Prior to the release of the brand new single Disco Queen, we were blessed with the opportunity to interview fast-rising performer and artist Drake Ocean, to find out more about what motivates the music, how to build a following on social, and how to keep things genuine as a creative. Here’s how it went.
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Hi Drake – great to connect with you, and congrats for the beautiful new single. For those new to your work – what got you into music, and how did you discover your voice or style as an artist?
Great to talk with you as well, and thank you for all of the kind remarks.
I kind of grew up around music. My family isn’t necessarily the most musical but there was always music playing. What really made me have a want to perform and just make music was the idea of being able to have people. I never had “friends” so I think I started writing to make up my own worlds.
I fell in love with folk music when I was 12. This really sent me on a storyline journey. As creators we really make our own world and can truly transport people. I try my best to do so and have purpose with each thing I do.
Tell us about Disco Queen – how did it come about, and what does it represent?
So Disco Queen has one of the coolest stories. I made this song with my producer Griffin White, and it was a journey lol. We really went through months of changes and really tested our patience. It took so long due to my want to make it the way I knew it wanted to sound. With every project we start with an idea of what we want to convey and with this one it was an anthem.
To me this song represents empowerment. I can’t wait to see what it means to everyone. We all have so many different stories so I can’t wait to see what all of the beautiful people decide it means to them.
“As creators we really make our own world & can truly transport people. I try my best to do so and have purpose with each thing I do. “
Your voice is incredibly unique, both your literal vocal tone and your artistic lyrical thread – is your style or approach inspired by anyone or anything in particular?
Thank you so much, that is so kind. My biggest inspirations are far too many to list. However ‘The Cure’ has been a huge inspiration with the feeling of nostalgia I like to have when listening to music.
My vocal tone and the way I sound is just me. I truly used to hate that my voice sounds the way it does but to be honest I think its the focal point of my music now. Lyrically I just tell stories, I try to make sense but sometimes I get lost – that’s the beauty of writing.
You also released the brilliant, nostalgic 70’s Love Letter – what was it about this era that struck a lasting chord with you?
Again, thank you. To be honest the 70’s holds some of the greatest monuments of musical history. You can look at the 70’s and see some of the most influential artists.
I feel like I have an old soul and at times wish I was an artist in that generation. 70’s Love Letter is also an homage to let’s say my school hood. I also made that song with Griffin, and we really wanted to make this coming of age late night drive song. With all of that though the main thing is I wanted to make a song for my generation.
Your sound has a full-band, indie-rock feel, yet you also post a lot of acoustic segments on social media. What could fans expect from a live show?
Live shows will be crazy. With my music I want to have the feeling of fullness yet purpose. However on TikTok I like to give people who follow me a melancholy calming energy. For live shows though you can expect an energetic crazy fun environment.
My favorite thing about going to shows is jumping around and making friends due to the common interest. I can’t wait to be able to provide that for other people one day.
Is there a longer project on the way, and if so – what can we look forward to from that?
As of right now I can’t say much. However you can definitely expect some different things coming soon. Disco Queen is definitely the start of something huge.
“My favorite thing about going to shows is jumping around & making friends due to the common interest. I can’t wait to be able to provide that for other people one day. “
What’s your affiliation with Resources For Indigenous Peoples, and what would you like more people to know about this cause?
I am a part of the Lower Creek Ma-Chis trip. I try to be supper vocal about ways to help native people. There are so many oppressive systematic issues put onto native people today that don’t get talked about enough. I do have a small platform and I feel as if I can if any way help I will do so.
You’ve reached thousands of listeners and viewers over on TikTok – what do you think you can pinpoint about certain videos or performances that resonates with so many more people?
Ya, so it’s crazy I just started posting around a year ago. The stream of people and Community just started coming along a few months ago and it has changed my perspective on so many things.
I wish I could know what it is people like, and if I did I feel like it would be a super power lol. To be honest I just post when I feel like. I see a lot of people post everyday or multiple times a day, and for me that would be impossible. I try not to drain my creativity so I feel like that’s why I resonate with some people due to the fact that I do try to bring emotion through everything.
“There are so many oppressive systematic issues put onto native people today that don’t get talked about enough.”
What’s your biggest ambition as an artist?
I would love to go on tour. I dream of having a Community and a family within music. I think I want to be with the bigger of the artists, not because of the fame aspect but because of the reach I will have to people. I have a gut feeling that this music thing is for me and it’s what I am meant to do. So my biggest ambition is just to make music even more in my life than now and spread connections upon people.
What’s the best way fans can connect with you?
I am pretty open. I go live on TikTok at least once a week. I try to be there for people as I wish some people I look up to would. I am always an Instagram DM away.
Is there anything else we should know?
Ya, you can stream Disco Queen and my other music everywhere. All of my socials are DrakeOcean, and you can find more about upcoming stuff from there. Be kind, and treat people’s emotions as your own – with respect.
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Check out Drake Ocean here. New single out March 11th.