Here at Ten Degrees Warmer, we believe that any one of us can be awesome if we simply choose to be. Making that choice can be both terrifying and exhilarating, and staying the course through the challenges of life isn’t always easy. After all, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
The profiles we present here are of remarkable people who have made their choice to live a deliberately extraordinary life and who have agreed to share some of their insight with us. Whether those profiled are artists, or entrepreneurs, or would consider themselves “ordinary people”, I’m very excited to help people brag about their awesome selves. (As if anyone reading this blog is “ordinary”. HA! I scoff at the very idea!)
By day Devlin Miles is a personal trainer, and by night she the lead singer of the band Sweet Little Bloodhound, formerly known as the Devlin Miles Band. She has been writing original songs and touring for the past four years along with Rick Mauran on drums and percussion, and Ben Falkoff on lead and rhythm guitar. Her songs “This Guy”, “You & Me”, and “Autumn’s Fires” won first place for the Soft Rock Channel, she was selected as the Subway Fresh Artist by Mtv and Clear Channel affiliates, and was voted #1 to open for Bon Jovi in a battle of the bands on ourstage.com. Her new album, “Sweet Little Bloodhound” has just dropped and is now available on iTunes. (I’m listening to it right now!) Devlin currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
What do you do?
I’m the lead Singer of Sweet Little Bloodhound, a Soulful Rock band, and a Personal Trainer – made the artist in me possible.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I am a story teller at heart. I run through life absorbing with the record button on and when the timing is right, I discipline myself to sit down and write these amazing stories, which usually come out in song form. I have a children’s book in the process, but mostly in song.
As a personal trainer, I have learned so much about how to network for others and find them jobs and how to listen and identify when they are making excuses and when they really need a push out of a rut. This has helped me tremendously in networking in the music industry to connect with people on a personal level quickly.
What (project/goal) are you working on right now?
Sweet Little Bloodhound just launched our first debut album together with the same title, available on iTunes. We will be doing spot touring throughout the US through 2015.
What inspires you? (Either in your life or your work)
I am often inspired by other peoples stories, whether I know them directly or indirectly. I will feel compelled to action. Also I love going to see live concerts. I love sculpture, I am growing to appreciate painting, I love photography. I am moved by other people’s “call to action” and causes that might not be important to me, but only because I am uninformed, so an inspiring speaker will move me to action and I will feel compelled to help, no matter whether it is about “going green” and being more mindful with recycling or fighting for equal rights or supporting a cause.
If you could send a message back to your younger self, what would it be?
You are good enough. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People need reminders, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you, respect you, or believe in you.
What is one book everyone should read?
Hands down, “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. It was given to me as a gift by my friend David Baida. I read it when I was 26 years old and have gifted it to many throughout my life – if I ever see old and tattered copies for sale I must buy them and pass them on.
I love how it takes your life from passive of blaming to action and no excuse – helps you be accountable for all your actions by saying “You chose your parents, and needed the lessons that you would learn from them.”
[Robb here. I haven’t read this book, but I’m adding it to my list. Whatever our life circumstances, however the people in our lives behave, I love the concept of self-empowerment that our own lives are under our control, and we can always accept what is and then move on to focus on making our own experience more positive.]
What is something people might not know or guess about you? Tell us a fun fact!
I make faces when I am doing dishes and cleaning – I just can’t seem to scrub anything without scrunching up my face.
What advice would you offer someone trying to follow in your footsteps?
1- I would suggest you figure out how to take criticism, especially from those closest to you. Although they think they are being helpful by asking an artist “what is your real job” they are not. Know that most people are innately unhappy and if you have found happiness and a work life balance with your art, don’t let anyone stop you – people will tear down happiness because they are unhappy.
2- Learn about the business of your art. It is not enough to be the artist, you must be an entrepreneur. Your Art is your business, so go get the knowledge you need to make it succeed and know when to delegate tasks that are time suckers.
[Robb here again. OMG, I could write a whole post embellishing on this idea. This is brilliant and, I’d say, vital advice for any artist/entrepreneur.]
We all have peers whose work we respect and admire. Tell us about something inspiring that person has accomplished, and how it has affected your own work.
I have several songwriters that have influenced me throughout my career thus far, but I would have to say that I am most impressed with Hillary Lindsey (songwriter for Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, and many more), her conversational way of writing just blows me away. Her songs are 3:30 minute mini-movies and I strive for that.
Diane Warren for her uncanny way to bring you tears or stand up and fight.
Bette Midler, Steven Tyler, Tina Turner, Cher, Janet Jackson, Brandi Carlile, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen- for their incredible showmanship. They all have their own unique way and style in which they connect to their audience, I am always looking for new ways to connect with my fans.
[Robb again. I want to point out the subtle amazingness of this answer. When we hear the word “peer”, we often think of the people we work with on a daily basis. When Devlin thinks peer, she thinks of Bette Midler. This is, I think, a hugely important mindset to reach, no matter what field you are working in. We are all on a continuum, and those who have already had success are still just people who happen to be farther along the path than you are. Having that kind of comfortable confidence bodes well for future success of your own.]
This is Ten Degrees Warmer, so we have to ask: what is your favorite tropical/warm place to visit?
Laguna Beach/Dana Pt. as my family is from there and it is sewn into the fabric of me. However, if I am ever fortunate to steal an R&R vacation again it would be to Maroma Resort and Spa in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It is so not reality and is very extravagant based on how the outskirts are struggling, but for a weekend it is nice to escape the world.
However, I do find my little fun beach haven on the east coast is tucked away on the beach once a year with my family at Salisbury Beach. Nothing going on there except old school fun, pre-Internet. It’s like a time capsule.
How can our readers follow/contact you on the web?
[Take a look at the band’s website sweetlittlebloodhound.com to check out their tour schedule and see them live!]
I want to thank Devlin for sharing her ideas with us! I met Devlin when I was still a wide-eyed college student, and it has been exciting watching her make these empowering choices and pursuing the things she wants from life. The extraordinary becomes possible when we decide to reach for it, just as Devlin is.
So tell me, have you made your choice to be awesome yet? What kind of adventure are you going to have today? Tell us about it in the comments below. And be sure to share this post on Facebook to help spread Devlin’s story!
Post photo by Kim Nicholais.