Devin Kennedy Talks Inspirations, Influences, and His New Single ‘Happy Yet’

Photo by Carey Snow

Feb 24th – Multi-talented musician Devin Kennedy is lifting listeners’ spirits with his introspective new song ‘Happy Yet’. The track is an R&B-infused look at the side of internet culture that can lead to unrealistic expectations for our own lives, and how that can weigh on us. Read below to find out what he has to say about his inspirations, influences, and the writing process behind ‘Happy Yet’!

First off, tell us your name, where you’re from, and a little bit about what you do!

Hello! My name is Devin Kennedy and I’m from Los Angeles, CA. I’m an artist/writer/producer and I mainly focus on pop/R&B music though I make a little bit of everything.

What made you pursue music, particularly songwriting? Did you always know you wanted to be a musician?

I grew up in a very musical family so I was always inspired by music at a young age. As I grew up it became clear that there was no other option for me, I had to be on the creative side of the music industry.

Who are your biggest influences?

I love artists who have a heavy hand in the writing/production of their music. Artists like Jon Bellion, Lauv, John Mayer…etc. They inspire me to think outside the box and try new things.

You said you’re from Los Angeles, how has the city influenced your writing?

In every way. I co-write a ton and living in LA has allowed me to meet so many talented writers/producers/artists. Everything would be different if I lived somewhere else.

Has there been a stand-out moment for you as an artist where you felt extremely proud, passionate, excited, or anything like that? Anything that made you think ‘yeah, this is worth it’?

In 2018 I released my first single, and by the end of that year I had won Hollywood Music In Media’s “Best New Emerging Artist” award. It was definitely a “wow” moment.

Musicians and face a lot of challenges, from rejection to financial expenses to writer’s block. How do you stay positive while dealing with the negative parts of making music?

What drives me is the creativity and openness of music. I can literally make anything at any moment. I try not to take for granted that I literally make/sell air for a living. I’m very grateful to be able to be creative as a job.

Besides making music, what else do you like to do? Any special talents?

I like to cook. It relaxes me. It’s similar to music in that you can do whatever you want with it, and sometimes what you make is really bad…..or really good. The interesting difference is I feel like in music I’m always thinking about the “rules” or the “formula” and trying to break them subtly and creatively. When I’m making some food I just break all the rules because why not. 

Do you feel more at home in the studio during the recording process, or do you prefer playing live shows?

It’s 50/50 now. I love writing and I love playing live. The whole reason I learned to produce is because I knew it could open doors for me as an artist. I really just want to tour more than anything, but the second I get on the road I end up missing the studio. It’s a funny balance.

Speaking of live shows, is there a particularly awesome performance you can remember? Anytime you walked away and knew you just nailed it?

I played a school show in Connecticut last Fall that was such a good time. There’s nothing like the band, the sound, and me all operating perfectly. It makes for an amazing show and the crowd always has an awesome time. 

You released the single ‘Happy Yet’ earlier this month – what can you tell us about that song?

I wrote Happy Yet about how internet culture has effected me over the last year. I’m really bad about comparing myself to people online and it’s become very unhealthy. Happy Yet is my reminder that people only post the positives online, and it’s unfair to hold myself to that.

What was the writing process like for ‘Happy Yet?’

I wrote it with two super talented writers Lukas Costas and Rebecca Perl. We actually started a completely different song when we started the session, but ended up abandoning it and trying something completely fresh. That became Happy Yet. I remember Lukas playing some chords and I free-styled the first line “compare myself to strangers on the internet”… and we were off and running from there.

What’s next for you? Do you have anything in the works?

A lot more music is next…and shows. I have a bunch of songs on the burner and I can’t wait to drop all of them. 

What’s the #1 reason why everyone should check out your music?

I’m writing songs that I believe in because I relate to them in every way, and they just stick in my head over and over again. Catchy and relatable.

Any last words you’d like to add?

Thank you for having me!

Thanks so much to Devin for taking the time to answer our questions! You can listen to ‘Happy Yetbelow, and follow Devin on Facebook to keep up with everything he has going on!

Cover photo by Carey Snow

Photo by Carey Snow

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