Devin Roy’s “Hattori Hanzo Steel” is a sultry dive into experimental thought

“Hattori Hanzo Steel” begins with the dreamy sound of a muted instrumental track. It’s something out of some ‘50s jazz club, a sultry trumpet line accompanied by the sound of vintage piano, timid fingers forming chords dissonant and pensive on the keys, with some modern influences in the hip-hop beats in the background. Devin Roy begins his newest track like stumbling into the middle of a soft dream. The hazy, dreamy, landscape of “Hattori Hanzo Steel,” starting off in its smoky backroom, clears gradually while the modern beats present themselves fully in the foreground.

As the modern elements take over the vintage, dreamlike elements of the beginning, the song presents its true self in stark clarity. Roy begins repeating, “I feel alive,” while begging to follow someone. He doesn’t know where to go from this space of elation he’s found himself dropped into. The experimental hip-hop sound that follows is crafted by a groovy drum track and a synth soundscape that pushes and pulls the sound until we’re forced to “just follow the music” as it moves.

The musical elements layer and frame Roy’s verses as the song progresses, his verses oozing a sort of humble confidence, a feeling that pushes the track steadily forward. He sings of double negatives and false promises too like, “I heard that destiny definitely take you home / but happiness sold separately.” The track ends sweetly with a light-hearted phone call, the hazy sounds of the beginning taking over once more. Devin Roy, a 28-year-old Bronx native, said of this track, “this is my favorite record off of my album underneath (The Grey Sky).” This is the closing song on the 15-track long piece.

Roy first appeared on the music scene with his debut single “M.A.N.” in 2020. With rhymes based on introspection and smooth production, he’s pushed on past then with multiple other releases of maturing perspectives. His influences span across all genres, and it shows in the variety of melodies he chases. And s shown in the effortless confidence in “Hattori Hanzo Steel,” he knows “exactly what he wants to say and how he wants to say it.” Fully comfortable with being transparent with his audience, Roy’s music will continue to be an honest self-reflection of his own life’s journey. Follow Roy on social media and listen to his newest track “Hattori Hanzo Steel” below.

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