NUVO Interview: Soulove Universe drummer Devon Ashley

 

Imagine staring into the eyes of young children — practically toddlers — swinging around streamers and flags, dancing and cheering as if no one is watching. That’s one captivated audience.

“During the last show we played, all — and I mean all — of the young kids, I mean ‘babies,’ were running up to the stage, dancing and going crazy,” says Soulove Universe drummer Devon Ashley. “Nothing was preconceived, no one told them, ‘You should like what you’re hearing,’ the parents let them run around — it was great.”

The down-to-earth, no-gimmicks local funk and soul band Soulove Universe came together nearly a year ago last October, and consists of seven constant members, as well as an “extended family” of additional members.

“We have many elements of all kinds of music,” Ashley says. “It’s just fun, good, polite music.”

“All kinds of music” is right. Ashley and Soulove guitarist Sean McGary played with garage rockers Those Young Lions. Other members include Mike Hogan (bass), Eastside Larry (guitar/congas), Dmonet (drums/vocals), Jeremy Huffman (keyboard), Kelsey Smith, Mika Jones and Brandi Jones (vocals), as well as special guest Jay Jones (keyboard/percussion/vocals). Band members bring past experience from the church, jazz and cover bands to the stage.

Ashley enjoys when the audience dances, gets involved, which is why the Twin Cats should be a good match.

“They’re a funk, party band,” Ashley says. “They get people dancing — I hadn’t seen that in a long time. We want to put on a good show. This show will be a little different because we’re going to be missing a member, but if one person’s not there, we don’t stop.”

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