It may be a universal experience that our first recollection of the music we find ourselves listening to growing up stems from our surroundings and the people that occupy it. Whether it be through our parents, older siblings — or your best friend’s cool older sibling that you hoped to someday become.
Devin Townshend’s love for music started when he was young, all due to his older brother, who listened to hip-hop and heavy metal. The latter, Devin admits, he isn’t into much anymore.
“His whole taste in music kind of shaped what I started getting into,” Townsend says.
His brother’s love of Lil Wayne and Kid Cudi impacted him the most.
“He was really big into 50 Cent and Eminem, too. Two hip-hop legends that still make music and are still kind of in the scene, but not as heavily anymore. I think that’s definitely how I got drawn into really liking that genre and being something I’m really interested in,” he explains.
His high school years saw Townsend developing his own taste in music.
On his top three artists: “J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and either Travis Scott or Kid Cudi. I can’t decide between the two of them.”
Townsend chose Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive as the one record he would want with him if he were stranded on a desert island.
On his first concert: “The first concert I ever went to was the Chris Brown, Fetty Wap, Migos, French Montana concert. It was the first time I was allowed to go to a concert — I wasn’t allowed to go to one unless I could drive, I think I was 16 or 17 when I first went. Seeing the music live was such a different experience for me that I’d never experienced before. The way each artist interacted with the crowd was awesome, especially since I got to see Migos before they blew up. It was when they first put out ‘Versace.'”
On being a writer: “I was always interested in writing, I’d always been a pretty good writer, but I never thought I could do anything with it. Once I got to college and I came in as an engineering major but on the side, I still was super into music — I’d always be talking to my friends about the newest albums that were coming out. That’s when I started looking into our school newspaper.”
Now, Townsend writes for his university’s newspaper’s culture section. He is constantly looking into what more into what he can do with journalism and music, and is continuing to expand and delve into different writing styles.
If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.