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Ladies We Love: Deva Mahal

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Friday August 10, 2018

From Madewell

LADIES WE LOVE: SINGER-SONGWRITER DEVA MAHAL

If you couldn’t tell from the headline, we loooove Deva Mahal. The supertalented singer (and, ahem, daughter of iconic blues musician Taj Mahal) has a personality as rich and engaging as her soulful songs. We spent a day with her, played dress-up and talked about some big “I’ve made it” moments, what she’s listening to lately, her love for kaftans and leather jackets, plus more.

You’ve collaborated with so many amazing artists and have been a part of such impressive shows—have you had your “I’ve made it” moment yet?

So I haven’t made it yet [laughs]. But I did just do the Jools Holland show in London, and I got to perform with Björk—so that was a big moment. Actually, one of the biggest moments where I felt like I had validation was when RuPaul came to one of my shows and started supporting me on his social media. I love Drag Race. I’ll binge-watch seasons because I can’t watch just one episode. So that was a huge deal—Mama Ru has been one of my icons since forever.

Another thing that made it all feel really real was making my music video. I worked with this amazing cinematographer, John Rutland. Putting his skills with my music really helped put me on the map.

Fill us in on your songwriting process. Where do you get inspiration?

It varies. It doesn’t happen the same way all the time for me. I get a lot of my inspiration when I’m out and about, particularly when I’m walking for long periods of time—melodies and ideas just kind of pop into my head. Maybe it’s because you’re oxygenating your brain more when you’re moving. I make notes in my iPhone a lot, so I use those and go back to them. And sometimes I feel like I’ve been connected with creative energy and I just start writing something on my guitar. Other times I’ll have written something in the past and revisit it, which I definitely did making this album.

What’s next for you—any big plans or goals?

Well, world domination [laughs]! I’ve just started my Run Deep tour that continues for the rest of 2018, so I’ll be traveling throughout the U.S., Europe, UK and Canada. I’m looking forward to making new fans, connecting with people and getting this album into as many hands as possible.

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