At first glance, you could easily compare The D.E.Y. to similar groups of the past. We all know them — the Fugees and Grove Theory. These groups were unique in their musical styling and managed to combine rap skills with the soothing harmonious voice of a female. The D.E.Y. wants to do more than that.
What makes this group especially unique is not the fact that there are two males and one female. This group is forging the Latin elements with R&B and hip-hop to create a sound that has yet to be heard in mainstream. They have already received the stamp of approval from Wyclef and star producers like Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, leaving us all wondering, what will happen when The D.E.Y. comes?
BallerStatus.com: You guys combine hip-hop, R&B and Latin music to create your sound. Why did you decide to choose those particular genres of music?
Devine: I’m from the South Bronx. My parents listen to hip-hop, so when it came time for the pieces that brought us together, hip-hop and R&B had a very strong influence in what we did. When it came time to work with Elan, she brings that edge. It was easier for us to embrace it all because of the women that came before us like Lauryn Hill. It would be jazz if we grew up listening to that.
BallerStatus.com: What do you think each member of the group brings to the table? Besides the fact that two rap and one person sings.
Ye-Yo: I’m also a producer and I went to school for engineering, so I think that I bring the technical side as well as production. I take care of most of the Spanish rapping and wording of the songs. Those are my key jobs.
Devine: I like to break it down like I’m the hustle, Ye-Yo is the muscle and Elan is the beauty. I put the hustle in. I’m out there with the DJs all night. I’m in every city. I’m trying to see what they listening to. It is important for us to be able to target the audience.
Élan: I would say I bring the balance. It’s marketable. The melodies and the female entity make it more pop and R&B. Sometimes they need a little bit of the sweetness with it.
Ye-Yo: The new modern day hip-hop is really pop. 2008, it’s a new day and time.
BallerStatus.com: You guys also discuss some social issues in your music. What issues can we expect you to be discussing in the lyrics?
Devine: One thing that we really concentrate on is bridging the gap between the non-Spanish speaking community and the Spanish speaking community, the black and brown community. This product is for them to be able to get along better and understand each other. A lot of people know a Latino person that they embrace in their heart. Out in the West they separated by the guns every day. We touch things from love, loosing your mother. We touch all types of subjects on this album.
BallerStatus.com: A lot of groups that are mixed with males and females don’t last very long nowadays. Groups like Groove Theory, The Fugees. How do you plan on handling the issue that come up in a mixed group, which could cause you to break up?
Ye-Yo: We get compared to groups like the Fugees and Wyclef even took the time out to speak to us. Pras was telling us intimate things that hurt the Fugees and Wyclef was also giving us advice. We are getting information that is going to help us grow together. We were already trying to do our things, but we know that this is home base. We got the opportunity to live together when we were recording the album, so we got to know each other well and get a respect for each other.
BallerStatus.com: In saying that, I noticed that in groups where there are mixed men and women that they start to date. Is that going on in this group?
Élan: Absolutely not. You know what? People are not disciplined in their business. We are three different people. We compliment each other as a group and family. But we are old enough to know what this is.
Ye-Yo: We don’t have time to be intimate with each other or anyone.
Divine: I need to be economically stable and be able to survive and take care of my family. So I can be able to ball.
BallerStatus.com: (laughs) Who are some of the producers you have worked with?
Devine: Timbaland, J.R. Rodem, Star Gate, Swizz, and Trackmasters. Honestly I like the fact that people are reaching out to us. We do this bilingual stuff and they with it.
BallerStatus.com: What is the first single?
Devine: “Give You The World.” It is inspired by Earth Wind & Fire’s “Fantasy.”
BallerStatus.com: When will you begin touring?
Ye-Yo: We are about to go on a promo tour. On the East and West coast. There is no date yet.
Élan: He makes it sound bleak but it’s not that bad. We have been to festivals. Everybody who is throwing parties in the next few months we are doing out thing. We did a show for Hennessy.
BallerStatus.com: When will the album be coming out?
Devine: It has not been determined yet by the man. We have and EP on Rhapsody. It’s called The D.E.Y. Has Come. You can go to TheDey.com for more info.