Rooted in nineties R&B, gospel and funk, Devin Morrison is about to launch his debut album, Bussin’. The release comes on Parisian producer Onra‘s label NBN Records, a subdivision of All City Records.
Nothing short of multitalented, Devin has composed, produced and played on the album, inviting a selection of special guests along for the ride: Grammy nominees KING, Joyce Wrice, Daz Dillinger (Tha Dogg Pound), Ace Hashimoto – even Devin’s older brother, Lakks Mable, and father, Dah-Vi, lend their talents to it.
The album’s fresh as you like, slow jams biting with G-funk sprinkled with a post-beat scene wink, and all great R&B. Below we premiere the Joyce Wrice-featuring With You: classic vocal hooks and smacking drums.
Please introduce yourself…
I go by the name of Devin Morrison. I was born and raised in Orlando, Florida (woop, woop!). I produce, compose, play piano, bass and drums, sing and arrange. I got a record coming out on April 3rd… it’s called Bussin‘.
How is the soul scene over in Florida?
I’d say it’s on an incline. It’s weird ‘cuz cats forget that Florida gave us Bobby Caldwell. We’re most known for boy bands and as of recent, more aggressive brands of music. I haven’t been home in a couple of years but I’m liking the stuff coming outta Ozone. My dude Knaladeus got some ill flavours… and my homie J.Tesfa got a single out that’s startin’ to buss out there. Frankly, I can really only speak for Orlando though…
You’ve worked with KING, Joyce Rice and others – could you tell us a little about how those collabs have come about?
These are all people I was a fan of prior to them knowing me. After moving to LA, Joyce Wrice became a good friend of mine. As for KING, they had followed me on the gram one day and I slid in their DMs like, “I love y’all.” And they were like, “We love you too!” After I stopped dying, we hung out and the rest is history class.
How did you hook up with Onra and NBN?
While I was in Tokyo, I met Fitz Ambro$e through Budamunk. Me and Fitz became really, really good friends and through him, I met Onra. He was interested in doing a record with me. I sensed a profound connection, so I was like, “LOL, okay.”
What’s led you up this point, musically?
A lot… I grew up in a home full of great musicians and great music. My grandmother’s last wish was for me to take piano lessons when I was a lil’ jit. I did. Learned how to make beats from my brothers. Eventually, I ended up studying Music Composition & Recording Arts at Oakwood University. That was formative to say the least. Then I moved to Japan and did my grad program at the School of Ambro$e, studying the Buttaz.
Tell us about your father’s musical history.
My late grandfather, A.W. Morrison, essentially started the Morrison music movement. His sons and daughters would become incredible musicians. In the ’70s, my father and his brothers had a group called The Morrison Echoes. They were church famous and pretty well known in Chicago. Pops did music for years but… in the great words of Q-Tip… “Record company people are shadyyy“. So, the world doesn’t know about David “Dah-Vi” Morrison as well as I wish it did.
What was it like working with him for It’s Time, and your brother on Fairytale? Have you always worked together as family musically?
My dad is one of the most talented and anointed people I know. If you ever hear him sing, you won’t want him to stop. But I wanted to save that for a later record…
Aside from his incredible singing ability, he’s also a great guitarist. The process was pretty simple though. I sent him the track. He loved it. He played on it and sent me the tracks. Straight Butter.
You composed everything on the album – how was it overseeing a whole album’s worth of work?
Sometimes I struggle with “Composer’s Pride” which can make one very tough work with. I’m kind of a perfectionist. It’s a good and bad thing. Shoutout to Onra and the mixing engineer, Blanka, for staying patient with me throughout the project. Onra was also very supplemental in getting me to finish what I started.
What do you hope people get out of Bussin’?
The same feeling you would get from a nutritious, hearty and delicious full-course meal. Some of the songs are pretty personal… and those songs translate the best in my opinion. I never put profanity in my music so people don’t feel weird about playing the record in front of their kids. My nieces are my biggest fans, so… there’s that. Nonetheless, there’s still a lot of raw emotion. There’s a lot of variety too, so if you’re not feeling the grits, buss down on those biscuits!
What’re your next steps?
Awww, but that would spoil the surprise!