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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Interview: Janet Devlin - Releases “Outernet Song” + visits New York City



It’s a rainy wet and windy Friday afternoon in New York City’s Flatiron District when I arrive for my scheduled meeting with emerging Irish pop sensation Janet Devlin. Here doing a quick press tour on behalf of her American label OK! Good Records, Janet is finishing up an appearance on Cheddar Life TV when we are introduced.

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Traveling with a small entourage that includes her US label rep, two guitarists who pleasantly introduce themselves as “the English contingent” as well at super PR rep Rey of Reybee Inc, we agree on The City Market Café across the street to do our interview.


With the rain now coming down steady and 5th avenue to cross, I offer to shelter Janet underneath my umbrella (which she graciously accepts) and soon we are inside sharing coffees and discussing the current state of her young career.



For the uninitiated, Janet Devlin is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter who grew up outside the village of Gortin in County Tyrone. Singing and writing songs at an early age, Janet initially caught the public’s attention when she appeared on Series 8 of UK's X Factor in 2011. Only 16 years old at the time, she consistently received the highest consecutive public votes out of all the contestants. After leaving the X Factor, she released her acclaimed debut album, Running With Scissors in 2014, reaching Number 1 on the UK Indie Breakers Chart. In 2015 the album was released in the US on OK!Good Records.



The reason for this current press tour to New York (her sixth, she informs me) is the release of her brand new single “Outernet Song” which is officially available worldwide on October 7. Tackling issues of our current obsession with social media, Janet presents her case as it relates to her own personal experiences as well as the universal angst many feel.


This point of view is particularly revealing as her online presence is quite strong. Her weekly video logs are a real treat to experience and something her fan base eagerly looks forward to. Add to that an impressively attentive nature on potentially instant-reaction platforms like Twitter (where she seemingly answers nearly everyone who Tweets at her) giving the impression of a modern day star made for social media. However “Outernet Song” shows the darker side of being in the public eye, especially for a young woman coming of age.

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It's a brilliant take on the pitfalls of social media, trying to measure up to expectations and the pressures to fit in.  Wrapped in an extremely catchy tune (and character driven video, all created by Janet herself) is a sobering take on conformity.  As revealed in the songs lyrics:

See these magazines with
pretty girls rockin'
size 4 skinny jeans
and on my television screens there are
endless beauty routines
tellin' me how to look
and how I should be perceived

And online you're not safe from thigh gaps and ideal weights
I think it's time, time that I took a break

See these magazines with
Pretty girls rockin'
size 4 skinny jeans
and on my television screens there are
endless beauty routines
brainwashing our teens
just to ruin self-esteem

And online you're not safe from thigh gaps and ideal weights
I think it's time, time that I took a break

You could dress me up like a paper doll
but it doesn't mean
I'll do what I'm told
and just because you know my name
from my 15 minutes of fame
doesn't mean I'll never change
it's too hard to stay the same

And online you're not safe from sly ads and anon hate
I think it's time, time that I took a break

Some day we should venture to the Outernet

Too much time on the Internet
It’s not hard to find what people said
"Why’d you change?" "where's your innocence!"
"I miss your blonde hair, why'd you dye it red?"

"When you sing you sound like a 10 year old"
“you’re that ginger kid from a TV show?"
if you don't like what you hear then turn it off
it's not like I'm being played on the radio

And online you're not safe from fake likes on a Facebook page
I think it's time, time that I took a break (time that I took a break, time that we took a break)

There used to be a day where all I wanted to be
was as pretty as the girls in the magazines
and it tore me up and tore me apart
I didn't see myself as a piece of art
we need to teach our kids how to love themselves
not compared to what the media sells
‘caus in this world you can never win

'because loving yourself is so unacceptable

And I’ll do anything for a like, anything for a share, anything for a re-tweet
to gain some followers
anything for a like, anything for a share, anything for a re-tweet

where’s all my followers?
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As her New York management team scurried off to the multiple simultaneous tasks before them, we are left alone for an hour, allowing for an energetic chat on a variety of topics. Conveying how wonderful I think her debut album “Running With Scissors” is (and what my fave tracks are) I ask if the lyrics are all her own or did she have any other input on them? “Oh no, I wrote all of the words myself,” she explains. “Most of the lyrics to those songs I had written for a couple of years now. Like ‘Whiskey Lullabies’ I wrote when I was 18.”

