Born in Petersburg, VA July 14, 1988, Devonne Harris grew up an only child to a single mother. Born with perfect pitch, he began to learn songs off of the radio by ear at the age of 5. His city was like any other inner city; crime, drugs, hustling. Mama Harris wanted her son to be active in school as well as invest his time in something SOMEWHAT positive: music. She began buying toddler instruments, such as drums (3 yrs old), a portable keyboard (5), and a trumpet (6). She bought him violin lessons and took him to local high school and college football games for the marching band. “The drum-line is what got to me. You feel the beat in your chest." His family doesn’t consist of any musicians; they simply loved listening to it. “The radio was a big thing in my house. We’d have people over and after all the food was cooked and people were on their way, my mom always threw on them soul jams: James (the Godfather of Soul), Marvin, Donny, Sly, Stevie, Prince, you name it. Earth, Wind and Fire were the center though. I think that had something to do with growing up in the church."
Though Petersburg proved to be too much for DJH and his mom and they relocated to Chester, VA, a country suburb 20 minutes south of Richmond, in 1998. In middle school, he began to play in the concert band, going from clarinet and bass clarinet to percussion to eventually the entire brass section. “For the 3 years I had in middle school, every band concert and festival we played was a different instrument for me. It was my way having fun." By 2000, DJH was recording his favorite songs as well as his ideas to cassette. “I played (in order) drums, bass, keys, and synths. I didn’t have many instruments; just whatever me and my boys could get our hands on. I got really hell-bent on the idea of sampling myself and making it sound authentic." High school only meant girls, jazz band, marching band, show choir band, and cars. “I was after school rehearsing in everything my music teachers at Thomas Dale signed me up for. I was meeting people that felt the same way about music as I do. My house was known as the Den, the place where all the cats in the crew would come shed and record. Have some chicken and corn on the grill, hangin’ out coolin!"Having a driver’s license meant he could go to the city. Richmond made it easy for him to go out and experience live music, as well as the university at the center of downtown, VCU. His jazz colleagues starting going to college there, which meant he could get calls for gigs (even if Mama Harris had to drive). Participating in the VCU high school jazz ensemble got him connected with their teachers, facilities, and students.
DJH finally finished high school in June of 2006, and made the move to RVA to attend classes 2 months later. “That’s the place where I got my theory and reading together. I figured out how to completely understand scientifically what I’d been hearing and trying to do. I formally studied the drums, piano, and bass (through my roommate), as well as classes and lessons in composition and arranging. I started receive work in bars and clubs where I’d almost didn’t play because of how young I was. I’d hear about these cats playing around town, almost like little fables and legends. I’d end up seeing them play at a show and leave inspired ready to write, play, record, or just reflect". Being part of an open music community also made it possible for him to share and trade music with various teachers and classmates.
Devonne specializes in RnB, Soul, HipHop, Straight-Ahead Jazz, Modern Jazz, Blues, Country, Easy Listening, and Rock-A-Billy. He leads his own team of HipHop writers known as Reeverb Entertainment. He is a member of the following bands: Butcher Brown, John D’earth Quintet, Morwenna Lasko and Jay Pun, the Compass Rose Orchestra, RVA Big Band, Zion Chester Gospel Choir, and the Hope Harris Children’s Ensemble. He’s played with local jazz figures like Lance Dickerson, Carl Lester, Justin Kauflin, Skip Gailes, Bob Hallahan, Charles Owens, Alan Parker, Jason Jenkins, and Marcus Tenney. He’s also performed with Amaury Acosta’s Unity, Robert Glasper, NOBS Brass Band, DJ Williams Projekt, Beast Wellington, New Belgians, Big Payback, Bryce McCormick, Ohbliv, Photosynthesizers, the Root Downs, Just Plain Sounds, and more. His work with Butcher Brown is also heard on the track by 50 cent, "50's my Favorite".