Devendra Banhart is finally embracing being a “freak folk” hero.
The Venezuelan American singer’s whimsical tunes and eccentric looks led to him being crowned one of the leaders of the ‘genre’ by fans, and the 42-year-old said even though he initially hated it he’s now proud of being one of its leaders.
He 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 licence 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 added despite the seeming complexity of his name, 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 correlates to Thor or rain and thunder.
“Growing up in Caracas, Venezuela, it gave me an otherness that was a bit isolating but made me feel quite special.
“Then on my first visit to India I realised everyone was called Devendra.
“So if I lived in Bari (in Rajasthan), I’d be Dave.”
The musician also admitted he regularly gets mistaken for the actor Rupert Everett, 64, but said it was better than people thinking he was someone like 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.”