ONE-ON-ONE With Canada’s R&B Singer and Songwriter DRU
He first arrived on the Canadian scene in 2004 as part of a music group called Essence. Four years later he released his solo project. DRU is still on a mission to have his voice heard worldwide as he gets ready to release his new project this year. Let's bring love and emotions back into r&b music.
ONETEN Magazine: Please let our readers know who you are? Hello, my name is Dru and I'm an award-winning Rnb artist from Toronto, Canada.
ONETEN Magazine: What drew you to the music industry? When I was 9 years old my older brother told me I had a good voice, I was hooked ever since.
ONETEN Magazine: Now you got your first taste of success as the lead singer of an R&B group called In Essence. How did you guys come together? 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 5. We always knew it would be 5 of us because we based it off the new edition.
ONETEN Magazine: You guys released your debut album “The Master Plan” which earned a JUNO Award, MuchMusic Award, and a SOCAN #1 Award (for the club hit, “You Will Never Find”) in 2004. How did that feel coming out of the gate? It felt amazing, we were so happy it felt like we had finally proven ourselves, and we were taken seriously.
ONETEN Magazine: You released your first solo album in 2008 called “The One”. What made you want to become a solo artist? And what did you learn from being in a group that helped you as a solo artist? I had always planned to do a solo project, but when BMG dropped their whole urban roster I had to make a choice quickly. I had just had a baby girl and I was worried about providing. So I took the chance and recorded a solo album independently. I grew up a very shy kid, so being in the group helped me break out of my shyness and really, take this solo career by the horns. It felt great to take complete control of my career and my life.
ONETEN Magazine: Who are you inspired by? I'm inspired by Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Jay Z, Biggie, Usher, Frank Ocean, Boyz2men, Jodeci to name a few.
ONETEN Magazine: Please explain your creative process: I like to really, feel the moment. Me and my producer / Biz partner Steve Dorego aka Hollywoodpro usually choose a concept to write about based on something in our lives, then we start messing with sound ideas for the vibe of the song. As soon as we get some chords going and some drums, I start freestyling out loud, I go in the both and continue freestyling on the mic not overthinking lyrics at all, just melody. We listen back to the melody then start to place lyrics in for the chorus. Usually, after the chorus is recorded the rest of the song just writes itself. If ever we hit a roadblock we stop and move on, we never spend too long trying to force an idea.
ONETEN Magazine: What’s an average day like for you? I wake up usually around 7 am, I meditate for an hour, I work out for about 45 mins. I check emails and voicemails, I contact Hollywoodpro and management to discuss what's on the agenda for the day. Depending on what time of the year it is my days can vary, I could be recording, having meetings with the Effortless Ent team to plan the next release, planning marketing and roll-out of the new album THE REBIRTH 2020 or we could be editing the new video for YNF which will be released 1st week of May 2020. We are also in the middle of planning my European tour. I'm also a single Dad with a 15-year-old daughter so you better believe I gotta have a cooked meal on the table for dinner, so I also like to cook. My day ends with another meditation before going to sleep. My days vary so much but I like to get the most out of every day.
ONETEN Magazine: What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? Why? I love to create, making something out of thin air. You walk in the studio with an idea and leave with a song, it's like magic. I’m not a big fan of social media, and as an artist that has to focus on building a brand, it's very important to be active. It's a constant struggle pushing myself to talk to a camera on my phone but I'm working on it.
ONETEN Magazine: Who would you most like to collaborate with? I would love to work with Stevie Wonder, he is an ICON / LEGEND.
ONETEN Magazine: What are some of the challenges you see you have to overcome to get to the next level? I don’t see things as challenges anymore, if I stay consistent and stick to my guns I will get to where I need to be. As artists, we now have almost everything we need to succeed right at our fingertips. It's completely up to us, how bad do you want it?
ONETEN Magazine: What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career? Good question, I think I would probably be in the Cannabis Industry.
ONETEN Magazine: You just released your new highly anticipated single “YNF” what does that stand for? Also, tell us more about the single. IN Essences biggest hit was our song “ You’ll Never Find” released in 2000 in the US, its the 20th anniversary of that song, so to page hommage to our cult classic I remade it and rewrote the verses to be relevant for today and made it my 1st release to start the rebirth and named it YNF. You will never find another love like mine, it's pretty self-explanatory what the meaning is lol.