DEVONTÉ HYNES & SOLANGE


From V Magazine, V82 Spring 2013

PHOTOGRAPHY PHILIPPE VOGELENZANG
FASHION BRANDON MAXWELL
TEXT PATRIK SANDBERG

(RHYTHM AND) SOUL MATES

Interviewed separately, friends and collaborators Solange Knowles and Devonté “Dev” Hynes still manage to finish each other’s sentences. “We met a few years ago. I was producing Theophilus London and she came in to record,” Dev begins, and Solange rounds out the anecdote, in perfect harmony: “I remember hearing the track, and the music evolved so effortlessly. The chemistry was extremely magical, and I think whenever you fill that energy and space, there is something so magnetic about it.”

Soon after they met, Dev was cowriting songs with a crew of different musicians for Solange’s new record, a follow-up to 2008’s doo-wop-inflected Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. Solange found his impulses so spot-on that she decided to make him a critical part of her evolving sound. “We were in Santa Barbara with our buddies, and then she just asked me to do the whole record with her,” Dev says. “I think it’s quite a chance she took.”

And it was one that paid off. The duo’s True EP, released this past winter, earned accolades from critics and instantly garnered a diverse audience of listeners who’d been desperate for sexy, fun, emotionally authentic R&B. “I trust her,” Dev says, simply. “So, yeah, it works! It’s always really, really smooth.”

For her part, Solange is content to continue working with Hynes, whose vision she values so wholeheartedly that she gave him an unexpected lead cocredit on the record. “Collaborating is extremely difficult,” she explains. “It can leave you in such a vulnerable place to actually open up and share these ideas. You can feel so extremely terrified, and embarrassed almost. Everything is very seamless, and we’ve never encountered any negative emotions—so it’s been really awesome.”