Thursday, December 15, 2016

Volume 56 - Devontay Larry

Devontay Larry

Hey TC Fam, I hope you all are doing well. I have found another great up & coming drummer on the scene. I always appreciate a young kat with passion, drive and the excitement needed to sustain one in this business. Mr. Larry is just that young man. Having a mother who is a professional singer and growing up in church was just the start he needed to get to where he is, in just a short time. Using his skills and access to further his musical vocabulary and learning other instruments has proven itself a great asset as he is constantly working on some kind of project, whether it be in bands or working in the studio.
Luckily, I was able to catch up to the busy musician to get his thoughts on where he is and where he's going. Devontay Larry is Talkin' Chop, right now!

Name or Stage Name: 
My name is Devontay Larry My Stage name is D'MAJOR. 

Where are you from? 
I was born and raised in the beautiful city of 
Los Angeles, CA. 

How long have you been playing? 
My entire life, so 27 years!! 

What is or are your main genre of playing? 
Gospel since my Mom is a professional gospel singer and I grew up in church. 

How did you get where you are now? 
By watching a lot of greats do it the right way!! I used a lot of the testimonies for my motivation 

What are your goals, short & long term? 
Short term I want to network with as many Producers, Artist and Musicians and grow my catalog of music. I'm recording with my company MusikMonster Productions. Long term, I would like to open multiple locations of my studio and own a rehearsal studio franchise.

Artists you would like to play for? 
I would love to play for Janelle MonaĆ©. Her music and energy is amazing!!!!! I also would love to play for Bruno Mars!!!! His music has been flawless to me since the beginning.

 List some of your accomplishments: 
My biggest accomplishment is getting my Company MusikMonster Productions and MusikMonster Entertainment officially licensed under the state of California!!!! That made me feel proud….I have played for some known artist and touched a couple of Grammy's but that takes the cake. 

What kind of music are creating with your production company? 
Every kind! I have different artist from different genres, I record. I discriminate not against any music. I love it all!!!!

Are you looking to place songs on albums, do demos for up & coming artists, pitch for tv/film? 
Yes I am. And I'm currently in the process of that. That's a big part that played in me starting this company

(Drum Movie Score)

You play keys as well, correct? How did that come about? 
Now this is a funny story...I've always played anything by ear, but the church I grew up at Central Baptist Church in Carson, CA had too many drummers coming up.I was one of the main drummers and got tired of fighting over what song I played, so when I was around 12 I shifted all the way to Organ/Keyboard.

Have you done any touring? 
Not any big tours yet. I've had multiple weeks of back to back to back gigs and that definitely felt like a mini tour lol. I feel my time coming soon though!!! 

Describe your current set up & gear: 
I currently am playing on a Gretsch Catalina Maple 7 piece kit. I have Remo emperor clear heads on the toms and a Remo Ebony X on my Snare. The sizes of my toms are 8” 10” 12” with a 14” and 16” floor Tom and a 14”X 6” snare drum. I am endorsed by Soultone Cymbals and I absolutely love this company!!!! I have 14” extreme Hi hats, 15” Gospel crash, 17” FXO12, 10” Gospel splash, and 18” extreme Crash( I have a few other Cymbals for recording purposes at my studio that includes a 20” Meinl extra thin dry crash!!!) I have been rocking with Vic Firth drumsticks since I can remember. I have A DW 5000 foot pedal. I use the Shure DMK pack to record this beautiful set up. (Shoutout to Kickport as well!!) 

How did you get turned on to Soultone? 
I have a lot of good friends who are currently and have been main artist on Soultone’s roster. I have been following them for years!! I finally got the courage to apply for an endorsement and I made it! I absolutely love the product they produce and they make sure I'm comfortable playing their Cymbals. I will forever use Soultone Cymbals! Shout out to Iki, Tomer, and Laura!!!

Do you have a “Dream Kit”? 
Eric Moore has a white 9 piece DW Collectors kit with Gold hardware!!!! 4 rack toms and 3 Floor toms!! Just beautiful... 

How do you describe your drumming style? 
I describe my style as Fun, Entertaining, and Tasteful!!! 

Why the drums? 
It's my first love!! I can't remember anything else for so long. 

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing? I would definitely still be in the music industry...I think I would probably be engineering or owning a rehearsal studio.

How has drumming impacted or changed your life? Playing the drums has introduced me to some many amazing people...These people have influenced or impacted my life in some way, shape or form...That has shaped me to be the person I am today.

Are you playing music full time? 
Oh yes!!!! I play Organ/Keys in church of course every week. I play Keyboards in 4 different bands and Drums in another 3. I also have a full production studio I own and run. I just started DJing about 7 months ago and that's going great!!!!!

