Devon Anjelica Brown, also known as Devi Dev, is a Music Director and number one rated radio personality. She’s heard daily on iHeartMedia’s 93.7 The Beat and reports television pop culture for CBS affiliates KHOU11.
Born and raised in California, Devi has worked all over the country—from co-hosting MTV’s Hip Hop POV show and Sway In The Morning on Shade45 [SiriusXM] in New York, to Houston’s 97.9 The Box and in earlier times, 93.5 KDAY in Los Angeles.
She’s had some of the most engaging interviews with prominent celebrities including Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Quincy Jones, Nicki Minaj, Mark Walhberg and Dr. Dre, in addition to voicing campaigns with brands like Pepsi and Bud Light. This dynamic woman has also been featured on massive media outlets such as CNN, Good Morning America and Entertainment Tonight.
Devi Dev’s accomplishments continue to grow and she’s been recognized in various publications including The Source‘s “Power 30” list in 2014 and 2015. While on the forefront of breaking new musical talent, she’s established a prominent brand for herself and is recognized as a major personality and voice in radio.
What inspired you to begin your profession and when did you officially start?
Growing up in LA, me and my mom used to commute a lot, so much of my day was filled with sitting in traffic listening to the radio. I fell in love with the way radio personalities connected with their listeners. Sharing words that touched people, fun interviews, exciting music. It was always something I knew I wanted to do.
I got my start at 18 while in college. I joined an internet radio show (this was like ’04 so at the time this was very rare) which led me to co-create an underground Hip Hop show which eventually led me to an internship at a major radio station. From there I worked from intern, to board op, to show producer, to overnight host, to full fledged radio personality and music director.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far and why?
This is so hard to say! I have had the opportunity to interview some of the biggest names in entertainment and transition from radio to major network television, but when I look at the reason I do this everyday and why I started, it always breaks down to the people. My listeners. The biggest highlight is literally every time someone comes up to me and tells me they appreciated something I said or smile when they hear me on the radio. The ability to be heard and have impact is something I am deeply grateful for.
How has your life changed since you began your journey and what are you expecting next?
I have been able to have experiences I never dreamed of being possible. To pick the brain of your childhood heroes and converse with people who have impacted you is I think the biggest perk. I was never shy growing up, but I was very reserved. So to be able to transform into someone who talks for a living and sits in front of a camera is always really humbling for me. The biggest change has been getting stopped a lot more at places by people familiar with my work and realizing sometimes you need to keep boundaries around your personal life. As I continue to grow as a women and a talent and seize opportunities in my field I am definitely expecting more projects where I am able to merge the worlds of transformation, music and media.
What characteristics do you believe are important to have in order to be successful and why?
Resilience and consistency. You gotta get UP. Then get back up when you fall or fail or miss the mark. You must keep getting up over and over. Resiliency is definitely at the top of my list. The ability to “keep going” is half the battle. Then consistency, because it’s imperative you keep a pattern of excellence and forward motion when brand building.
For the young generation inspired by your achievements, what advice could you offer to those pursuing a career in the industry?
You must cultivate a skill set. I think this is a really unique time we are in and what I’ve noticed with a lot of people looking to break into this field is they think artfully curated photo feeds and follower count is what will secure your future. And those things are awesome and definitely things that add value to your brand and your power to negotiate, but they are the branches, not the tree. You have to actually have a skill. You have to master a tangible skill set to land a job, get paid and separate yourself from the thousands of other people with similar ambitions. Specifically if you want to be in radio, you need to practice speaking to people. Sharing your personality. Identifying with your audience. The assumption is always, “Oh you just show up and talk” but being on the radio means knowing how to use your voice as a tool, how to show prep and be compelling, how to technically work your boards, how to deliver for your clients and how to communicate with people who can’t see you in an entertaining way.
How did you feel you contribute to the world, and what message are you trying to perceive from your influence?
As a personality and TV host, I’m a communicator on a mission to connect people with the worlds inside, and outside, of themselves. I have an ear for unique talent and deeper meanings. I use my gut instinct, genuine curiosity, integrity and gratitude to bring my listeners exciting new artists and insightful interviews with some of the biggest names in music. I want people to know that they can win the right way. That they can work in any field they wish and still be impactful on a deeper level. I think people perceive I’m authentically myself and I have a real passion to share dope stuff with them.