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Meet Devin Daniels of Kara in Inglewood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Devin Daniels.

Devin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Well, I started playing saxophone when I was about 12 years old. There was a program called just loving music and it was probably one of the best opportunities I’ve ever had because it was free .99. And the special thing they did was they just laid out all of the wind instruments on a table and they said pick one! And I picked sax, what a beautiful and also terrible decision to make. I feel the sax was easy enough to get around to where I could play my favorite video game music melodies, oh boy was it fun to play in those first years. I then got around to playing jazz in the second semester of 9th grade where I learned how to improvise and everything. I then fell in love listening to Charlie Parker, the father of literally all contemporary music I feel like.

Then I found out I had perfect pitch and it was all history from that point. My ear was really good so I could just start learning jazz solos basically from all ear. I feel like the combination of me picking saxophone and having perfect pitch definitely was a thing of luck because it’s like, playing music is very hard. And getting to an ok level of playing, which I feel like I’m at now is just so hard, I feel like if I had picked trumpet, I would have definitely become a video game marketer or like a librarian. Which wouldn’t be bad if I changed now…As for the producing part of music I started when I first went to college in 2015, I took a class on logic pro. I received a check from youngarts, an amazing nonprofit that recognizes talent in high school, and I bought studio monitors, midi keyboard, interface, and all that jazz and it was history from there. I am finally releasing my new electronic album in June. Jazz is coming soon.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It definitely has not been in my opinion I’ve hit countless ruts and obstacles along the way. The biggest one for me probably is being diagnosed with schizophrenia with psychosis symptoms. They diagnosed me back in 2017 and that will probably be the hardest year of my life. It was a long spiral down with other mental and physical illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder, weight gain, diabetes, and all that jazz. I feel like I’ve kinda had a full recovery mentally, but I need to recover physically pretty badly.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
Well, my producer name is Kara, and I make electronic music more on the hip-hop/downtempo side. I’m pretty good at making drums in Ableton which is a digital audio workspace (DAW). I guess I try to make stuff that hasn’t really been heard of yet, which is bad because the great saxophonist Dave Liebman said that shouldn’t TRY to innovate. It has to come naturally.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Definitely wanna start touring with my own band. Preferably a trio configuration called trio exposition. Wanna put out several volumes of this band, maybe like up to five. Also, I want to get recognized for my electronic music as well. I want to teach at a high level somewhere down the road as well.

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