You mentioned you're playing in a number bands, how are you able to do all that? 
You have to have a mindset to want to do it all. You have to want to practice. You have to COMMUNICATE!!!! That is the key.

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why? 
Buddy Rich is one of my main drumming influences because of his amazing skill! I saw an episode of The Muppets with him versus Animal at an early age,Just Amazing!!!!! 
Another one of those influences is Tony Royster Jr. I used to watch a lot of drum videos with Dennis Chambers (another influence) and Tony was his student. I learned so much from those videos!! Rudiments and fills and patterns. I have to throw in my good friends Stanley Randolph in there as well. I saw him play at a time when drumming wasn't number 1 at that time.That changed very quickly with meeting Stanley. The last person that has been an influence in my life is my friend Joose. We grew up at the same church and used to share drumming duties with a couple other drummers. When I crossed over the keyboard he keep going and is an absolute beast on drums today!!! I continue to watch and learn from him 

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding: 
I recently played at The Hard Rock Hotel with an artist named Tay Walker (Best show of the year!! We had an awesome band!!) On the line up was a group named MoonChild and they are freaking amazing!! Their drummer and my friend Brandon Combs smashed that night. Then the headliner group, Grammy Nominated, The Internet finished the night with the most amazing live show I've ever seen in my life!!!! 

How much time do you practice? 
I practice VERY often. I live at my studio, so I wake up to music everyday and when I think of a nice groove or lick I knock it out really quick and go on about my day.

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions? I like to work on Odd time grooves like ⅞, ⅝, 5/4 , or 11/8. Just weird uncomfortable things. And of course my chops for my solo sections!! Gotta stay on the 1!

My attempt at 777-9311 by The Time.


Playing odd signatures, you say you like being uncomfortable. Do you feel some of you best ideas come from being uncomfortable? 
Yes I do. I think it makes you push yourself to do better! 
I feel if you sound great in practice you're not doing it right.

Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you? 
Yes I definitely do. Not so much for practice yet but for recording. I'm working on mixing videos while getting a good drum mix. It's a learning process, so you are constantly growing. 

Studio or Live? Both!!!!! You get the best of both worlds!!!! 

Do you like being a sideman or would you prefer being an artist? 
I have played both parts and I don't mind either role….They both have their perks.

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us? 
Of course!! I've had soo many I have to have at least a few stories. One on my bands Electric Soul Parade played at a place called The Golden Box in Hollywood. The stage was right above the bar!!! but the only way to get to it was a trapdoor by the restrooms!!!!!!! I mean, I had to get a keyboard up there and and amp!! Guitars, guitar amps. Thankfully there was a house kit up there but the drums kept sliding. My mic didn't work at all. Then I had to pack right up after a 15 minute set and go back through the trapdoor!!!! Very interesting!!! 

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there? 
I have found a way to make a living just off of doing music alone. I'm working hard. I'm building a brand. Staying loyal and consistent. Be a man(or woman) of your word. Do your job and make all the connections you can and you can do the same. This is just the beginning for me and there will be plenty more successes if we all work together. ”It takes teamwork to make a dream work” 

When it's all said and done, what are people going to be saying about Devontay Larry? 
People will say that I am the hardest working, loyal and most entertaining person they have ever met. They will remember my smile and want to know more about what I'm doing with my companies, MusikMonster Productions and Entertainment will be a household names!

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s??? 
I definitely appreciate you guys for giving this opportunity to answer a few questions for you. This was my first drum interview ever!!!!! An amazing experience!!! I would like everyone to follow my companies MusikMonster Productions and MusikMonster Entertainment. We have a lot of great music, shows, and merchandise coming out.

My Facebook and MusikMonster89 on Instagram. Also, I would like to thank my cymbal company Soultone Cymbals and Iki Levy, Tomer and Laura for always taking great care of me and always having new, awesome products for us. Also Vic Firth who has the best sticks on the Market!!!!!!! 
My hashtags #MusikMonsterProductions #MusikMonsterEntertainment #DMajor #InMYElement #DJDMajor #MusikMonsterPhotography #IPlaySoulToneCymbals and #IPlayVicFirth
Thanks #TalkinChop!!!!

Big Thanks to Devontay for sharing a little bit of his drum life with us!
I have no doubt this brother will attain all of his goals and then some. Good luck, not that you need it. Hard work always pays off.
You guys make sure you swing by Devontay's Soc. Med. and drop a "Hello" on him.


If your a drummer and would like to be interviewed by Talkin' Chop, hit me up and let's make it happen.

DeHaven -

#DrummersSupportDrummers  #TalkinChop  #DrumLife

DeHaven is sponsored by:
Soultone Cymbals, SilverFox Drumsticks,
Cympad, Cymbag, Phatfoot Drum Harness

DRUMMER Apparel & Accessories

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