Last week, Florida-based wave producer aerii released a lovely little wave tune called “hush.“ With this new song, aerii blends synths, swagger, and guitar into a gentle reminder to take a step back every once in a while and just breathe. After all, there is beauty found in the art of being still.
Since “hush” presents quite a shift away from his usual sound, we took some time to chat with aerii about this new track. We also learned a bit about a life-changing trip to Europe he took, the impacts this experience abroad had on his decision to rebrand as a wave artist after nearly seven years spent making dubstep under another alias, and more.
Read on to find out the heartfelt details.
What in the wave? aerii speaks on his rebrand & new single, “hush.”
Ambur Masen, The Electric Hawk: Thank you so much for sitting down with us for a chat! Before we start, please take a second to introduce yourself to our readers.
aerii: Hello! My name is Devenn, and I produce, write, and DJ electronic music under the alias “aerii.” I am a wave and melodic bass music producer from Orlando, Florida. I create music for myself but also to create a sense of comfort and healing through sound for others to discover.
I’m extremely excited to share my new music and story with all of you.
Thank you so much for having me.
AM: On behalf of ‘the community,’ I’d like to welcome you to the wave family, aerii. Truly. I’m sure I’m not the first to be all dramatic about it, but I’m so happy to have connected with you and heard your music. To be honest, I had no idea who you were as ‘D3V,’ except for maybe a week of Tweets during your rebrand to ‘aerii.’
Would you please tell us a bit about your rebrand? How different is your music now compared to what you were making before?
aerii: I am truly so thankful to be a small part of this beautiful community that is wave.
Before, as D3V, I was producing and DJing much more aggressive-sounding electronic music, such as heavy dubstep and riddim. That first music chapter of my life will always have a special place in my heart, as I gave it my all for nearly seven years.
With D3V, I learned how the music industry works… I was also able to make my first musical dreams come true with lots of hard work.
I’m proud of my D3V project, but I shifted to a project that I resonate with more; I wanted to chase the project that feels more fulfilling for me.
That vision is aerii.
Now as aerii, I’m producing music that heals my soul in a deeper way.
Wave music is a powerful form of bass music. As an intensely emotional person – it was a no-brainer that wave was where I wanted to take my musical journey.
The aerii project is rooted in personal experiences – through my music, I want to create a sound that allows others to feel what I feel.
AM: Thank you for sharing that. In terms of your rebrand to aerii, was there an ‘inciting incident’ that triggered this new arc of your artist journey? What exactly made you decide, ‘Okay, yeah, I make wave music now,’ and then, boom–that’s it, it’s wave time.
aerii: The exact moment I knew I wanted to pursue wave music was as soon as I landed back in the States after returning from my first Europe trip last spring.
I discovered wave music in 2019 and have always enjoyed the music from the comfort of my surroundings; I was fortunate enough to leave the U.S. and travel to London and Poland. I truly immersed myself in other cultures and music with my best friends, Ian and Marcus, aka Barnacle Boi and Brothel.
Two events that I attended on this trip changed my life forever.
While in London, I attended a two-day Liquid Ritual showcase that both Ian and Marcus performed. This event was my first look at what the European music scene is all about. I’ve seen my friends perform here in the States many times, but seeing the difference of an international performance hits way differently. The energy in the crowd and seeing the way people perceived the music was life-changing.
Connecting with the other artists who were performing and feeling their energy, and finding it similar to mine, was so refreshing.
It moved me in a way, unlike any other event I’ve ever been to. This was my first true wave show, and the music from that weekend has forever [been] carved into my life.
Check out the recap video from that Liquid Ritual event:
aerii: After London, we traveled to the most incredible cities I’ve ever been to – Kraków and Warsaw, Poland. Here I connected with locals who had massive hearts just like me. The warm welcome from these cities is a feeling that stays with me and motivates me to push even harder, so I can make my return there, but with my own music.
The way I experienced wave music in Poland at the CZELUŚĆ Warsaw event is something I still, a year later, struggle to put into the right words. It was a feeling that words just don’t do justice.
