Devin Kirtz is an Argentine/American soul-pop artist who also speaks and sings in Spanish. He was born and raised in Long Beach, California. Raised on soul and oldies, Devin grew up listening to artists like Sam Cooke and Stevie Wonder and then moved on to neo-soul’s best, Lauryn Hill.
Although Devin has been singing since he learned how to talk, he first made a name for himself in sports, signing a contract out of high school to play professional soccer with the New York Red Bulls. After a few short years, he left the game to put his skills towards his true passion: music. His charisma quickly gained the attention of international mega-brands, leading to multiple endorsements from brands such as: Nike, Adidas, Red Bull, Toyota, Budweiser, Chevy, X Games, KIA, and Cheetos. He traveled the world to host events, perform music, and showcase his freestyle soccer skills to crowds of up to 100,000 people.
Devin Kirtz recently released his new single “Best Friends” and I got the chance to sit down and talk with him about his new single.
The Knockturnal: I have heard your single “Best Friends” and I love it. I would like to get your insight on your single so how did you come up with the idea of your single and what was your mindset when you came up with the lyrics?
Devin Kritz: Well, to be completely honest, I went to my manager’s bachelor party in Mexico and we just went crazy. We got there and had tequila shots, and we just got nuts. And I had this session set up by my label and they told me ‘you gotta go to this session. He’s an amazing producer. His name’s Derek Fermín and he is the man along with this other writer named Joel Adams. He’s also the man’. We’re there for five days and a bachelor party for five days, is too much! While I’m in Mexico, at day four, my body was done. I’m like, ‘dude, I can’t have one more tequila shot. I can’t do this anymore and I’m dehydrated.’ I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this, but I call it hangziety which is hangover anxiety. I had it thick and you got to talk yourself through it. At this point, I was thinking ‘OK. Now you’re not having a heart attack right now’. I started writing the song and thought to myself that I’m my own best friend and then I started to look in the mirror and say ‘yo, let’s get through this’ while the label was telling me that I cannot miss this session. So, I go there. And Derek and Joel are asking me how I am doing, and it was the first time I ever met them. And I told them that this is not the type of person I am. I’m not usually just showing up to sessions super hungover. I looked bad. They asked me if I wanted to write about it and I let them know that I started in Mexico. It was one of those songs where It started writing itself and we probably wrote the whole song in like an hour and a half with two hours of production. And we just were flowing through it, just loving it. And it was a mix of helping me feel better with some comic relief. And yet it turned out being like something I really love. And it starts out saying, ‘I did drugs for the first time in Mexico just to get out of my comfort zone’ and not that I’m out there just doing drugs, but it’s just for the for the visual. But it turns into like a complete self-love song, which I feel like now more than ever people need. I also feel like It’s been a weird time to release music in general. I mean, I feel that nobody’s really releasing music in general right now just because the oversaturation of everything online. But I’m excited to be releasing music again because I feel like this one is a selfish song for me because I think it’s a really, really good song.
The Knockturnal: Was there any changes that you had to encounter during the production of “Best Friends.”
Devin Kritz: No, the only thing that I’ve been changing is I’m actually doing it in Spanish, too. All of a sudden, we we’ve been getting hit up from outlets in Mexico as well, like GQ Mexico, and Billboard Mexico. They are all asking me to give them the song in Spanish. I am also Argentinian too and my mom is from Argentina, so I speak Spanish and I am doing it in Spanish. I’ve translated songs in the Spanish before, which that can be difficult. To be honest, it’s because Translating in Spanish doesn’t translate the same as like English does. It’s not like you go word for word and translate it. As far as tempo goes, I like that. It’s exactly the same.
The Knockturnal: If you were to produce a music video for “Best Friends”, what would you want the video to look like?
Devin Kritz: I wanted to be funny but also stupid. I don’t really have any funny videos. But this one, I want to be like a funny video where I want it to be me, falling in love with myself, running on a beach. You know, like dirty dancing moments with myself and stuff like that where I’m just my own best friend doing stupid things. But that’s what I pictured in my mind.
The Knockturnal: Speaking of best friends, how would you describe your best friend?
Devin Kritz: You know, I could genuinely say I’m lucky enough to where I have multiple best friends. One being, unfortunately, the one I had to miss last week is one of my best friends in the world. I have a song called ‘My Day’, and it features my grandmother. This music video features my grandmother. And my grandma is one of my best friends and she’s been going through it. My grandma is one of my best friends. My wife for sure. And then lucky enough, my manager and we have a crazy cool relationship. We were literally just best friends and he kind of tour managed people who wasn’t really getting into management. And then I had a song take off and got like a big tour offer and stuff. He is really amazing, and I asked him to manage me and we went off since then. I was very lucky and I consider them my best friends.
The Knockturnal: You’ve been in the industry for some time now and you worked with a lot of artists when it came to songwriting and all sorts of music production. Who can you say has mentored you the most during your career?
Devin Kritz: Who has mentored me the most? That’s a tough one. But it’s been really interesting. I was mentored by people that I have looked up to my whole life and Wyclef Jean is the first that comes to my mind., Wyclef John. Like, dude, when it comes to neo-soul and everything in that whole area, like The Fugees, Wyclef meant everything to me. When I got to tour with Wyclef and first show with him, I got to play the Brooklyn Bowl. Dude is honestly the nicest guy of all time. Probably the most creative person I have ever meet. Wyclef might have been the most helpful to me and he likes to see how to get out your box. Also, Boys II Men in general, specifically Shawn Stockman. I have another one. I could consider this dude one of my best friends as well. Its name’s Marley Waters. He kind of took me under his wing a little bit and he also wrote and produced ‘My Day.’