Early life and career beginnings
Dev was born in Tracy, California to Lisa, a real estate agent, and Riki Tailes, a painting contractor. Dev's family is from Costa Rica, but grew up in Manteca and is of Portuguese and Mexican descent. She has two younger sisters, Sierra Sol and Maezee Luna. At the age of four, she started swimming and was part of the U.S Olympic development program. She attended Brock Elliott elementary. She graduated from where she was a member of a band and a choir. Soon, she attended San Joaquin Delta College, studying English and art history.
She made a cover of an Amy Winehouse song that she described as being "super-weird and super-different". She recorded the song off her and made it in response to her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend, calling it a "diss track". It was later revealed that the song was "Blonde Trick". A friend of hers posted the song onto MySpace, and production team The Cataracs noticed it and contacted Dev. She dropped out of college during her freshman year to pursue her singing career and was then signed by the Los Angeles based record label and management team, Indie-Pop, who also discovered The Cataracs. Six months later, Dev and The Cataracs' song "2Nite" began to gain exposure on the radio, the television channel MTVU and the Billboard Hot Dance Airplay chart. In 2009, Dev moved to Los Angeles to produce music with the Cataracs and work directly with Indie-Pop.
In 2010,the Cataracs produced "Like a G6" with Far East Movement and decided to use a verse from Dev's single "Booty Bounce" as the chorus. The two songs were made in the same summer, at the time where Dev and the Cataracs "were grinding it out in the studio pretty tough together," making a couple of "simplistic random tracks." "Like a G6", which features the Cataracs and Dev, was released in April 2010, and reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song went on to sell over three million downloads in the US.
2010–present: The Night the Sun Came Up
[...] I decided to put up this song on MySpace. [...] it was basically a “diss track” and I didn’t expect anything out of it. It was just to make me feel good like how music usually do but Niles [of the Cataracs] came across to my page and was really into my voice and they kind of got me into singing and opened up my eyes to business opportunities.
Dev on the start of her career
In August 2010, Dev made a music video for "Booty Bounce", directed by Ethan Adler, and uploaded it onto YouTube, where it has generated over ten million views. In October 2010, Dev was signed to Universal Republic and her first official single, "Bass Down Low", was serviced to rhythmic radio stations in November. It was released digitally in select territories on December 6, 2010 and one day later in the United States. The song reached sixty one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number two on the Heatseekers Songs chart. In Canada, the song peaked at number thirty five in its fifth week on the Canadian Hot 100 chart. The second single from the album "In the Dark",was released om April 25, 2011.
Dev's debut album The Night the Sun Came Up has been released in United Kingdom on September 20, 2011. Since 2009, Dev has been working on her debut album with main producers, The Cataracs. In March 2011, Dev and The Cataracs traveled to Costa Rica for three weeks where they recorded and produced most of the material for the new album. She said of the album's genres, "[t]ypical pop music is not what I am only good at doing; I have a lot of ideas and hip-hop influence records, some electro ballads." In March 2011, New Boyz's single "Backseat", featuring Dev and The Cataracs, was released. The song peaked at number thirty-seven on the Billboard Hot 100. She was featured on Demi Lovato's album "Unbroken" on a song called "Who's That Boy". She also featured on a single by British boy band JLS, "She Make Me Wanna", which reached the top of the UK singles chart. Dev also released two more promotional singles through Twitter, "Poison" and "Call Me" both covers of Bell Biv Devoe and Blondie respectively. She also featured in house music artist David Guetta's album, Nothing But the Beat on a song called "I Just Wanna F" with Timbaland and Afrojack. Dev has also featured on a single by Swedish singer Eric Saade, "Hotter Than Fire" which was released on November 2, 2011 in Sweden. Dev is featued on a remix of Girls' Generation's song Bad Girl by The Cataracs, featured on their Japanese repackage.
Dev's electro style and "sing-talk" vocal style have been compared to fellow pop singer Kesha. Dev responded to this, saying, "I'm confident enough in what I do that people will see me for who I am ... I get why people compare us but once people see me live they won't connect us as much." While comparing her to Kesha, Idolator wrote that "Dev's beats come off a bit more mellow and her songs a little bit more electro than pop." In response to being compared to both Kesha and Uffie, Dev said, "I just feel that I have a lot more to say and the ability to have an eclectic sound, I'm not bashing either artist, but I'm going to be able to give you a little bit more than what you've heard on those records. When my album comes out, hopefully I won't have to hear another reference or comparison." Much of Dev's music is inspired by rap music, as she believes that fans respond to "pop music but with rap roots". She said, "I've always been into hip-hop. Eminem changed my life when I was younger." The Hollywood Reporter compared her "futuristic" and "pulsing" sound to underground electroclash musicians Peaches and Yelle. Dev's musical genres have been cited as electro-crunk, electropop, and electro hop.