At nearly 22 now (her birthday comes this November 12) Janet Maureen Aoife Devlin is branching out into acting as well. Having recently wrapped up filming her screen debut on an indie film called “Songbird,” Janet contributed two original self-penned songs to be included on its soundtrack.

Janet wrote: "I spent my week on the set for the film "Songbird". I didn't want to give anything away so this may make only a little bit of sense aha! Thank you so much to everyone involved in the film, you we're amazing! Thanks for making me feel so welcome and settling me into my acting debut! I hope you guys enjoy!"

That video can be viewed in full right here

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I asked about her reported issues of insomnia and how she is dealing with all that. “That actually seems to have corrected itself now, and I’m sleeping more typically lately. Of course I’m working 18 hour days a lot so it could be a result of that.” I let her know that six hour of sleep a night is no so bad, especially for someone who was previously dealing with much less.

We spoke about her impressions of New York City, which was captured in this clip here:


One can't help but be impressed by the energy and determination wrapped up in the workaholic nature of this young woman.  Her YouTube channel presents a detailed historical perspective on her evolving career and is updated weekly.


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Having touched on a wide variety of topics in our hour long conversation we both come to the conclusion “who knows what’s going to happen?” When I simply state that “I just hope the world doesn’t blow up,” Janet offers up this sobering (and intellectually deep) thought: “A few billion years from now, the Sun will expand to the point where it will destroy the Earth. So all of this discussion about being remembered and creating a legacy for yourself will be gone.”

Entire cup of coffee consumed

Pondering that I counter with “then I suppose it comes down to what you do with the time you have on your hands right now.” Nodding in agreement, Janet is soon whisked away by her returning entourage as she headed out to other parts of New York City and the scheduled appearances for the remainder of the day.



You can acquire Janet Devlin’s latest single here

And all of her other music here:

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As of now Janet will be touring the UK and Northern Ireland at the end of November and all through December (her third UK headline tour).  A listing of those "My Opium" dates and how to acquire tickets can be found here.

Discussions are also in the works regarding East Coast US dates, which would certainly be a welcome treat for music lovers on this side of the Atlantic.

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11 comments:

Misty said...

Oh Wow! what a lovely and fresh new singer! I was previously not aware of her, but this introduction to her music is a real pleasant surprise.

it looks like you made the most of that rainy day and got into some interesting conversations with Janet.

I can sympathize with points made in her "outernet song" (which i agree is completely catchy) as its obvious so many of us have become much too dependent on social media these days.

checking out her other music i have to agree that her last album is a thing of beauty. there are so many beautiful songs on there.

I'm pleased to get to know this new artist!

ViewFromSpookysDoghouse said...

I finally had a reason to look at my county map of Ireland, and whoop, there's Tyrone! Another fun fact: "Running With Scissors" is also the name of a movie. I enjoyed reading this story. It had the feel of reminiscing about a date. There was even some chivalry involved, as both coffees and an umbrella in the rain were shared. But seriously, you guys didn't order separate coffees? (I'm scratching my head.) And of course, I'm also cogitating on the building of a legacy versus the end of the world portion of your conversation with your interviewee. Hmm...

DaveCromwell said...

Happy to know the feature resonated with you, Misty!

Funny you should make reference to a "fun fact," VFSD - as Janet seems to enjoy dropping "fun facts" herself - as witnessed in the Live "StageIt" interactive internet concert she just did.

That you were motivated to view a map of Ireland I can only see as a positive thing. Regarding the coffees - yes there were two of them. I guess I could have made that clearer (although I suspect you are making a joke there).

As for concerns over the Earth's eventual demise - it's actually somewhat difficult to wrap your head around a billion anything. It's such a large number. How many generations and lifetimes will occur in that time frame? Now there's a math equation to ponder.

Better time spent on the 'Outernet' then - and the possibilities those simple pleasures hold.

Mirror said...

