Devinn Le’Raay – “Gas U Up” and “Still Luv Me?”
Devinn Le’Raay has been a busy man in the last few years. Since dropping his 2018 debut album Seven0Five, attention from the indie press hasn’t been difficult to come by, and tracks like “Gas U Up” and “Still Luv Me?” are most definitely the reason why. Whether listening to the songs on their own or experiencing them through their accompanying videos, the results tend to be the same – total chills from start to finish. Le’Raay might not have a major label deal, but with the talent he exhibits here, it’s hard to picture his not winning over some mainstream exposure in 2020.
“Still Luv Me?” is shaped by its vocal harmony as it extends to the bassline, and despite a lot of pressure from the bottom-end tone in this track, there’s never an instance in its three minute running time where the music feels smothering. Thanks to Le’Raay’s meticulousness with the arrangement, there isn’t any excess to behold as we find him in one sensuous verse after another, each seemingly more potent in cool-factor than the one that came before it. He knows how to command attention even in the most abrasive of circumstances, and if that wasn’t obvious before, I think it definitely is in this single and its video.
The groove is more on the conservative side in “Gas U Up” than it is in “Still Luv Me?,” but in more ways than one, this works to show us how powerful he voice can be when there aren’t any elements strong enough to compete for the spotlight in the mix. All Le’Raay needs to really melt our hearts is a melody, and with pipes like his, summoning the right notes at the right moments comes as second nature. He’s got some rough edges in his execution, but depending on your perspective, I think they add to the narrative in tracks like these more than they don’t.
An aspiring prince of slow jams who is still growing into the artist he’ll ultimately become, Devinn Le’Raay’s music is definitely worth a second listen, and I intend on keeping him on my radar moving forward for sure. “Gas U Up” and “Still Luv Me?” share a lot of the same compositional cornerstones, but between the two of them, they illustrate a creative duality that has only just begun to be exploited as it properly should be. I’m excited to hear what comes next, and I think other R&B buffs will share a similar opinion.