I first came across Mississauga recording artist Devon Tracy back in 2011 after he picked up a bit of a buzz with his remix to Pac Div’s popular “Anti-Freeze” single.
Tracy was in his mid-teens at the time and the G-Dot-directed video he released in support of the track showed off his dance skills as much as the song showcased his impressive lyrical capabilities. He’d been dancing for years – but he was just nine months out from his first musical release.
As a child, Tracy stayed up late writing lyrics and mimicking dance moves he saw on TV; training for the entertainment industry he already knew he wanted to be a part of. He’ll be the first person to tell you he had stardom on his radar for as long as he can remember.
“As a dancer, his ability to pop, flex and wave puts professional dancers who have trained for years to shame.”
He made his debut with “Green Goblin” in September 2010 but “Anti-Freeze” is what really set the tone for what was to come. The song was featured in over 900 Journeys retail stores across America and was featured on several blogs and radio shows.
Tracy’s potential was becoming clearer, and the work ethic and fortitude he brought forth with his dance had more and more people buying into his likelihood of also succeeding with music. And rightfully so. Good things started to happen on both sides of the coin.
He snagged the One to Watch award at the 2012 Canadian Urban Music Conference, and received a scholarship to travel to Los Angeles to train with the choreographers from the TV shows America’s Best Dance Crew and So You Think You Can Dance.
“Prepared to overcome any obstacles that stand in his way, Tracy is on a dream chase where success is the only possible outcome.”
These days, 24-year-old Devon Tracy resides in Atlanta and has spent the last six months finishing a deal with independent record label, Diamond Music Group. He also recently embarked on a European tour that brought him to five different countries including the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, Germany and Poland.
While doing all of that he’s been working on his next project – the 4AM EP – and has found himself in the studio with some of the State of Georgia’s top hip-hop talents.
His new single “Choosin” features College Park’s Gunna, best known for his Billboard charting project, Drip Season 3.
“My OG thought it would be a good idea that we collaborate so we pushed up on Gunna at Loud House Studios in Atlanta and played him a few records. He gravitated towards ‘Choosin’ instantly and the second verse was open so he laid his verse on the spot.” – Devon Tracy
The “Choosin” music video – shot in Miami on July 4th by Michael Garcia (Shot By MGF) – is expected to drop in the near future.
I recently sat down with Devon Tracy to ask about the new single, what to expect from the 4AM EP, working in Atlanta and more. You can check out the Q&A below along with the “Choosin” single.
Q&A: Devon Tracy
HipHopCanada: You started your career back home in Mississauga, but lately you’ve spent a lot of time working in the Atlanta scene. What do you like in particular about the city? Is there something about the vibe that you appreciate as being unique to ATL?
Devon Tracy: I love the vibes in Atlanta because the nightlife scene never sleeps. Whether it be a concert or a night on the town, the people are always very welcoming. The southern hospitality is real.
HipHopCanada: How did the relationship with Diamond Music Group come to be? Can you touch on the specifics of your arrangement with them?
Devon Tracy: I started travelling to Atlanta about 4 years ago to work with my producer. I was introduced to DMG by my creative director in February 2018 and just recently signed to the label this summer.
HipHopCanada: What about your relationship with Littles? How did you start working with him and what role is he playing in your campaign?
Devon Tracy: Littles was actually the first person to ever call me about my music when I was only 15. We kept in touch over the years through social media. In 2016, after I dropped my “Pop Up” video, Littles reached out to me and told me he wanted to manage me and help me take things to the next level and we’ve been working ever since.
HipHopCanada: From what I understand, the work and work ethic you’ve put forward at some studio sessions in the past while has lead to some larger features including the first single off your 4AM, “Choosin” featuring Gunna. Can you touch on the experience of working with him and creating that song?
Devon Tracy: My OG thought it would be a good idea that we collaborate so we pushed up on Gunna at Loud House Studios in Atlanta and played him a few records. He gravitated towards “Choosin” instantly and the second verse was open so he laid his verse on the spot. Gunna is dope to work with. He’s super chill and laid back and we’ve built a really dope relationship over these past months.
HipHopCanada: What about the record with Young Thug?
Devon Tracy: Yessir, me and King Slime got one on the way… SLAT!
