A soulful singer/songwriter with a genre-encompassing vibe that touches on gritty blues, warm R&B, and bits of hip-hop and rock heft, Devon Gilfillian rose quickly through Nashville’s ranks, earning a major-label deal on the basis of his live reputation and self-released 2016 EP. Further singles and international touring widened his audience greatly in advance of his full-length debut.
The son of a wedding singer, Gilfillian grew up in Philadelphia surrounded by music and he took inspiration from a range of styles — from vintage Motown and soul to classic rock and hip-hop. He began playing guitar at 14 and regularly led bands throughout his college days at Pennsylvania’s West Chester University, where he earned a psychology degree. Though a placement through AmeriCorps was what brought Gilfillian to Nashville, his desire to live in a musical setting bore equal weight to his altruistic intentions, and he quickly immersed himself in Music City’s gigging culture.
He put together a tight band to punch up his rootsy musical fusion of styles and built up a reputation around town as a gifted songwriter and dynamic frontman. A self-released, self-titled 2016 EP put Gilfillian on the map, leading to critical accolades, increased touring opportunities, and most significantly, a deal with Capitol Records. Additional singles like “Troublemaker” and “High” followed in 2018, along with tours supporting major acts as diverse as Keith Urban, Mavis Staples, and the Fray. 2019 brought a trip to Africa and a Scandinavian tour with Brothers Osborne, as well as the gritty soul single, “Get Out and Get It.” Additional singles “Even Though It Hurts” and “Unchained” followed later that year. ~ Timothy Monger