Photo by Charlie Rubin

1. Who are you?

Andrew Devlin aka Big A.D. aka Uncle Dev aka Coach.

2. What do you do?

I run a small business called Devlin’s. I DJ. I make some music. I cook. A lot. I play basketball and I chop it up. 

3. Where do you often create/produce?

I split time between a studio/ practice space in Greenpoint and a little setup at home. 

 4. When?

Lately I’ve been in a good routine of working a bit every day. 

5. Why do you play music?

I love the stuff. 

6. When did you start making music?

I started DJ’ing in 2009 and dabbled in making music a few years after that, but only really got serious about it in 2019. I’ve been working on these tracks since then.

7. Which track defines you the most?

I think “The Beginning” is the kind of track I’ve wanted to make for the longest, if that makes sense. I just love a party that sounds like that, it’s made for a room at like 5am with some deep purple and red lighting.

8. How would you describe your own music?

Moody, but optimistic. 

9. Any track of the moment?

I’ve been obsessed with this song “Wall Street” by Jackie Mittoo. The tone on the organ sound is just ridiculous, I could listen all day.

10. What influences your work?

The city, mostly. I love this place. Especially lately when it’s so quiet at night.  

11. What’s your academic background? Are you an autodidact? 

I went to Haverford College outside Philly for undergrad, where I majored in Religion. I wrote my senior thesis on how people in the 21st Century create identity/ find religion in popular music. I have regrets about my college experience still–I was too torn between going to class, learning how to DJ, and playing competitive lacrosse to do any of them really well. But I have a better relationship with all of those things now, and might be approaching autodidact status. I’ve basically taught myself piano and guitar this year and have been doing a better job on studying non-fiction and learning things.

12. Favorite designer?

I’m not a huge fashion guy tbh. I feel like my style falls somewhere between Summer Adam Sandler and Dog Walk Alec Baldwin

13. Favorite book?

James Joyce – Dubliners, honorary mention Frederick Exley – A Fan’s Notes

14. Favorite classic movie?

25th Hour

15. Favorite music label?

Bad Boy

16. Your dream collaboration?

Ariana Grande

17. Are you analog or digital?

Both, mostly analog at my studio, digital at home

18. Which soft wares/tools/ instruments do you use/play?

I’ve been loving making music on an MPC lately, it really does have a magic that I can’t replicate with anything else. I’m also lucky enough to have a Rhodes at my space, so using that more and more as I get my piano chops up. 

19. Describe your creative process?

I usually start with a little loop and record a few long takes into ableton. Lately I’ve been getting really into live dubbing, running different parts of the track into a space echo or tape machine and building the track back together, doing dubs of dubs, etc. 

20. When are you the most prolific (creatively)?

This year I’ve felt really good when I’m in a good groove practicing playing music. If I do an hour of guitar + an hour of piano each day, the ideas come pretty freely after that when I sit down to make music.

21. Any favorite record stores? (Real/virtual)

Gutted to see 2 Bridges close 🙁 That was my #1. I love Academy & A1 still, though. 

22. What’s your life philosophy? (Optimistic/pessimistic) 

Super optimistic, probably to the point that it’s annoying. 

23. Do you have a healthy lifestyle?

Working on it. I’ve realized that I operate better when I’m hyperactive. Before coronavirus hit, I was playing in 2 regular basketball games, a bowling league, lifting weights 4 days a week, and doing yoga. It used to stress me out that it took all that to feel happy, but now I just go with and try to stay moving. 

24. How do you manage your time effectively? (Job/hobby)

This is a new challenge for me as I’m working for myself now. But I’m big into lists. I try to write down every Sunday the things I want to do for the week on one page. Other pages might have longer ongoing projects, like “Taxes” or something. I try to knock things off each list every day. I find if I do that, I’m in a pretty good head space to be creative later. 

25. Any secret skills?

I’m a decent bowler. 

26. Any future plans?

I won a lottery for a permit to raft the grand canyon next month, so I’m super pumped about that. Going to check out of society for 3 weeks or so.

27.What’s your life motto?

Stay happy to be here. 

28. Any “mot de la fin”?!

Thanks for doing this with me! It feels crazy finally putting music out after so long delaying it and doubting myself. The other day when I finally saved the final final bounce, my heart rate was through the roof. So it’s really cool to have support as it’s getting out to the world. Much love!

Follow Big A.D. on Instagram, Soundcloud, Bandcamp & Twitter

Listen to Big A.D. new premiere here announcing his first EP “Something New” out on Bandcamp this coming Friday.