Janet Devlin ‏@JanetJealousy

Did an interview with the lovely @DaveCromwell! Have a read here http://davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interview-janet-devlin-releases.html … ! ☺️💜
8 retweets 16 likes

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Janet Devlin Retweeted

@DaveCromwell

Brand New feature on @JanetJealousy here: http://davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interview-janet-devlin-releases.html … Interview: Janet Devlin: Releases “Outernet Song” + visits New York City
6 retweets 6 likes

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Entreprejay Tweeted:

The latest The Jeff Conn Daily! http://paper.li/jeffMconn/1346332163?edition_id=d243f5e0-8c8f-11e6-a6a8-0cc47a0d1609 … Thanks to @TonyKRO @DavidHenson84 @DaveCromwell #socialmedia #youtube
Entreprejay

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Brand New feature on @JanetJealousy here: davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interv… Interview: Janet Devlin: Releases “Outernet Song” + visits New York City
11:10 PM - 06 Oct 16
Retweeted by RadioDevlin @RD120
To 2971 followers.

#JanetDevlinFanClub Tweeted
@jeffMconn @TonyKRO @DavidHenson84 Thanks for including my feature on #JanetDevlin Jeff! @janetdfanclub @okgoodrecords @reybee #socialmedia
#JanetDevlinFanClub

Media Shock Tweeted:
Did an interview with the lovely @DaveCromwell! Have a read here http://davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interview-janet-devlin-releases.html … ! ☺️💜
Media Shock

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Christina and 9 others liked a Tweet you were mentioned in:
Did an interview with the lovely @DaveCromwell! Have a read here http://davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interview-janet-devlin-releases.html … ! ☺️💜
Christina OK! Good Records Blanca is my name ღ Leo Delperdang Insomnia Music petey141 Danii Jess ☁ Media Shock

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Andy Bradfield and 4 others Retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in

Matt G. and 11 others liked a Tweet you were mentioned in
4h: Did an interview with the lovely @DaveCromwell! Have a read here http://davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interview-janet-devlin-releases.html … ! ☺️💜
Matt G. Joseph rubio Christina OK! Good Records Blanca is my name ღ Leo Delperdang Insomnia Music petey141 Danii Jess ☁ Media Shock

- - -

Joseph rubio and 5 others Retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in
Did an interview with the lovely @DaveCromwell! Have a read here http://davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interview-janet-devlin-releases.html … ! ☺️💜
Joseph rubio Andy Bradfield Bruno Leo Delperdang petey141 Silvertip Films

Insomnia Music and Misty Espo Holusha liked your Tweet
13h: Brand New feature on @JanetJealousy here: http://davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interview-janet-devlin-releases.html … Interview: Janet Devlin: Releases “Outernet Song” + visits New York City
Insomnia Music Misty Espo Holusha

Parlé Magazine liked your Tweet
1h: New #davecromwellwrites Feature! Janet Devlin comes to New York and releases a single!... http://fb.me/6EHXCssMX
Parlé Magazine

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Joseph rubio Retweeted
Janet Devlin ‏@JanetJealousy 4h4 hours ago
Did an interview with the lovely @DaveCromwell! Have a read here http://davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interview-janet-devlin-releases.html … ! ☺️💜
8 retweets 13 likes

- - -

Joseph rubio Retweeted
Dave Cromwell ‏@DaveCromwell 13h13 hours ago
Brand New feature on @JanetJealousy here: http://davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interview-janet-devlin-releases.html … Interview: Janet Devlin: Releases “Outernet Song” + visits New York City

OK! Good Records Retweeted
Dave Cromwell ‏@DaveCromwell 13h13 hours ago
Check out @okgoodrecords emerging artist #JanetDevlin new feature here: http://tinyurl.com/jo6zlx3 @Best_New_Bands and much thanks @reybee

Leo Delperdang Retweeted
Janet Devlin ‏@JanetJealousy 4h4 hours ago
Did an interview with the lovely @DaveCromwell! Have a read here http://davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interview-janet-devlin-releases.html … ! ☺️💜
8 retweets 13 likes

Andreas @cuddleptic Tweeted:
great to read👌very thankful davecromwellwrites.blogspot.de/2016/10/interv…
more, more,..😛 @DaveCromwell @JanetJealousy lyrics ! @kieron_hurst97😏 - Oct 07

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DaveCromwell said...

The true power of social media is fully on display here. The internet response to this piece (especially on Twitter) has been extremely rewarding. Of course it helps when the artist themselves not only Retweets you, but then adds an original Tweet of their own promoting the piece.

I can't thank Janet enough for that.

It's most satisfying to know something pursued, commenced and then follow-through created is well received and appreciated.

The "Devlinators" are certainly a passionate bunch!

And why not - the artist they follow is a bright, shining star.

((((((bug said...

