Photo Credit Lauren Wade
Toronto-based alt-pop singer-songwriter Devon Cole shares an emotionally charged new single and music video entitled “1-800-GOT-STRESS” via Arista Records. In the track, Devon reveals a vulnerable side as she wrestles with anxiety. She adds, “’1-800-GOT-STRESS’ is a song about feeling helpless and lost. I’ve struggled with anxiety throughout my life, and there are times when I’ve been unbelievably low. Now that I’m older, I’ve got a better handle on how to cope—and meds help—but there were times in my early teens and in university where I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. And that’s a really scary feeling. So, I wanted to create a song that conveys those feelings of helplessness. All I needed in those times of mental struggle was to feel seen. I hope people who listen feel seen.”
Tell us how you came up with this track. Any specific life experience behind it?
I was in LA for sessions, reaching the end of my trip. I was feeling anxious because I like to come into sessions with ideas, and I had none. My manager and I were driving and we saw an ad that said “text stress to +1-800 etc.”. He suggested 1-800-Got-Stress and we agreed it was a slay of a title.
I’ve struggled with anxiety throughout my life and I’m no stranger to the feeling of helplessness. And the feeling that the closest people in your life don’t understand you. So I tapped into that.
Does your education and background in psychology play a role in your artistry? If so, how?
Going to university did help in my artistry because it helped me become a better writer. And it helped me build confidence. I’m writing melodies now instead of papers, but everything overlaps. My background in psyc has definitely contributed to how I see the world, and how I communicate with people. So it’s meaningful to me in that sense.
You approach various themes such as sex positivity, witchcraft etc. how do you keep your inspiration alive?
I like to draw from personal experience the most. Those are things that I talk about with my friends so it’s natural for me to make the leap to writing about it. I think we need more love in the world so I’m trying to write music that’s honest and empowering. And fun – always with a dash of camp.