Shining star: Devin Star Tailes
Looking back, Devin Star Tailes' parents picked out the perfect middle name for their eldest daughter.
Although better known by her stage name, Dev, the 22-year-old is a giant star in the making.
Since teaming up with Niles "Cyrano" Hollowell-Dhar and David "Campa" Benjamin Singer-Vine, known as The Cataracs, who play at tomorrow's dXb Beach Festival, Dev's career is taking off faster than the Gulfstream G650 aircraft she sings about in her monster hit Like a G6.
Dev is the lady who lends her voice to other artists, usually to sing that catchy chorus line which is the difference between the song being good or great.
Like a G6 was the Far East Movement featuring Dev and The Cataracs; Bass Down Low was Dev featuring The Cataracs; Backseat was New Boyz featuring The Cataracs and Dev; Top of the World has The Cataracs featuring Dev; and more recently JLS featured Dev on She Makes Me Wanna.
Ask anyone to sing a line from any of the above and it's Dev they will emulate.
But all that is about to change. Holed up in a recording studio in Costa Rica for three months, Dev has finally completed her debut solo album and is ready to reveal all.
During her trip to Abu Dhabi earlier this month, tabloid! caught up with the American for an exclusive chat about her first solo release.
"The Night the Sun Came Up represents a lot of hard work for me," said the singer with a sigh. "Every time I had a spare moment, I was there — in the studio. It as all I could think about and it was also good to be so focused."
For Dev, The Cataracs are more than just her production team, they are also her best friends.
"We have done everything together until now," she said. "It is really cool that I have producers that are my best friends. Singing in front of other people in a studio was a first for me, and The Cataracs made it all possible."
But in the back of her mind Dev says she also knew at some point she would have to go it alone.
"I was out there on my own and it was weird at first. They had always been there and while that was great, I also decided it was time to tell some stories about me."
The Night the Sun Came Up released last week in the US with Bass Down Low as the album's lead single.
Growing up in the small northern California town of Berkeley, music was always a big part of Dev's life — although her career wasn't moving as quickly as she would have liked.
"I was working in [the retail brand] Old Navy," she said, still sounding shocked at her own success. "I was on a swim team. I was kind of going to school," she laughed. "It can actually get a little overwhelming sometimes."
Dev was discovered by The Cataracs, who stumbled upon her work on her MySpace page.
"They called and said, ‘Come to LA,'" she giggled. "So I went."
‘Pretty and sad'
Since teaming up with the duo, Dev not only feels like her music has evolved, but that she has also grown as a person. Making an album which truly reflects her personality was always at the forefront of her mind.
"The last track is one of my favourites," she said. "It's called Imperfections, and is about telling lies, and difficult relationships while growing up. There are pretty and sad words.
"There are a couple of personal love ballads on there," she said before cleverly avoiding a grilling about her current relationship status. "There is someone in my life. I met him a while ago and now we are making memories. He travels with me when he can."
While sharing her life experiences with someone special, Dev says she also wanted to inspire others through her songs.
"I hope listeners, no matter whether they are male or female, listen and get inspired to do whatever they want that makes them happy. I hope they feel as good and as cool listening to it as I did making it."