Jamaica Plain resident Devin Ferreira is pushing the boundaries of the music business.
The rapper incorporates playing his saxophone in his rap songs, something he believes no one else has ever done.
“People have never thought to put [the two] together…I used to make beats with the sax, but within the last year, I started rapping and leaving spots for the sax and performing with it,” Ferreira told the Gazette. “Now it’s an integral part of my music.”
Describing his music as rap/soul, Ferreira believes the sax opens up his music to those who would not normally be interested in rap music.
“It really opens up the genre,” he said.
The Maine native kept his two musical talents separate for a long time, Ferreira told the Gazette, until he decided to go to music school at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.
The school required compentency in a musical instrument to apply, so Ferreira auditioned with his saxophone, an instrument he had been playing since the age of 8. The 24-year-old Ferreira added that there are tapes of him rhyming at age 6.
Ferreira carries his love of music and performance into his day job as studio clubhouse director at various Boys & Girls Clubs in the city. He is also getting his master’s degree in community art education at Lesley University.
“[My thesis is] about how rap can be used to positively impact the community,” he said. Some of his lyrics are about rising above adversity through self-improvement and activism.
He carries his community efforts further by selling replicas of the sunglasses he wears on stage to raise funds for a music scholarship “to help kids pursue their dreams,” he said. The glasses are available on his website for $12.50.
He can often be seen performing at The Haven’s open mic nights at 2 Perkins St. on Wednesdays, he said. His website is devinferreira.com.