Shout Out Sunday. Interview With International Artist Dru.

Interview by Nickeyia McCain

Can you tell us who Dru is?

I am a multi award winning international R&B singer/songwriter from Mississauga, Canada.

From my Understanding, you got your first start as an artist as a member of the music group In Essence. How did you become apart of the group?

I was singing in a talent show in the 10th grade, when I came off the stage a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to be in his group.  I didn’t hesitate for a second and I said “yes” right away.  From then myself and Oba Hyacinth aka TOuch went to look for the other members.  We auditioned about 10 people before choosing the final group of five.  We always knew it would be five of us, because we based it off New Edition.

What was the reason for separating from the group?

The group ended when BMG dropped their whole urban roster, we had just won the Juno for best R&B soul recording of the year 2004.  We were left with no record deal, my daughter was very young at the time.  So I had to make the choice to go solo to make sure I could provide for her.  It was a very difficult choice at the time, also there were internal issues in the group.

Transitioning from being a member of a music group to an artist, was this transition an easy one for you?

Going solo was difficult but very rewarding.  I finally had the chance to do things completely my way, the record sales and awards showed me it was the right choice.  I must say though, I miss sharing the stage with my buddies.

Today, looking back on where you’ve been to where you are now. Is there anything you would have done differently?

I would have focused on international branding more and not be so focused on the US industry.  I have learned the world is a big place with many opportunities, which is why I was in The Voice Russia.  I stood out instead of getting lost in the shuffle in America.

As an artist/songwriter, did you always see yourself having these titles?

Yes, from a very young age I had a love for singing and songwriting, but I was painfully shy.  So being in the group really prepped me for my solo move.

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At what age did you realize that music was the path you wanted to explore?

I knew when I was around nine that I wanted to sing, my older brother told me I had a good voice.  When I performed in my 10th grade talent show and heard the crowd go crazy, I was hooked for life.

When did you notice you were great at songwriting?

I appreciate the compliment, but I still think I’m striving for greatness.  I doubt that will ever end.

As a songwriter/artist, is there a title you prefer over the other and why?

I am both these things, I have no problem wearing many hats.  But I do think I’m a better singer then a songwriter.

Have you ever had the opportunity to write for another artist?

I have wrote for many artists, I had a songwriting pub deal in 2009.  So I was writing for artist like Keisha Chante, Korean pop group TVXQ and for many TV shows such as Love & Hip hop, Kink in My Hair and The Next Step to name a few.

Is there an artist you would like to work with in the future?

I would love to work with Usher or Frank Ocean.

Aside from being an artist/songwriter, what do you like to do for enjoyment?

I’m a father first, my daughter is 15 now.  So I spend most of my time with her when I’m not working, other then that I try to stay in the gym and meditate.

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You just had a single release on April 7th called YNF. How do you feel about your new single?

I’m so excited, its been a long time coming.  I feel blessed to still be here and still relevant in this industry.  “YNF” has the nostalgia of 90s with that hip hop edge.

Is the YNF single a remix of the original song You’ll Never Find from your past music group In Essence?

I wouldn’t call it a remix, its more like a 20 year anniversary remake.  It has the same chorus, but I rewrote the verses to be relevant in 2020.

Since your new single dropped, does this mean we can look forward to a new album shortly?

YES!! I’m so excited, my new album drops June 2020 and is entitled ” THE REBIRTH 2020″.  Real R&B music from the heart.  Written and produced by me and my biz partner producer Hollywoodpro aka Steve Dorego.

By any chance, do you see yourself creating music for other genres besides R&B?

I would never put myself in a box, I’m an artist first.  I’m wide open to doing any genre of music, I would never limit myself.

Where would you like to see yourself five years from now?

Five years from now I will have many signed artists to my label Effortless ENT Inc. and will be creating TV shows and movies.  I have a lot of ideas so stay tuned.

What do you believe makes you different from any other R&B artist of today?

I think what separates me is I don’t follow trends, I just focus on music that makes me feel something.  I don’t believe in joining a “wave”, if you gotta join a wave you’re too late.

Do you have a favorite artist who you listen to today?

I think PartyNextDoor and 6lack is pretty dope.

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How can we follow you on social media?

@DRUGRANGE on all social media platforms.  DRUGRANGE.COM.

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