14 November 2016 // Puck Gall //Amsterdam
During high school most off us passed through many phases, rebellious teenagers that are just trying to fit in and understand what cool is all about. I have been a preppy girl with my polo’s and shiny earrings, a rock chick with way too baggy pants and weird self-pimped accessories or even a hippy with multicolored dreadlocks. All these identities could feel a bit confusing at times, but luckily most kids will always have a few personal favors that show off their personal taste. The Test Icicles presented my personal taste, an English punk band that made heavy loud yet rhythmic music. Listening it back now I guess it was just more danceable than Nirvana, for me at least.
Funny thing is that I have been listening a lot to the latest album of Blood Orange – Freetown sound, these days without realizing the link to my previous fan band. Devonte Hynes was one of the three members of the Test Icicles. After this realization I became an even bigger fan of Devonte. After the Test Icicles split up in 2006 all band members went their own way but Devonte has done things exceptionally well. After various solo projects and writing for different artists like Solange and FKA twigs he is now better than ever as Blood Orange.
The man has some serious skills. There is something about him that feels like he is digging deeper into music than others. He looks like Basquiat has been reborn and just started singing instead of painting. This is not so strange as he is diagnosed with synesthesia. Devonte gave a TED talk about synesthesia where he tries to explain how he experiences the world. Synesthesia basically means that your senses are affecting each other in a heavy manner. Imagine tasting colors and seeing sounds. For Devonte images are like sounds and visa versa. He is there for a very visual person next to his musicality. And this reflects in his amazing wardrobe and style. He plays with the borders of masculinity and brings classic 80’s pieces back to life. I adore his combination of function and extravaganza it always looks so effortless. Which shows how personal it is, he is not afraid to be truly honest. Baring it all can be dressing up.
With all off that said I believe we are going to hear so much from him in the future. His energy and excitement for life is just what we need is these weird times. He is working together with so many artists yet always staying true to his sound and vision. Somewhere he might feel like the modern version of Nile Rodgers. Whatever Devonte is going to do next I know it will be good. I can only hope that one day I will make a royal coat for the guy!