Dev talks navigating quarantine, his love of water, and “Brainlesss”

We toyed around with at least 5 different titles for Dev’s Q&A, but this one stuck out to us the most. It captures the idea that Dev Soter is indeed an up-and-comer, and you may not know his music yet. However, it also leaves a sour taste in your mouth, as if to say “wait, who actually is Dev Soter?” and “why don’t I know who Dev Soter is?” Those are exactly the questions you should be asking yourself.

Salem-native Dev Soter only started creating his own music a year and half ago. In that short time span, he’s released a handful of fasting-growing singles and caught himself a major distribution deal. I’d say he’s making the most of his time.

What makes Dev’s music so special is his ability to accurately paint a picture in listener’s heads. Take “Hills” for example. As soon as you hear the chorus it brings you to a crisp Spring day: windows rolled down, enjoying the company of others. Or “Shaking Bodies”… you’re able to resonate with his depiction of relationship troubles because you’ve been there. His vision is both honest and real, without overcomplicating things.

The 22-year-old East-coaster is back with a brand new single called “Brainlesss” releasing January 27th. He’s found a captivating sound for himself based around his beautifully-gruff vocal tone. With riveting chops on the guitar, “Brainlesss” is woozy, dense and atmospheric. He’s giving us a glimpse into his world, before he unloads his entire debut EP.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Dev and his manager Ty Donovan to chat about where he’s at and where he’s headed. Here’s a hint… he’s going places.

See below for the full dialogue

Deviate: What’s up Dev? Great to see you. Thanks for taking the time to chat with Deviate.
Dev Soter: Hey, happy to be here and finally meet you face-to-face.

Deviate: Music aside, how’s your quarantine going? Has everyday life been totally different for you? Or has it been business as usual?
Dev Soter: I’m sure I’m like most in that, at the start, it was great to have a break from everything…then after the first 5 months it became a bit overwhelming. I was getting deeper into my thoughts and getting anxious more often. I’d say things are starting to level out for me though. I’m getting closer to releasing music, which always helps. It’s weird… it’s not like a normal coping with anxiety. It’s more of a “I’m finally looking forward to something” …. it’s definitely exciting.

Deviate: Talk to us about your relationship with music. Have you always been attracted to music?
Dev Soter: There were glimpses back in my middle school days where I would listen to Mac Miller (still do) and write raps. Come to think of it, I did grow up with a Mom who loved NSYNC and Back Street Boys, a Dad who would always play big rock bands, and then my Uncle who loved rap. So growing up I got exposed to a wide variety of genres, and that’s something that I’m thankful for. I remember my first rap album I ever listened to was Ludacris’s Word of Mouf.

Deviate: Mine was Confessions by Usher
Dev Soter: We all gotta start somewhere right?

Deviate: So your appeal to music has always been there, but when did you start creating your own sound?
Dev Soter: Honestly, I didn’t start creating my own sound until like a year and a half ago. At the end of high school my friends would have me over and make beats for me to rap/sing over….but that was never my sound. I went to college for 1 year, and then dropped out… I bought a production interface, picked up the guitar again, and it kinda worked itself out.

Deviate: and that’s when you realized there was something there
Dev Soter: I still don’t think I’m at that point yet… I definitely have a ways to go. This upcoming project is the first time I’m confident in my music. It’s cool to realize I haven’t reached what I can really make and accomplish.

Deviate: I want to talk about both of your singles, “hills” and “shaking bodies. “Hills” is currently hovering around 50,000 streams. Did you know it would take off like that?
Dev Soter: Absolutely not…. it started getting passed around by friends and family so I think at the beginning it was mostly word-of-mouth. Then recently it was picked up by a Spotify editorial called Softly. I think that may bump it up as well. I really had no expectations for it… “Hills” was my first drop and there were some house-keeping things that went wrong right before I released it. Then everything started aligning and it began to take off.

What I create and put out can be summed up to closed vulnerability. I put in some pretty personal stuff, but I don’t want to spill everything yet.

Dev Soter, Deviate, 1.14.21

Deviate: Your most recent single “Shaking Bodies” has seen similar success. If you keep putting out these type of hits you may have to drop an album……unless?
Dev Soter: hahaha maybe not an album, but definitely a multi-track project. “Shaking Bodies” hasn’t reached “Hills” status yet, but it’s been a steady, organic growth. This next project that I’m referring to is the most put together thing I’ve ever done. We’ve been sitting on a few finished tracks for a while so I’m excited to have you guys hear them one after another.

Deviate: From talking with your manager, I know you just signed a distribution deal. Congratulations! How did this come about?
Dev Soter: Yeah man it was a super cool opportunity. We haven’t given much info about it, but we’ll make it more and more public within the next few weeks. Super cool guys we got to partner with and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish. 

Deviate: What’s in the pipeline for you in terms of music and life in general?
Dev Soter: I’ve got my new single “Brainlesss” coming out January 27th, which I get pretty deep on. Then a multi-track project called The Dida Tapes that drops Feb 10th… our thought is why not keep the momentum going while we have it.

Deviate: You’ve heard the “what’s your spirit animal” question, but at Deviate we want to know artists on a deeper level. If you were transformed into an inanimate object, ideally, what would you be? And why, of course.

Dev’s eyes light up

Dev Soter: This is the easiest question you’ve asked. I already have my answer…. I would be water. Water is my favorite thing in the world. You can actually hear it on one of my past songs… the end says “I wanna be like water”. Water is just so free, it’s constant peace. No matter how high or low the waves are you’re still in the water so you know you’re safe….

What a way to elegantly conclude an interview

We want to thank Dev and Ty for taking the time to chat. They’re focused on creating great music and for that, we salute them. Be sure to check out “Brainlesss” on Jan 27th and The Dida Tapes Feb 10th.

Dev Soter is distinctly a Deviate.