HipHopCanada: What else can people expect from the 4AM? Producers? Guest appearances?
Devon Tracy: Don’t want to say TOO MUCH.. but as far as production, my boy Joe Mclaren, Bricks Da Mane and more to be announced.
HipHopCanada: How would you compare the EP to your previous release?
Devon Tracy: A different sound. A new one. Something people won’t expect from Devon Tracy.
HipHopCanada: How would you compare the Toronto and Atlanta music scenes? How are they the same? What sets them apart?
Devon Tracy: Toronto and Atlanta are in control of the sound of music right now in my opinion. Artists in Atlanta are more unified and work together regularly. Toronto is a little more divided but I feel like we are starting to be more supportive of our home grown talent and I love it.
HipHopCanada: You went to Miami to shoot the “Choosin” visuals. Who directed the video and what type of concept were you looking to convey through it?
Devon Tracy: Yeah, it was crazy… we shot it on the 4th of July in Miami. Directed by my guy Michael Garcia (Shot By MGF). We really just wanted to give it that MIA vibe. Smooth, sexy, “Life After Midnight” feel.
HipHopCanada: Do you have plans to release any other videos in support of the EP?
Devon Tracy: Most definitely. I want to shoot a video for every song off of the project.
HipHopCanada: What was the biggest takeaway from your recent tour stops in Europe? What would be your most memorable moment(s) on the tour?
Devon Tracy: I learned a lot travelling in Europe, meeting new people that spoke multiple languages, trying new foods. It was super inspiring. I had been to Europe before but I was there the longest this time and got to see so many different countries and faces. My most memorable moment was performing in Cannes, France… it was a smaller venue but the energy was like nothing else.
HipHopCanada: Any plans to get back on the road in support of 4AM?
Devon Tracy: 100%. I would love to tour Europe again soon and definitely North America and Asia in the future.
HipHopCanada: What’s your favourite track on 4AM? Why?
Devon Tracy: “4AM in Atlanta” because I recorded it in Atlanta at 4 a.m. (Laughs)
HipHopCanada: If you could go back in time and speak to TDK, what advice would you give yourself, knowing what you know today?
Devon Tracy: Keep going! Don’t doubt yourself. Love, pray and work like today is your last.
HipHopCanada: Just to get a better sense of your journey, was there a specific situation or incident that lead you to switch the focus from dance to music?
Devon Tracy: I just fell in love with the music and I knew it could take me further than being just a dancer, so I changed my stage name to my real name and the rest is history!
HipHopCanada: Do you still find passion in dancing? Is it important for you to incorperate that side of you into your music?
Devon Tracy: Hell yeah, I still dance everyday. I feel like it’s something that will never leave me. Expression through movement is the reason why I fell in love with music so it’s only right I continue to do it. I will be incorporating dance more into my videos and live performances so stay tuned.
HipHopCanada: What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about you? Do you care?
Devon Tracy: I don’t care what people think about me as long as they know my name because only GOD can stop what I’m doing. Facts.
HipHopCanada: If you had to pick one song from your entire catalogue to introduce yourself to a new listener, what would it be and why?
Devon Tracy: “Roses” because it was straight from the heart and I incorporated both rapping and singing. And I would want people to see that I can do both, as well as dance.
HipHopCanada: Can you speak on any other tracks or collaborations in the works?
Devon Tracy: Joe Mclaren, Daniel Few, Loso Loaded, Lotto Savage, Big 36, Syph, Isaiah Peck and lots more.
HipHopCanada: Which Canadian artists and producers are you checking for lately as a fan of their work?
Devon Tracy: WondaGurl, Murda, Lanez, 88 Glam, Daniel Caesar, Belly and many more. I try and listen to everything that comes out of the city.
HipHopCanada: Without including your own music: who has the single of the year? Who has the album of the year?
In My Feelings – Drake
Astroworld – Travis Scott
HipHopCanada: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us and best of luck with the new release! Any last words or shout-outs?
Devon Tracy: Appreciate y’all interviewing the kid. Thanks for the love and support over the years, this is just the beginning. Believe it.
Written by Jesse Plunkett for HipHopCanada
You can follow @DevonTracy on Instagram.