By JEANETTE LENOIR
The car was promised to him by the grandmother who helped raise him, but due to a series of unfortunate events the artist known as Fleetwood DeVille had to make lemonade with losing a precious four wheel gift by gaining a pretty cool name with a voice to back it up.
His solid rendition of OutKast’s Liberation solidifies his ability to mix with the elders of poetic hip-hop, soul and R&B. His last music video, Baritone, shot in 2017 shows a side of DeVille yearning to be watered for a chance to blossom into the majesty of a fully-fledged voice. Unfortunately, artists like DeVille struggle to make their dreams come true early in life because life well… is unfair. And, life continues to unfold naturally around us while we chase dreams, sacrifice and wait for the magic to happen to us.
Working to find his own spot in a corner of music history, DeVille has endured family and personal setbacks that has veered him off course like a sailboat going against the wind, but like a moth drawn to light, he’s kept up the pursuit to his happiness; music. Although he makes a living from his musical projects and varying DJ gigs, DeVille needs a “regular job” to make ends meet and be a father to his two young children in St. Louis.
In addition to performing, writing and DJing, DeVille hosts a weekly radio show every Wednesday from 3 to 6PM on Power357radio.com. He says it’s an opportunity to express himself creatively as he mixes beats from the edge of his bed in the small room he rents in Northwest DC. The Spit Dat DC Alum knows firsthand the struggles of an artist, especially one who dares to step out the box of cookie cutter mainstream music for the masses.
Only time will tell how this DMV based artist drives into the sunset of his life rapping and singing his story. One thing is for sure, his beautiful baritone voice deserves a platform. His singing style is reminiscent of Barry White, Outkast, Big Daddy Kane all mixed into one unique voice that carries more notes than printed music. It’s clear, Fleetwood’s musical forte is a custom-made gift. Nevertheless, just like the Cadillac he’s named after, it’s up to the driver to steer it in the right direction. “To be, or not to be,” is the question after all in Shakespeare’s Soliloquy.