On April 20, 1991 in Winston Salem, North Carolina a star named Donald Samuels Jr. was born into this world. Unaware that they had just given birth to a rap artist who would later take the world by storm, his mother and father did their best to take care of him, his sister and four brothers while trying to maintain a household. Growing up, Donald Jr. didn’t have much. It had become very difficult for his parents to take care of him and his siblings, so the threat of being homeless was all too familiar to him. There were plenty of days when he had to go without the material things that he saw all of his friends receiving from their parents. Being that Donald Jr. had no friends, he spent most of his time with his family. While spending time with his family, he was exposed to various genres of music. He listened to such oldies as: Earth, Wind, and Fire, Maze, Al Green, The Temptations, Michael Jackson, and The Isley Brothers. Donald Jr. would also go places with his brothers and they would play artists like: Bone Thugs ‘N’ Harmony, Biggie, Tupac, Boogie Boyz, Eazy-E, NWA, Ice Cube, Sleek Rick, and Public Enemy while riding in the car. After hearing a song on the radio, he would sing the song repeatedly until he had memorized the song from beginning to end. After being influenced by multiple genres of music, Donald Jr. began to develop his own repertoire of music skills. Seeing as he didn’t have many friends, he spent most of his time alone. This is when he discovered he could write poetry. He used to write leisurely until one day he had to do an assignment that required him to write a poem for class, so he volunteered to read his poem. To his surprise, his teacher loved it. His teacher gave him the boost of confidence that Donald Jr. needed to make one of the most important decisions in his life; pursuing a career in the music industry.
Struggling to figure out how he was going to reach his goals while learning the ends and outs of the music industry, he stumbled upon an idea. He decided to make his own recording studio in his room. He created his own studio with a computer microphone, a sock, a paper clip, electrical tape, a 7 year old computer and a dream. Going by the stage name of Yung Rich, he started making his own beats and recording his own songs. Time goes by and as his musical talents began to develop, things in his personal life began to crumble. After losing both of his grandmothers, both grandfathers, his uncle, and 2 of his cousins going to prison, that feeling of loneliness became all too familiar to him again. He began to depend on what remaining family he had left, while putting his dream of being a successful rapper on the back burner. The stress of the world and having no one to lean on in his time of need made him turn to what he knew best: music. Music helped him escape the stress that the world had placed upon him. It seemed to take his mind off of things. Following the deaths of his grandparents and uncle and 2 of his cousins going to prison, he came back with a vengeance. Yung Rich returned to the scene with the stage name Yung Drama. Though he had changed his name to Yung Drama, it didn’t last long. Yung Drama didn’t define who he was as an individual. With the help of one of his teachers, they thought of the name “Drez J.” Drez J was derived from his initials DJ. Going by the stage name of Drez J, he jumped back on the scene and started making hit after hit after hit. Determined to be the next platinum-selling rap artist, Drez J is currently continuing his education of the music industry while writing and creating masterpieces. Be on the lookout for Drez J the Movement.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
DREZ J: I’m 22 and have been doing music for about 5 years. I first started getting into music in high school but I started learning how to write creatively in middle school through poetry. I love poetry. I still read it and write it to this day. The only difference now is that there is a beat behind it. I’ve never been with a group. Honestly, I know this might sound selfish, but I was more concerned about perfecting my craft. I want to be great and the way to do that is to practice like you’re great. I spent a lot of time with my headphones. Just listening and studying music. The way they deliver the lyrics, how the artist’s voice plays with the lyrics, melody, and beat of a song, what about a song makes it a million dollar record, if it was done differently how it may sound. Things of those nature helped a lot in finding myself as an artist. It takes a while but it’s well worth the wait for a dream like this. I studied business marketing in school to learn how to present and market my music as a product to the business world, not just as music. Instead of going clubbing I would spend mornings, day, and night writing music. They always say work hard and play harder but I’m still in the work hard phase of that.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
DREZ J: I want to record and release my own music because I want to tell the world my stories in my own words, in my own voice. On top of that, I tell the stories of the people I choose to be around. I lived my pain and my struggle (I still am) but when I’m done with my book, I’ll open up someone else’s book. I write music not just for me but for the people around me. So when I’m on stage performing a track, whoever’s story it is, I want them to raise their cup and see all of the people repeating the lyrics and feel like all of these people embrace my story. They are telling my story. For everyone I love, they live within my heart and eyes. I am just the mouth piece of many lives. I leave my pain on records. My pain, happiness, insecurities, fears, and excitement. I live in my music and forever will.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
DREZ J: What my songs are about? If you listen to my music you have to find the underlying truth within my songs. My songs can be about anything, you just have to listen closely. My music isn’t meant to just listen to and move on to the next track. You have to listen. I create coded messages within my music and I leave it up to the audience to decode it. I promise I don’t make it hard to understand them but it does require an open mind. That’s why you have to really listen to my music.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who is your fan base directed towards?
