Devendra Banhart: The Venezuelan American singer‘s whimsical tunes and unusual appearance led to him being crowned one of the “genre’s leaders by fans, and the 42-year-old remarked that while he first hated it, he is now satisfied to be one of its leaders.
Devendra Banhart told The Guardian about the term: “I didn’t make it up and none of my friends ever used it.
“I’d rather be called nu metal!
“I hated the tag and wanted to avoid it at all costs. Twenty years later, my license plate says: ‘King … Queen of freak folk.’
“I go to the airport and go, ‘Freak folk coming through.’
“It’s the tackiest, stupidest thing so I decided to embrace it.”
Devendra Banhart said that, despite his name’s apparent complexity, he would be known as ‘Dave’ if he lived in Rajasthan.
He said when asked if he liked his name: “Very much. It’s a synonym for Indra, king amid the many (Hindu) gods, who correlate to Thor or rain and thunder.
“Growing up in Caracas, Venezuela, gave me an otherness that was a bit isolating but made me feel quite special.
“Then on my first visit to India, I realized everyone was called Devendra Banhart.
“So if I lived in Bari (in Rajasthan), I’d be Dave.”
The artist also admitted that he is continually confused about actor Rupert Everett but that it is preferable to people believing he is Kenny Loggins.
He said: “I like Rupert Everett a lot, so it’s better than being mistaken for a chihuahua or Kenny Loggins.
“Not long ago in the supermarket, this guy looked me up and down, said, ‘Devendra, much?’ and walked away. He thought I was a guy that looked like me.”