Patience is a virtue that is rarely embraced within the music industry and one that is almost void amongst many hip hop artists, but for veteran Deceptikonz MC, Devolo, it is seen as more of a gift than a curse. Seven years between the pivotal release of Deceptikonz pioneering debut 2 albums “Elimination” has seen Devolo play supporting role as all fellow group members have each respectively released successful solo albums. That is until now.
Converting patience into anticipation, 2008 sees the humble Kingdom (Tongan) born MC step from out of the shadows and into the forefront as he gears up for the release of his highly anticipated debut solo album, “Heaven & Hell”. With eclipsing guest appearances over other projects and killer verses as part of hip hop super group Deceptikonz, Devolo has been gaining momentum and has reached its tipping point. Devolo has successfully generated a deep pool of interest amongst New Zealand’s public with his infectious rhyme patters, relative subject matter and the ability to create soothing melodies and harmonies and no where is this more evident than on Savage’s smash top 10 single, “They Don’t Know” which also features the angelic vocal layering of Aaradhna. “I feel like I am extremely fortunate in being able to switch from softly carrying a melody to fiercely ripping the mic. It’s a talent that 50 Cent and other great MC’s have capitalized with and I think it gives me another dimension compared with other MCs” confirms Devolo.
Further solidifying his arrival with the highly contagious Horsemen Family summer anthem, “Feels Like Magic” (written & performed by Devolo) peaking at 7 on New Zealand’s top 40 singles chart. “Feels Like Magic” was one of the biggest selling NZ digital songs of this year and has received more than 700,000 views on YouTube to date. Having also penned a number of Deceptikonz (group and solo project) hits including the classic Deceptikonz song “Fallen Angels” produced by P-Money which was nominated for a Silver Scroll Award in 2002 and Mareko & Deceptikonz 2003 gold Top 5 hit “Stop, Drop & Roll” Devolo is now taking you on a more personal journey with his debut solo album “Heaven & Hell”
“Heaven & Hell is a concept that I came up with late last year and it basically just describes the feel of my album. It’s almost like I have split the disc in two, where one half of the album is the more light hearted style of Hip Hop and the other half is the traditional hard style of that Deceptikonz are known for. A ying and yang kind of deal. I’m not trying to pigeonhole myself. I’m just trying to make music that appeals to everybody” states Devolo.
Devolo brings something new for his first solo single “Somebody” a slightly humorous but catchy, certified dance floor anthem produced by hot new production talent DJ Montana from the Horsemen Family camp. Turning up the heat even more the French Beats International (Stevie Wonder, Cassie) produced second single “Too Shy” is an even more upbeat Hip Hop dance track where the Devolo shows his sheepish side when speaking to the ladies - “I saw your picture and I really want to meet you but I’m afraid to say I’m too shy”
In total contrast Devolo Pouring his heart over the soulful “Can’t Let You Go” featuring the smooth vocals and production of Lemuel. “Yeah, I’ve made mistakes, my bad, I won’t lie, I try hard but good luck’s not a friend of mine, and if you cry I’ll be there before your tears dry, that’s a promise till the day I die”. “Good Day” is a chilled out yet catchy summer jam a theme which flows on through into “Take It Back” an amusing Island club banger. For much of the back half of the album Devolo takes to your ears with harder beats and vocals displaying his majestic rhyme skills on the Mareko assisted “Fresh To My Death” and the thought provoking title track “Heaven & Hell” - “tell me what happens when we all die, is it heaven or hell or is that all lies?”
Savage lends his fellow Deceptikonz cohort an aggressive hook over the haunting keys of L.A based Samoans, Pacific Icon Management Group on “God Chose Me” as the two staunchly “represent for all PI’s (Pacific Islanders)” Also the trademark boasts of “Bring It” sees Devolo spit some true to form braggadocio lines in traditional Hip Hop fashion. Dawn Raid’s in house producers and fellow Deceptikonz / Horsemen Family members, DJ Montana and Mareko lend production duties to the majority of the album so sonically, the sound of “Heaven & Hell” is very cohesive and travels in one smooth direction.
Feel good club anthems, summer jams and hard hitting Hip Hop – Devolo’s debut solo album Heaven & Hell is a must!