The electric funk persona Devereaux has just released a “taste” of his eccentric work in the form of the funktastic 90′s throwback track ’Kapowski‘. I managed to snag a brief interview with W. Heyward Sims, the breath that gives life to Devereaux. Check out the video, and then see what he had to say about this new, colourful creation.
After I first watched this music video, I definitely had some questions. Luckily I got access to shoot a few questions to Devereaux to get a better understanding of the piece, and I must say that I love the way the music has come to fruition (no pun intended…ok, maybe a little). I wasn’t originally going to post the interview verbatim, but I think that Sims’ process is so interesting, and his outlook so intriguing that you all must also share in the understanding behind this piece and the process of it.
SWEPT: What is the relevance of the track title?
DEVEREAUX: The title “Kapowski” references the character Kelly Kapowski from the TV show Saved by the Bell. She was a big crush of mine in the late 80s and early 90s. As the track started to sound akin to that splinter of time, not only did the titular homage seem to appropriately meld with the song’s sound but also to the underlying concept. Fun fact, though, the working title for the track when it was only a beat and some arpeggiator blips was “Champagne, Currency, and Limousines.”
SWEPT: With very minimal lyrics and an incredibly funky groove, what inspired the very trippy, fruit-based video?
DEVEREAUX: The lyrics from the hook of “Kapowski” focus on the idea of wistfully reflecting upon one’s early youth. The idea of youth is what I wanted to highlight visually. After some hand-wringing, I decided that fresh, colourful, healthy-looking fruit might be an interesting and not too terribly on the nose reference point for my lyrical concept. I originally considered using spray paint and filming actual fruit, but then I thought 3D might yield crazier results. I’m a fan of crazy. This is when I consulted @briancaiazza, a.k.a. Dr. Roasted, a.k.a. Kiwi Solo, about getting in on the project.
I also think fruit is a pretty classical idea. It’s just always in style. I think there is a reason there are so many still life paintings of fruit from the past and present. Fruit is just what’s up. I mean, it’s literally all over social media, too. We’re swimming around in a fruit-filled internet. I think fruit is probably the runner-up right behind a human that, for the viewer, is a very relatable screen image. “Oh, hey, I’ve eaten that. Neat.”
SWEPT: What is the relationship between the video content and the lyrical content?
DEVEREAUX: Since the visuals were essentially about youth and joie de vivre, I wanted to accentuate the lyrics that existed within the song to highlight very basic but indispensable life concepts. Ideas that are especially important to me. Ideas that aid in centring yourself when life starts peaking in the red of that annoying chaotic zone. “Space,” “Taste,” and “Breathe” would be three of them. I kind of wanted to like, “Mr. Miyagi-ize” the lyrics within the context of the video. Considering the time period of that character’s notoriety, this idea made a lot of sense to me and tied in neatly with the sound of “Kapowski.”
SWEPT: What inspired the writing of this song? Was it based on jamming, or was it written very directly?
DEVEREAUX: I’ve referenced this quote before, it’s from Picasso, but I can’t stress how real this is for me:
I had just finished Pineapple Flex and I was like, “Well, time to write I suppose. Let’s go for a banger, duh.” I literally took a pretty stale chord progression out of my proverbial guitar riff closet, which dated back to 1999, made it in C# minor instead of D minor and went from there. Netflix made Seinfeld available on streaming, spring became summer, autumn wilted into winter, and that was that. The earth just keeps floating around the sun making fruit ripen in a symphonically bittersweet fashion.
I have to say that this laissez faire style of writing is very much the way I work as well, so it’s no wonder I was so taken by both the song and by the interview. If you find yourself wanting a more fo a taste of Devereaux’s music, I would strongly recommend you check out his previous, groovy album ‘Pineapple Flex‘. It’s well worth the listen!