You couldn’t be more right if you decided to call Dev Hynes an amazing entertainer of the triple threat. Not only is he good with his singing and with the pen, but Hynes has produced many hits both for himself and for other musicians. He has been officially making music since 2004, and in the course of his career, he has gone through two name changes. First, he started singing as a light-speed champion before switching to Blood Orange, and now many simply prefer to call him Dev Hynes. Hynes entered the mainstream in 2013 and caused quite a stir with his rather unconventional but very pleasant music style. Here you will find everything you need to know about the life and career of this versatile musician.
Dev Hynes Bio
Blood Orange was born David Joseph Michael Hynes on 23 December 1985 in Ilford, East London, where he was raised by parents of African descent. While his mother is from Guyana, his father has his heritage in Sierra Leone. Hynes grew up in what he describes as a loving family with very little personal communication with his parents; something he feels is cultural. Both parents had full-time jobs; his father worked as a manager in a Marks & Spencer department store and his mother as a health care consultant, advising mainly teenage mothers.
Dev Hynes is the last born member of his 5-person family, which includes two siblings 5 and 7 years older than him. Due to the large age difference, Hynes had a rather lonely childhood and spent most of the time alone in his room listening to British soul music (his mother’s favorite) and songs from Nirvana and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, which belonged to his siblings.
This early contact with music awakened his passion, and at the age of 18, he moved to London and started making music. He attended and graduated from Chadwell Heath Foundation School, a school that has since been renamed Chadwell Heath Academy.
Things To Know About Blood Orange
1. Dev Hynes started out his music career as part of a band
Before his breakthrough as Blood Orange in 2013, Dev Hynes was part of a dance-punk band – Test Icicles. He held several roles in the band, including synthesizer, guitar, and vocals. Although the band was influenced by indie rock, it also incorporated elements of various genres. In 2005, one year after their formation, Test Icicles released their debut album For Screening Purposes Only, which turned out to be their last one, as they split up in 2006. Due to his work with the band, he moved to New York City in 2005 and has been based in the American city ever since.
2. Hynes didn’t take music seriously until he got to work for Solange Knowles
After his band split up, Dev Hynes did not give up music. He started solo recordings in 2007 under the name Lightspeed Champion. Over the next three years, Hynes enjoyed laudable success, touring extensively with friends, including band members such as Florence Welch of Florence and The Machine. He released two albums and was forced to take a short break in 2010 after suffering a serious neck injury during extensive touring that required extensive surgery.
Despite his success as a light-speed champion, Dev Hynes did not start taking music seriously until 2012, at a time when he started his Blood Orange project. When he told The Guardian, he had started to give up music until he somehow met Solange Knowles, and while working with her on her EP True, his passion was revived, and only then did he realize that music might have been his calling after all.
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3. He loves to play football more than music
If Dev had never met Hynes Solange, he would most likely have ended up as a footballer, a career he considers truly gifted. Raised in Essex, Hynes played football and was a member of the Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club. He played at the level where the scouts of Charlton Athletic began to check him, but because of his aversion to Essex, Hynes gave up football in favor of music. He still plays at least twice a week as a hobby. Besides soccer, Dev Hynes is also good at basketball and table tennis.
4. Blood Orange was a victim of bullying as a kid
Hynes grew up in Essex and was the victim of bullying, especially from more mature blacks who felt he crossed some socio-cultural boundaries. On the way to school, he was often beaten up on the bus. These experiences have become the inspiration for his strongly themed music, which he says he does not want people to “immediately like”.
5. His sexual orientation is ambiguous
Dev Hynes is attracted to both men and women but in a controversial way. When OUT magazine put him on the front pages in 2014, he received backlashes because he wasn’t gay enough. Hynes confessed that he tried sex with men, he didn’t like it but controversially told sex columnist Karley Sciortino that he was attracted to a man’s strong features and beauty, although he was still attracted to a woman’s femininity.