Whenever I see the words “UK Sensation” I’m immediately transported back to last November when I had the unfortunate luck of eating expired Spotted Dick.
With that digression aside I decided to try out some of the music of Janet Devlin, whom I’m told is some level of social media star. Which level, I don’t know. But it could be some combination of levels 2, 3, and 8. Maybe Dante would place it at a 4.3333.
I tried out the “Outernet Song” and immediately thought I was hearing a Natalie Imbruglia track mastered at the wrong speed, like ‘Cold Spring Harbor II’ without all the self-loathing and alcoholic car wrecks. I wouldn’t say the glossed composition pop appeals to me but after hearing “Whiskey Lullabies” it is clear that she has a talent and a style that harkens back to the strong independent songwriters of the 90s and is tapping into a niche that died out with the Lilith Fair.

DaveCromwell said...

Um, spotted what, Bicho?!? Well I certainly hope you’ve all healed up from then.

That aside, I DO love a good combined math and Medieval Italian poet-philosopher reference.

I like the Natalie Imbruglia comparison re: Janet’s “Outernet” song. I used to be a big fan of hers. Last I was aware, she moved into acting. Great looking woman, so why not? Of course you add your own twisted journey down rabbit holes of self-destruction. Janet is still too undamaged for all of that. But you finally get it by seeking out one of the truly great tracks on “Running With Scissors.” RIYL “Whiskey Lullabies” check out “Things We Lost In The Fire.” She can turn poetry into real quality songs.

Mirror said...

The Famous Company posted on Twitter:

Retweeted @okgoodrecords
OK! Good Records
@okgoodrecords
The only #NewMusic you need to hear this Friday is Janet Devlin's single 'Outernet Song'! Stream it now on @Spotify open.spotify.com/track/6XbTzGK9

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Janet Devlin posted on Twitter:

@DaveCromwell
Brand New feature on @JanetJealousy here: davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interv… Interview: Janet Devlin: Releases “Outernet Song” + visits New York City

Retweeted by Janet Devlin @JanetJealousy
To 336,512 followers.

- - -

RadioDevlin (@RD120) posted on Twitter:

@DaveCromwell
Oh, look what showed up on @iTunes - it's @JanetJealousy 'Outernet' ! pic.twitter.com/YAamFxEWjy

Retweeted by RadioDevlin @RD120
To 2971 followers.

- - - - - - -

BestNewBands.com posted on Twitter:
Check out @okgoodrecords emerging artist #JanetDevlin new feature here: tinyurl.com/jo6zlx3 @Best_New_Bands and much thanks @reybee
BestNewBands.com @Best_New_Bands
News...Reviews...Interviews

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Andy Rodriguez and 7 others Retweeted a Tweet you were mentioned in
13h: Did an interview with the lovely @DaveCromwell! Have a read here http://davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interview-janet-devlin-releases.html … ! ☺️💜
Andy Rodriguez Michelle Doherty Joseph rubio Andy Bradfield Bruno Leo Delperdang petey141 Silvertip Films

Andy Rodriguez and 5 others Retweeted:

Brand New feature on @JanetJealousy here: http://davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interview-janet-devlin-releases.html … Interview: Janet Devlin: Releases “Outernet Song” + visits New York City

- - - - - - -

Augusto Orihuela Nav and 14 others posted on Twitter:

Did an interview with the lovely @DaveCromwell! Have a read here http://davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interview-janet-devlin-releases.html … ! ☺️💜
Augusto Orihuela Nav Michelle Doherty Emma van Loo Matt G. Joseph rubio Christina OK! Good Records Blanca is my name ღ Leo Delperdang Insomnia Music petey141 Danii Jess ☁

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Paul Mathews and 4 others posted on Twitter:

Brand New feature on @JanetJealousy here: http://davecromwellwrites.blogspot.com/2016/10/interview-janet-devlin-releases.html … Interview: Janet Devlin: Releases “Outernet Song” + visits New York City

پژمان زیرانپور said...

hi
.
.
.
very good web..
www.takgem.ir

DaveCromwell said...

Hi to you - مان زیرانپور (love that copy and paste!). Thanks for the "very good web" comment. I took a look at your site there as well. Looks like a lot of interesting Iranian pop stuff. Thank goodness for the web's translate feature!

Also appreciate the additional sharing of this feature by all the various "Devlinators" on the net.

It's a beautiful thing!

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