De'votion: Derby's girl group
By Amy Byers, BBC Blast music reporter
The DE stands for Derby! Yes De'votion reckon they're the first girl band to hail from our fair city and are looking forward to making it big...
Terrie Gadsby, Chelsey Davidson, Purven Jandu, Emma Buckley and Zara Mehdizadeh won their places in the band in March earlier this year.
They had to undergo an X-Factor style auditioning process, where they came out on top above the many young hopefuls who turned up from the Derby area.
The girls had to impress a panel of judges which included Obe 'Rukus' Watson and Andy Gibson who has worked with other famous girl bands such as Sugababes and All Saints.
The auditions were split into two sets, where the girls had to prove their talent by singing and dancing at the same time.
As well as proving their solo singing capabilities they also had to show they are capable of working in a band setting by working together with other candidates to perform the song 'Valerie' by Amy Winehouse.
There were so many talented individuals at the auditions the judges extended their original search from three girls, up to five, which they were absolutely ecstatic about.
De’votion aim to add different dimension to the Derby music scene as it currently dominated by male musicians. They reckon they 'want a chance to show what girls can do!'.
They recently had to change their name from De’sire to De’votion after they discovered a band on X-Factor shared their name. They still wanted to keep the “DE” to represent Derby to symbolise where it all began.
All of the girls are influenced by different styles such as R 'n' B, Soul, Gospel and rock and pop. They feel this will create a dynamic feel to their songs which is new and fresh.
None of the girls knew each other before they were picked for the band, so it took them a while to get used to each other and adapt to each other's singing styles.
They were all solo artists before they joined the band, and they had to learn to sometimes step down and let other members take the lead vocals and vice versa.
After sharing some brilliant experiences with each other and working together to create music they have now become great friends.
Zara says that one of the best things about being in the band is “achieving things together and sharing it with each other”.
For the past five months De’votion have been working on harmonising cover songs so they can get used to performing together and get some live performances under their belts.
Their cover versions include ‘Just Friends’ by Musiq Soulchild, which they sung live at the end of my interview with them.
They are working on writing and composing their own songs in the studio and have just completed their first song together, which is called “I Wonder”.
Although some of the band members will be studying for their A levels this year, Zara says that they will “always make time for the band” and it will work because they are “DE’voted”.
People are already starting to recognise the girls around Derby and one of their highlights of being in the band so far is when they were signing autographs for young fans at one of their gigs.
Zara says “if we work hard and we keep motivated and focused, we’ll get to where we want to be and be successful”.
last updated: 03/09/2009 at 17:17