While on American Idol, I talked with Scott Borchetta and Allison Jones at Big Machine. They liked me but felt I had not found my sound yet, which was entirely fair since I didn’t feel like I had yet either. Two months after Idol ended, I moved to Nashville.”
Once in Nashville, the singer-songwriter hit the ground running. DeVries said, “After moving to town, I began writing a lot and playing shows in town. About a year or two after moving here, I had written an entire country EP. I even opened for Molly Hatchet on a small tour. I was doing the country thing, but I began to feel this wasn’t the music I wanted to make. So, I transitioned over to pop music and rebranded, and I have been doing the indie artist thing ever since.
Why DeVries? Why Pop Music?
When Jenna Renae decided to move into Pop Music, she also decided to rebrand herself. Thus, DeVries was born. The singer-songwriter explained why she changed genres. DeVries said, “For me, songwriting is a way for me to say what I am thinking and feeling. I am aggressively opinionated. The inherent honesty in pop music doesn’t limit what I can say. If I want to write a song about faking an orgasm, I can do it. So much is taboo in country music, unlike pop music. As an LGBTQ artist, the pop scene is more accepting. There is also more room in pop for what I want to do vocally.”
The Nashville pop scene is continuing to grow, but there are challenges. DeVries said, “There is a somewhat underground pop movement. However, the most frustrating part of it is booking shows. It is challenging to find venues where tracks make sense. Although, I am finding great producers and writers to collaborate within the pop arena. However, there are limited opportunities to book pop showcases. In Nashville, I sometimes feel like the odd person out. It’s like Halsey, and Lady Gaga had a baby, but gay.”
The Sass Behind the Music and the Artist
The first time I saw DeVries on stage, it was electric. Her energy on the stage fits her music which can be audacious and in your face. The pop artist said, “Sassy is my brand. My upbringing was super conservative, and I was homeschooled and shielded. So, when I came out into the real world, I got tired of having to be perfect and holier than thou all the time. If I think something or feel something, I am going to say it. For women and the LGBTQ community, there needs to be a platform that resonates with them. So, I don’t have time not to be sassy.”
DeVries Wants to Help Others Find Their Voice
Music can be a powerful force in bringing people together. Music speaks to us and can heal. DeVries is fearless and unapologetic about her music, and her background has shaped her into the vibrant pop artist she has become. The pop artist said, “People deserve to be equal. My upbringing shaped me as an artist in that I feel a responsibility to build a platform for people like me. I need to reach backward and forward. I am passionate about talking to other people or creating music for people who may have been in a similar place as I was.”
DeVries continued, “Music helps transcend our current situations. I create art to help people escape whatever is tying them down and help them find their voice. Physically, I was in a bad situation with my upbringing and being in an abusive first marriage. I completely lost my voice. I developed polyps on my vocal cords because I was in a stressful, unsafe situation. Surgery was able to remove the polyps. I had lost my voice physically and emotionally. Ever since I cannot stand the idea of that happening to others, and I cannot stand the idea of not having a strong voice myself.”
DeVries Releases a New Single, “Faking”
The pop artist’s latest single, “Faking,” is bold and real. DeVries wrote the song with Sela Bruce. Josh Ronen produced her new single, and it was mixed and mastered by Mike Piazza. The singer-songwriter said, “Faking” is one I am proud of. It’s about an ex who never noticed when I was faking, however, the song is not just about sex. “Faking” is also about life, like you can’t even tell when I am faking emotions. It has a double meaning. Many women in toxic relationships feel that way, women, who have tried to boost a man’s ego, but it got them nowhere. It’s a sassy, middle finger song. Every time I play it live, women come up to asking when I am releasing it. Men come up and say, a woman has never done that to me. That tells me all I need to know.”
Fun Facts and Future Plans with DeVries
One thing I learned I learned about DeVries is she is doesn’t seem to be afraid of trying something new. The singer-songwriters said, “I am somewhat of an adrenaline junkie. I love whitewater kayaking, and I have been swimming with dolphins. For the longest time, I wanted to be a marine biologist. Also, I enjoy freediving. I also make great oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.” Unfortunately, our interview was over FaceTime, so I cannot verify if those cookies are as delicious as she says. We will have to take her word for it.
DeVries has an ambitious release schedule for 2021. The pop songstress said, “I plan to release 6 to 12 songs this year.” She is already on her way with the release of “If I Like You” and now “Faking.” While we anxiously await more music from DeVries, there is plenty on streaming platforms for us to listen to while we wait. Check out her music on Apple Music and Spotify.
DeVries is a force to be reckoned with among the pop scene in Nashville and will be for the foreseeable future. We believe she has the necessary prerequisites to excel in this industry, and Undiscovered Nashville is eager to see the success coming her way. Thank you for reading and for all your support. Come back again to learn more about the pre-famous in Nashville and beyond.