By Steffen Armstrong
Mal Devisa (AKA Deja Carr) has inadvertently invented the perfect way to describe that unshakeable burning addiction to a new song. "Fire in the brain", it's a lyric taken from her equally unshakeable album Kiid, released earlier this month. A singer songwriter with the age old talent for the reflective candle lit song, as well as the powerful festival anthem, we met with Mal to find out what lies behind the voice...
3rd: You've just released Kiid, 10 songs of seriously powerful and thought-provoking song writing. Fire was our first introduction to you. "Does it kill you to know that we're all dying"...what does it mean to you?
Mal: Maybe in person. I will definitely say that the song started off as a critique and over time, I ended up starting to answer my own question…"yeah it kills me to know". I used to say "does it kill you to know?" This was not really a conscious change.
What's the dream with this record in terms of audience and delivery? I mean, listening to Live Again, the album feels perfect for a run of shows in a dim lit theatre. But then a track like FAT it's totally different...
There wasn't a dream for audience or the delivery. I feel like mostly I was just trying to put out these songs. I didn't really start picking the songs until a couple days before we recorded. The only way the album was ever going to be released was if I learned how to ignore what others had dreamed it up to be or what others would think of it. White Voyeurism has already attached itself very adamantly to the record, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that turns out.
"It was a really strange, beautiful, taxing, tear-inducing experience and I am so grateful, but I am so excited to make more records".
It's been two years since 4U. What's changed in that time? The writing style feels very much the same...
I was 17 and in high school when I put out 4U and so much has changed. I graduated and now I'm in College at Hampshire. It's hard for me to put into words just how much things have changed. A lot of the songs on Kiid were around at that point but have since morphed.
How have you got to the Mal Devisa that we can hear today? Where did this journey kind of start for you?
Nooo! Blackness expands! There is an urgency I feel that I definitely don't know how to articulate. Hopefully this isn't a one person journey. Personally, I feel happy about the record. It was a really strange, beautiful, taxing, tear-inducing experience and I am so grateful, but I am so excited to make more records. I just need someone to donate a large amount of money so I don't have to do another gofundme.no jerks!
A quick word on the photography on your records. What's the story behind the portraits on the releases?
I went to this school that had incredible artists in it; everywhere. My friend Maypaz takes incredible pictures and had done a tour promo video for me and my friend Elihu (Honeyfitz)'s tour. My friends are pretty present and courageous with their art. I am also blessed because without them, I would've cracked under a lot of stress a long time ago.
For the feature on Mal Devisa follow here.