IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
DRE SKILLZ: I am from Greenville, Mississippi, but I have lived in Dallas, TX the majority of my life.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
DRE SKILLZ: My music background consists of classical piano, both classes and self-taught, since the age of nine years old.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
DRE SKILLZ: Whether composing instrumentals or writing and performing lyrics, I find inspiration and subject matter in my own personal experiences of joy and pain, as well as in the struggles and triumphs of those closest to me or who have affected me strongly.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your favorite song to perform and why?
DRE SKILLZ: My favorite song to perform is “I Shot The Grim Reaper”, something I wrote and produced and performed years ago; it’s about a failed relationship that I had struggled to overcome and how I managed to do so finally. It’s an elaborate metaphor in which I compare the woman who broke my heart (killed me) to the Grim Reaper.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What has surprised you the most in the pursuit of a career in music?
DRE SKILLZ: The biggest surprise for me has been the sheer number of uber-talented artists who are ignored by labels and major artists simply because they don’t know how to market themselves, and who end up sacrificing their originality in order to have a chance. You can be both unique and marketable. It’s not just black or white.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
DRE SKILLZ: Man! Timbaland, Prince, Kanye West, Michael Jackson, The Fugees, Deadmau5, Skrillex, and of course, Beethoven.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
DRE SKILLZ: I’m a producer and composer first and foremost; I would describe my music as an edgy take on pop/hip-hop music with heavy influences from classical piano and the rave scene. I take sounds you’re used to hearing in other genres and bring them to something you can bob your head to, and lyrically my music is always meant to make you think a little harder than you’re used to.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
DRE SKILLZ: I’m in this for the love of the music, and music is just the way I express myself best. Every beat I make gives me joy, and is an expression of personal emotion and it is absolutely crucial that I reach for those emotions every time or I won’t make the track. I’m never on autopilot, never making music just to be making music. I think that sets me apart from many.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What would you like to see changed in today’s music industry?
DRE SKILLZ: I would like to see more opportunities given for independent producers to make connections with established major artists. Unknown producers often have industry-level and even game-changing production, but the number of hoops and monetary obstacles the gatekeepers throw at these producers, in the end, actually hurts the major artists; they’re missing out on number one hits.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects that you are currently working on?
DRE SKILLZ: I’m working on a beat mixtape right now, which will be dropping soon via a couple of different platforms, as well as a promotional single which I will be producing and rapping on as well. I just created a new membership based website for the young rappers who are just starting out and don’t have the money to pay for beats in the traditional way; instead, members pay 14.95 a month and have access to an archive of beats I’ve created, with new ones added each week. And as always, I’m producing for up and coming artists around the world, like Problem Child, The Venom King, and even Young Altitude. The big boys have already begun to notice and start whispering, and it’s only a matter of time before they’re at my door.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
DRE SKILLZ: I want to build an empire of beats and production, becoming a multimillionaire entrepreneur involved in much more than just music. I intend to become a household name like Kanye West. I also want to meet and work with Kanye West! Yeezy inspired me to take my musical talents into beat making and watching his career has only encouraged me to strive towards becoming just as great or greater. In ten years I want to be Scott Storch of the new generation! I’m shooting for the top.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
DRE SKILLZ: You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or at my Facebook page Dre Skillz Productions. You can also hit my personal Facebook profile Dre Skillz, or send me an email via dreskillz.com. Also, look for Dre Skillz on sound cloud (soundcloud.com/dreskillz), and of course, my new site for the up and coming rappers on a budget, www.beatsking.com.
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