Speaking to producer/songwriter/singer DVNA about her time at uni was indeed eye-opening, but more importantly, it forced me into a downward spiral of regret as I realised I definitely didn’t use my time at uni wisely.
The Gold Coast-native has been on the music scene for a fair few years now, and she credits her university lecturer for helping her break into it.
“I showed him Girl On The Move and he was like, ‘Woah, you need to put this one out. This one needs to go out.’ And then he took it and mixed it for me and he absolutely just brought it to life,” DVNA says. “And that’s what made me confident enough to actually release something – otherwise it’d still be on my laptop.”
The very idea that a simple discussion with a lecturer can put you on the path to ending up on Spotify’s The Local List playlist is truly mindboggling, especially since I usually avoided lecturers/lectures/uni like the plague.
Before DVNA was at uni studying Music Theory and producing songs, she initially started out singing acoustic versions of tunes she had written in her bedroom – until a trip to New York made the muso change her tune (so to speak).
“I’d go in and sit with producers and we’d kind of just make the songs from scratch,” she says. “And I did that for about six months, and then I decided when I came back that I wanted to just do that by myself because I saw how much money my manager at the time put into it…I just kind of wanted to take the reins and do it myself.”
When asked about her first foray into music producing, DVNA admits it was a relatively daunting process.
“At the very, very beginning, I felt supported but I also felt like I wasn’t always taken seriously if I was in a studio full of males,” she states, before suggesting that it “didn’t really last long”.
“It’s just because there’s not a lot of women producers that do it, so they [studio full of males] automatically just think, ‘Oh, you sing, or you song-write, or you just play guitar’, so I kind of just had to say, ‘No, I produce music.'”
DVNA proceeds to brush it off: “That was probably a little hurdle that I had to get over, but I was always very supported.”
The idea that female musos still have to prove themselves so much more from the get-go is truly quite infuriating, and the only minor silver lining I can see here is that it seems to make artists like DVNA more resilient and persistent than a lot of people could possibly fathom.
For her upcoming untitled EP, DVNA reckons the collective body of work won’t be as “sparkly” as previous single Sushi in Tokyo, but will stick to a “similar lane”, which, given her affinity for genre-hopping, sounds impossible to predict what we’ll hear next.
You can head HERE to suss out where DVNA will be playing next, and y’know what? I’m feeling generous today, here’s a vid from her Live From The Barrel set for certified muso-lovers Jack Daniel’s.
If you know what’s good for ya, you’ll be watching it on repeat.Image: Facebook / DVNA