My love for wave music was strong before I left for this trip, but upon returning home, I knew that wave was where I belonged.
So, I made a major career choice to halt the D3V project and shift focus to my next musical journey, aerii.
AM: You mentioned that Barnacle Boi and Brothel, two of your close friends and, coincidentally, two of the biggest names in wave music, had accompanied you on this trip; what was it like having gone from experiencing wave alongside them back then, to playing wave alongside them one year later? Coming home from Europe, did you imagine that this would happen? And in your own city, no less!
aerii: As I was watching them crush it in Europe, I knew that once I found my own sound and put the work in to rebrand as aerii, I was going to, one day, play shows with them.
It was so special to perform and play all my new music with my best friends supporting me. These two have inspired me to make music from my soul and to make music without trying to impress anyone but myself. Big love to both of them and also to Skeler for believing in me and pushing for me to join them as their support in my hometown of Orlando, Florida.
I’m never going to forget that night–and it has been additional fuel to burn brighter as aerii.
Using music to “hush” your mind:
AM: So, you have three tracks out now, which is exciting. You’ve described your newest song, “hush,” as having ‘original wave vibes’. We’ve also briefly talked a bit about how deliciously emo it is–to be honest, I’m still obsessing over that guitar bit. I can’t wait to go mope around on a beach somewhere this summer and loop it in my headphones… Thanks, aerii. Anyway, your first two songs were a bit different than this one, both in terms of sound design and vibes.
Is there a particular reason why you shifted gears with this one? Or is this some sort of wave producer self-challenge to see how your ‘softwave’ compares to your ‘hardwave’?
an uplifting energy that features trance-like arps, harmonically bright synths, and much faster tempos.
For “hush,” I wanted to showcase my range as a music producer.
Sharing “hush” is special for me because it will be the first original wave-style record that I’ll be releasing. This style is the first style of wave I discovered. With this emotionally powerful song – “hush,” – I want to pay respect to the original wave sound while infusing it with my aerii energy.
After finding for myself how wave music can slow your thoughts when you struggle to slow them yourself, I wanted to be able to help do that for the listeners with “hush.”
AM: You had mentioned that you timed the release of this song with Mental Health Awareness Month for a reason—do you care to elaborate?
Aerii: Sure – “hush” is a deeply personal song born from my own personal struggles with depression and anxiety. My hope is that this song delivers a message of comfort and reassurance to the listener, reminding them that they can overcome any hardship that weighs them down.
I wrote it for those who have fought silent battles and come out stronger on the other side as I did.
AM: In general, how would you describe the relationship between music and your mental health?
aerii: Music has a direct impact on my mental health. Like most of us here – I listen to music daily. My mood determines where I want to escape musically.
Music alone has saved my life, and I know that my purpose here is to help others through sound.
AM: Since wave is generally where you turn to when you’re listening, I was wondering– have you noticed a difference in your mindset since your rebrand to wave music? If yes, do you think it relates to wave music or other factors? Or, phrased in a more general sense, do you think that the genres of music we engage with, either by listening or by creating, have any effect on our mood?
aerii: Most definitely – it is directly related to my surrendering to wave music. There is stress that comes from making a career out of music, but when it comes to making my art, I’ve found clarity that this is what I should be doing with my life.
I believe the music that you listen to – or create – can play a role in how you navigate life.
So much of timeless art was made because an artist became vulnerable and really put themselves out there for others to see, and that’s been a huge motivation for me when I gear up to share my art.
AM: Lastly… what is your top go-to feel-good song?
aerii: Without a doubt, my top go-to feel-good song is “Breathing” by Ben Böhmer.
The way that man’s music makes all my worries melt away and helps me regain focus is something I hope to be able to thank him for someday.
Are you looking forward to more aerii after listening to “hush?”
You can find more of his music in vibe.digital’s ‘A Look Forward at 2023’ mix. Check it out on SoundCloud below.
Looking for new music? Keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts. Updated every Friday with all the latest releases. Whether it’s the newest drops from all your favorite artists, some old-school, or underground…we just want you to hear it.