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Dev: ‘I Always Feel Weird Calling Myself A Rapper’

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When the Far East Movement's "Like A G6" exploded on the charts in 2009, everyone wanted to know who was the girl singing the chorus.

Her name is Dev, short for Devin Star Tailes, and she's from Tracy, California. The song's "Like A G6" chorus actually comes from one of her songs, "Booty Bounce." Both songs were produced by The Cataracs, who discovered the then aspiring teen artist on Myspace.

After the success of "Like A G6" it didn't take long for Dev to rack up plenty more hits, her own singles "Bass Down Low" and "In The Dark" and features on several The Cataracs productions including the New Boyz's "Backseat."

Hip Hop Media Training recently spoke to Dev via phone to get the details on her debut album, "The Night The Sun Came Up," her pregnancy, and her days of competitive swimming.

HIP HOP MEDIA TRAINING: Do you consider yourself a rapper or a singer or both?

DEV: I definitely guess I do rap on some songs, but I always feel weird calling myself a rapper. But I'm confident in what I do as a singer and rapping and performing.

Timbaland brought you in the studio to work on music for his forthcoming album. Were you nervous?

Yes. I was in the studio waiting for him to come in for a little bit. I had no idea what to expect. When he came in, his presence is a complete boss. But I tried to show him that I was comfortable and I really wasn't tripping and I just wanted to make good music and learn from him. I think the fact that I had that vibe he felt really comfortable too. I really respect him a lot and I think he felt it too.

On your song "Take Her From You" you talk about being in a relationship with another woman? What inspired that song?

That is one of the songs that one of the Cataracs had written for himself a long time ago. When we were recording my album in Costa Rica, we brought up some of the lyrics. I was like, 'Oh, I really like that. It could almost be a flip of me singing about myself.' ... [We considered] maybe we should change around the perspective, but I was like, 'No. Let's keep it like that.'

So you were a competitive swimmer for 14 years. How long can you hold your breath?

Very long. I'm really fast. They don't believe me. I started swimming when I was like 4-years-old. Before I could read. It was my entire life. I would swim a couple hours before school and a couple hours in the afternoon after school, all summer, winter, everything.

Congratulations on your pregnancy. Have you written a song about your daughter?

I haven't written a song about the baby yet, but I really want to. I've just been waiting for everything with this album to be settled and for it to come out. But, the next time I get in the studio to write ...But it's interesting that I get to celebrate a baby and an album. I feel lucky.

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