Artist News

Dev Hynes rethinks donations drive following NYC fire

By | Published on Friday 20 December 2013

Blood Orange

Dev Hynes, aka alt-pop artist Blood Orange, has broken his not very long silence on the fire that destroyed “everything” he owns earlier this week. As previously reported, an online donations drive was launched in Hynes’ name following the blaze – which totalled his New York apartment, taking with it his dog Cupid.

In a blog post, Hynes has said that – on reflection – he’s decided to give some or all (he isn’t certain yet) of the cash raised by the crowd sourcing campaign set up by the mother of his girlfriend, Friends’ Samantha Urbani, to three charities he’ll reveal at a later date.

He writes: “This happens to so many people, people that don’t have a girlfriend’s place they can stay at. People who don’t have a job they can do to try and help themselves money wise to attempt to get back on their feet. This is in my mind every second. I truly have lost everything I own, hard to wrap your head around, but I have”.

He adds: “If I am honest, the fundraiser makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. This isn’t me saying I don’t need the money, to reiterate, I have lost everything. But maybe it’s time I down some anxiety medication, see a doctor and try and play some shows y’know? There are things I can do, although it will take years, that can help myself rebuild, a huge part of me is still struggling with understanding the events of two nights ago, and where to take my life from here”.

The still-active campaign has so fair raised over $24,000, almost five-times its original goal of $5,000. Something which irked Vagenda co-founder Holly Baxter, who used the campaign as a launchpad to criticise crowdfunding in general on The Guardian’s Comment Is Free site – an article published shortly after Hynes announced that he would likely give the money away.

Originally bearing the headline ‘Dev Hynes’s puppy sob story has left me burnt out’ (later changed to the less reactionary ‘Why celebrity crowdfunding has little appeal’), Hynes posted a link to the piece on his Facebook page, commenting: “This is disgusting. I’m so hurt. I want to go on the record and say I will never talk to The Guardian ever again, I want nothing I ever make to be on their website, or in their magazine. Please pull the interview I did recently. I don’t want it to come out”.

Baxter later responded on the Vagenda Twitter account to criticism she had received there, saying: “Guys. That was a tongue-in-cheek article about crowdfunding. While I welcome criticism, please stop threatening to ‘shank’ me. My article was intended as a discussion about crowdfunding in general, and included a paragraph on Dev Hynes. Offence not intended, so sorry”.

So there you go. Though, while Baxter probably wasn’t responsible for that rather insensitive headline, or the big picture of Hynes at the top of her article, she did actually write three paragraphs about him. And if she really didn’t intend to offend anyone, maybe rather than piggybacking off someone’s house burning down, she should have published her article back when debating the pros and cons of crowdfunding was still ‘a thing’.