Dorina Takács, a. k. a. Дeva, embarked on her solo electro folk project in 2019, infusing her music with the energies of nature and floral motifs. As a child, Dorina was surrounded by music: she sang in a choir, studied piano and solfège, and even formed a band called ROOM11 during her secondary school years. With a few years of hard work and some projects under her belt, she made her way to the newly founded label of Balázs Zságer, a musician with twenty years of experience as a band member. It was under his label that she released her first track, titled “777”, which immediately caught the attention of the entire Hungarian music scene. Today, more and more countries are expressing their own interest in Дeva’s work, which is how she has already received the award for the most internationally noted Hungarian performer, as well as the European Union’s Music Moves Europe Award. After her hugely successful singles, her first album, titled “Csillag”, was released in 2022. Today, Dorina has a standing invite to Hungary’s music festivals. She and her band regularly sell out concerts, though she is always careful to stay true to herself, and to spend enough time recharging her batteries, so that she can in turn energise her ever-growing audience at her live shows. Interview.
No. 1 Your debut album “Csillag” came out this year. Why “Csillag” [meaning “Star” in Hungarian]?
For me, the symbol of the eight-pointed star represents hope and balance. The star Tarot card shows a woman holding two jugs in her hands. She draws water into one jug, while pouring water from the other. Giving and receiving at the same time. She’s in balance. This is the balance we should strive to restore. We take away much more than we put back. We have lost our balance. The star carries the hope that one day, we will all restore this state of harmony.
No. 2 What is the reason for your strong affinity with folk motifs and folk songs?
I think that the people who sang these songs were more strongly present. And this can be felt in the songs, and in the lyrics as well. These works all speak of the treasures and knowledge they gathered in their symbiotic relationship with nature. Folk art is bursting with power.
No. 3 A lot of your music contains nature-inspired motifs. Where does this attraction to nature come from?
I have spent and still do spend a lot of time in the city, and I always feel like I am slowed to a crawl in that space. It’s not easy for me to keep my radiant and soft power intact in an environment with so many people, and so few plants and animals. At least, I find that quite difficult.
In the city, I always feel like I’m stuck in an isolated world of humanity, when, in fact, we humans are also a part of nature. We cannot remove ourselves from it, we cannot place the crown on our own head and think of nothing but ourselves. If we are unable to understand this, we will end up taking a terrible fall from our throne.
No. 4 Tell us about your flower garden.
My garden is lovely, grateful and reassuring. It has a grassy island in the middle, with four paths setting out towards the four cardinal directions. These paths divide the garden into four parts. Vegetables have their own dedicated slice, sun-loving flowers have two, and medicinal plants also get one slice. Birds also come to visit us on warmer days. We have put out a bird bath for them with delicious, clean water, and they love to take a dip in it.
No. 5 What kind of music is good for your soul?
The producer part of my brain tends to picture a project file whenever I am listening to a song, so the most important thing for me is the ability to switch off that part of myself while I’m listening. Once I have switched it off, I can tune in to the emotions.
At present, ethnic, tribal house, ambient and choral music are the styles that touch my soul, as well as classical piano pieces.
No. 6 What is your motivation for juggling and managing so many different aspects of your work, including composing, producing and album cover design? Do you think this is going to remain practical in the long run?
Taking full control of my art just feels right to me. And it’s simpler for me this way. I’m already considering bringing in a graphic artist, because I’m interested in seeing how other people would prefer to visualise my songs. But as far the music is concerned, I’d never cede control over that part. I have done collaborations, of course, and I will be doing some more in the near future.
No. 7 How do you protect your bubble?
Quality time alone, observing nature, staying far away from mobile phones. Experiencing existence without judgement. I look inward a lot to find out who and what I am, exactly. My identity is constantly evolving, which is why I try to keep afloat on this wave, to continue experiencing it. It is difficult for others to drag me out of this, and I wouldn’t want to let anyone do so.
No. 8 Indeed, you tend to spend a lot of time away from social media. What have you gained from this mindful presence? What is it that recharges your batteries when you do this?
It is a must. You must remain mindful, because the flood of information can numb you. It makes you groggy. This was what bothered me the most. Since I became aware of this, I keep my distance from social media, and cultivate a stronger presence. A state of being. How could I ever remain in this state, if hundreds of signals struggle for my attention every time I look at a screen? How could I ever recharge? Talking to friends, observing people, my feelings and thoughts, writing a diary, spending time with animals, arts and crafts, gardening… I could go on and on. There is still so much left to discover in real life!
No. 9 Do you have any hidden talents?
I will never be able to account for any hidden talents, because once I discover them, they will no longer be hidden. A neat little paradox. So instead, my answer would be that I have discovered quite a lot of things I’m talented at. Incidentally, I believe that talent takes effort. It doesn’t just come automatically.
No. 10 What lights your internal path?
Serenity. Whenever serenity appears, I can be confident that I’m on the right path.
What areyour favourite concert venues?
Festival stages surrounded by forest, specifically: Waldorfeszt, O.Z.O.R.A Festival
The best dinner for two?
At home, in my garden
Favourite place where you go to unwind?
(Merzse Swamp Nature Reserve)
Hidden gem in the city?
Backyard of the Massolit Café
(Budapest, Nagy Diófa u. 30, 1072)
Favourite location that’s close to nature?
I don’t have a favourite, it’s difficult to compare them, since each one is wonderful for a different reason. OK, let’s say the Őrség! That place is simply a wonderland.