Following the release of his brand new single, we caught an in-depth interview with artist DRE?WHO to find out more about the man behind the music and his hopes for the future as an artist. Here’s how it went.
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Hey – thanks for the interview, how has 2019 been for you so far?
2019 has been very good. I just dropped Don’t Say Goodnight, which is exciting for me. I want to show people that I’m far from just being a DJ. It is really about showing my growth as an Artist.
This Friday I actually am throwing the release party for Don’t Say Goodnight with R&B artists Lloyd and Mario in San Francisco.
What can you tell us about Don’t Say Goodnight – how did it come to be, and what does it mean to you personally?
Don’t Say Goodnight is very important to me because it is my first track I have ever released as an artist. I am actually singing on this track. It started off as me just trying to experiment and show people that I can write and actually do music. I then decided to stop waiting and just release it. I wanted to give people that old school love R&B low rider feel. Where you’re cruising with your girl and can just listen to that. Some real player vibes.
In the past you’ve worked with some impressive big names – what has been your most memorable or life-changing experience so far as a creative?
Even though I have worked with huge names (YG, Trey Songz, Waka Flocka) I probably learned the most from my DJ homie Aux Cord. I would say he is the biggest DJ in the Bay right now. I am happy he lets me ask him damn near anything and responds with no hesitation. Outside of him, creatively, being flown out to Washington to perform with Waka Flocka, Destructo and Marc E Bassy was a great experience. It showed me if you’re really about it, it’s going to happen. Just a month before that, I was sleeping in the living room of my brother’s apartment in San Diego.
What do you hope to bring to the music world with your own releases over the coming months and years?
I want to bring that new energy. I really feel like everything sounds the same. People do it because it’s cool. Why not be cool and make good music? I don’t think you could categorize my sound. I want that old-school feel, mixed with new-school. R&B but still indie. Hip hop, but still with meaning. I just want to show people my writing skills and production skills. All the music I am putting out is written and produced my me.
How do you get started when crafting a new track?
I start off by opening up a bottle of Kombucha, light an incense and get to work. I need to be at peace with a clear mind. I play some chords and and go. Sometimes I do not write lyrics. Actually that’s most of the time, I like recording everything, recording melody or lyric on my mind and just go. I do not like to think about it too much because I want the real me to come out.
There’s a smooth-jazz vibe to the new single, alongside of a contemporary pop-RnB twang. Who or what would you say has influenced your approach to music the most over time?
I grew up listening to everything because of my dad. I just have a love for music. But when it comes to my approach, I would say I try to move like Nipsey Hussle (RIP). I got my sound from a mix of Toro y Moi, Kanye West, and Travis Scott. I listen to a lot of R&B. I kinda listen to everything.
Is there a longer project on the way?
There is a project on the way. I am shooting for end of May or beginning of June. All the tracks are ready. Now I am just planning the release.
Do you have any plans to collaborate with other artists this year?
Yes I do. I have been ghost writing songs and am trying to get those tracks out to the right artists. I think after this project releases it will help me out with all that. Besides that, I am fully focused on myself.
If you could work with anyone at all, past or present, who would you choose – and why?
From the past, it would be some of those Motown artists. Currently, I would love to work with Ye Ali, Nav, Octavian, Toro y Moi, and Yellow Days.
Is live performance an important part of your plans, and if so – what can audiences expect from a live show?
I have actually never performed live as an artist yet! But I’m ready and excited to make it happen, I have been practicing. They can expect a real performance. Not just me standing there with my phone out. I’m really going to bring performing back. I consider a performance a whole art piece. So the stage and lights are going to be part of the show. My next performance will be intimate. Live band and all.
If you could perform at any venue or event in the world, which would you choose, and why?
Probably somewhere in Europe. I feel like my vibe fits with whatever is going on there. Here in the United States we are so late on the movement. I would do Coachella though. I’m not going to Coachella unless I am an artist performing there.
What are some of the main values you want to represent as an artist in 2019 and beyond?
Main values would be do you. Create your own sound. Learn from others. Share your music. Do not keep it locked in your computer and never release it! I just really wanna show people my writing and production skills. There’s no one out now that’s DJing, producing, writing, and performing like me.
What are your main aspirations right now, and what’s the bigger picture?
I want to be the best me. I don’t see myself in any competition. I think doing you, and trying to become the best you – brings the best product out. That’s how I the best energy comes out.
What’s something about DRE?WHO that most people don’t know?
People don’t know that I am still in going to school getting a bachelors in business. Also, I used to play basketball all my life before music and was going to try to play in college.
What’s the best thing people can do to support you?
The best thing people can do is give my music a listen! If you like my song, share it with your friends. Show love! Post about me and I’ll show love back. You can search me on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and Soundcloud – DRE?WHO.
Is there anything else we should know?
I really just live a regular life and pursue music.
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