Originally hailing from down in Louisiana, Denarius Jackson is an up-and-coming rapper who goes by the name Devy Stonez.
The 20-year-old musician currently based in Dallas initially launched his career by way of countless collaborative projects as a member of BLACKTAG, a regional youth arts collective that would go on to perform with such acts as Big Sean, Chief Keef, Robb Banks and Migos.
In 2014, Stonez left the group to focus on his solo career. Starting off strong with his acclaimed Stepping Stonez EP in 2015, he just returned with his unique and gripping EP Rolling Stonez, which is well worth a listen.
In an effort to get to know Devy Stonez just a little bit better, we linked up with the rising rapper to talk about his beginnings, influences and bright future.
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Who is Devy Stonez? Can you please introduce yourself?
I’m a 20-year-old recording artist and creative originally from Shreveport, Louisiana and now residing in Dallas, Texas.
When and how did you first get into music?
Not to sound cliche but I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember. My mom used to tell me stories about how I use to bang on the pots and pans pretending to play the drums as a youngin’. I actually started playing the drums in church when I got older and the saxophone in my middle school band. As far as rapping goes I started taking it seriously in 2011. That same year I moved to Texas and started a rap group called BLACKTAG. It was like 10 of us in the group, but I’d say that was the kind of the start of my rap career.
Who were your musical heroes growing up?
Ready To Die by The Notorious B.I.G and Get Rich or Die Tryin’ by 50 Cent were the first two CDs I remember having as a kid. I bumped those records religiously and as I got older I expanded into different genres and artist such as John Coltrane, Kanye West, Miles Davis, Curren$y, Slick Rick, etc.
Name an album, artist or experience that changed your perspective on music?
Reasonable Doubt by JAY Z really changed my perspective on music and life in general. That album is so legendary; It really brought me into a different world. Being able to relate to someone else’s perspective and being captivated by that made me realize that I have the power to do the same as well.
Tell us a little about your most recent release, Rolling Stonez. What do we get and what is it about?
Rolling Stonez is my second project, the follow up to my debut EP Stepping Stonez, and it’s a testament to what’s been happening in my life over the past two years. The project touches on relationships, the different encounters I’ve had with people, and it presents a time of my life where I’m figuring everything out. Sound-wise, Rolling Stonez is a well-rounded project that has a little bit of everything. There’s something for everybody and for any occasion.
What’s the best new music you recently discovered?
I’ve been listening to Cousin Stizz a lot lately. He’s dope.
Can you share a fun fact about you or your music?
I put Louisiana Hot Sauce on everything.
What’s your favorite activity besides making music?
If I’m not making music I’m probably somewhere, smoked out, being creative in some type of way. I’m into a lot of different things so it really just depends on how I’m feeling at the moment but I’ve been into visual arts as of late.
What’s coming next for you?
Definitely more music and visuals. I want to give the people an in-depth look into who I am as an artist and as a person.
Looking one year ahead, where would you like to see yourself?
In one year I see myself on world tours and doing everything it takes to leave my mark in the game. I’m aiming to be one of the best to do it and I have no doubts that I’ll accomplish that.
And finally, if your music was a car what would it be? Please describe.
If my music was a car it would probably have to be a ’64 El Camino. That feeling I get when I see that car is the same way I feel about my music. Its like, “damn, this is cool,” and it takes you somewhere.