Two of the freshest and funkiest sounding songs to come out of Music City thus far this year were the singles “High” and “Troublemaker” by Capitol Records groovester Devon Gilfillian. Using classic soul as his musical launching pad, Devon soars high with a modern sound that respectfully holds true to tradition. He is also one kickin’ guitar player.
You can taste these two tracks plus his 2016 self-titled debut EP at the usual places on-line. You will find his songs smart, soulful and engaging. Devon is just finishing a tour opening for the Icelandic rock band Kaleo and hopefully will have some more local shows ahead. His first full-length record on Capitol is also forthcoming.
Gilfillian has a heart for community service which he exercised through his work with the AmeriCorps and Rebuilding Together Nashville programs. He also is an advocate for health care for musicians.
Thanks Devon for taking time with these Questions and for bringing some needed heart and soul to Nashville.
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I’m originally from a suburb of Philadelphia called Morton and grew up there most of my life. I moved down to Nashville in August 2013 to do AmeriCorps. While doing that, I worked for a non-profit called Rebuilding Together Nashville for a year. I specifically applied to programs in Nashville because I knew it was a musical city and I’d love it, but I didn’t know I’d love it this much.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
The first record I bought was “Southern Hospitality” by Ludacris when I was ten on CD. The last record I bought was the vinyl duets record Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
Besides seeing my dad’s band play when I was little baby, my first concert I ever went to was Los Lonely Boys in Philadelphia at the Theater of Living Arts. Yes, they played the hell out of “Heaven.” The last concert I went to see was Brandi Carlisle and I am convinced that she is not a human, but a warrior angel with the voice of a goddess.
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
John Prine should definitely be added! I can’t believe he hasn’t been.
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
Portland Brew East is my go-to spot when I’m looking for some solid coffee. For pizza, Five Points Pizza all day!
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
My favorite record to come out of Nashville at the moment is David Smalt’s Fragile Magick.
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
Dino’s Bar is for sure my favorite after show grub spot.
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
Carl Anderson, Tim Bruns, and Zack Smith.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
I would have to say the 5 Spot is one of my favorite intimate venues to play. The Basement East is a really fun spot to play. Our last headlining play was at Exit/in and that was a blast too.
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
Well since you asked, I’ll be playing some shows with this badass band Kaleo at the end of September. After that I’m recording my full-length record all of October and half of November out in LA. We’re working with this crazy mastermind Shawn Everett and I’m really excited. We’ll be dropping that early spring next year. In the meantime, we’ll be dropping some more singles in October and November!