DREZ J: My music is directed towards everyone, but to break it down more I would say majority of my music is directed towards guys and girls who feel like rap can have intelligence in it. Music does not have to sound dumbfounded. My music is also for the ones who aren’t scared to let their real emotions out and wear it on their sleeves. Honestly I feel like that’s being real. Embrace yourself because if you don’t embrace yourself and who you are, how can anyone else? My music is all about staying true and being you. Don’t run away from the real. It takes a real G to show emotions regardless of other opinions. If you’re happy then show it; if you’re sad then show it. Its real you, I promise.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
DREZ J: Man, that’s a lot! I would say: Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Maze, Al Green definitely, Bootsy Collins, Gap Band, Drake, Common, Biggie, Jadakiss, Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Wiz Khalifa, Skyzoo, Kid Cudi, Talib Kweli, T.I., Kendrick Lamar, Cyhi The Prince, Nelly, T-Pain, Musiq, for sure J Cole that’s hometown right there, Dwele, man it’s so many, it’s crazy! But honestly I can say I have really spent time studying all of these artists’ music. I guess you can say I learned from the best! Well some of the best but nothing short of that.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
DREZ J: I would describe my music to people as sensible. Point blank, my music makes sense! I mean, I can name artists on both hands who don’t make sense when I hear them. I would also say it’s witty and clever. My music will test your thinking so be ready. I don’t say things normally. I may sound normal sometimes but like I said before, you’ll have to decode that. I always find the best way to say things differently. That’s why I read the dictionary. My mother always told me that the ultimate power is in words. My music is a brain teaser.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
DREZ J: I make sense! No joke, I don’t make up words. I use real words and use them in such a way and in such a fashion that it makes me unique.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?
DREZ J: One of my upcoming projects is a mixtape named “The Statement” that is currently in the making. No release date is official for that yet. I’m also working on a single called “Do It” which releases in October 2013.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in10 years?
DREZ J: My career goal is to be a legend. I want to produce albums that go platinum and still remain on the shelves of stores even after a year past its release date. I want a Grammy bad! I mean more than one would be nice too. The moment I receive a Grammy will be the moment that I’ll believe my dream is real. With the determination I have, it’s in my future. Also, to start my own label and put up the most for a budget to bring them out. I work hard
for the artists under me now. They follow me and I follow them. Where I see myself in 10 years is as a multi platinum artist with Grammys and all kinds of awards. I see my name as a brand within the business world and I want to explore different venues of revenue not just within music.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
DREZ J: You can contact me and access my music on twitter (@itsDrezJ), Instagram (@iamDrezJ), Facebook (www.facebook.com/itsDrezJ), Soundcloud (www.soundcloud.com/iamdrezj) .
Join my emailing list today to get new updates of music and information. You can join that on my reverbnation page (www.reverbnation.com/drezj).
I’m everywhere on the web. Just Google me. I have a BlogSpot where you can get new and exclusive music, features, and interviews from me www.DrezJWorld.blogspot.com .
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