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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week – Drea
Monday, May 26, 2008

Everyone once in a while it’s good to calm down and chill out with some jazzier fare. This is where an artist like Drea comes in. Drea came to my attention through the folks at Blowout Lounge (you might remember Blowout Lounge’s Renee Sebastian from last week’s Artist Of The Week feature). Originally from Alabama, Drea grew up singing in the church. Her career took a turn, however, in 2004 when she moved to Long Island and joined a rock band. It was at this point that she decided to finally learn some music theory and went up to Massachusetts to the Boston University School of Music to study for her doctorate in Music Education. With a head full of knowledge and a life full of influences she went into the studio to record her debut album, Love Affair, which was released in early 2008. This week I sat down with Drea to find out more about her work both in front of the mic and behind the boards, why fitting in is of no concern to her, and what she feels she’s gained as an artist from her experiences with higher education.

Adam Bernard: When did you know music was going to be your path in life?
Drea: The minute I began accompanying my first artist, my dad, to different churches I knew music would be a big part of my life. I was recognized as the girl that played piano. My dad and I would go all over the place and I began playing for other people if they needed a musician. Once I entered college I would produce some local R&B and Hip-Hop artists and then I joined a rock band when I moved to Long Island in 2004. In everything that I aspired to do music would be the one thing that people would connect me to.

Adam Bernard: From what I've read you've worked with some impressive names, including some Grammy nominated Gospel songwriters. What have you taken away from each of those experiences?
Drea: I think the one thing I've learned from those experiences is to never stop learning. When working with artists that are experienced and good at what they do you can learn so much. No matter how good you may think you are there's always room for improvement and growth. Work on your gift by learning as much as you can about it.

Adam Bernard: When it comes to your own sound, how would you describe it and how did you develop it?
Drea: I like to call my sound Soul Cinematic because my music is like going through the experience of watching a movie with the different emotions it ignites. It has elements of smooth jazz and gospel at the surface of it. This came from my time playing in churches. I also was majorly influenced by a teacher who encouraged my creativity. She was a jazz musician and she was classically trained, as well. She would allow me to create songs and improvise. There are also elements of Hip-Hop and Rock in my music from my experiences producing Hip-Hop artists and playing in a rock band. At the core of the music is what I was feeling at the time of creating it. I try to approach my music from the emotion it inspires, whether it be writing about a break-up, heartache, or finding someone new, its raw emotion.

Adam Bernard: When I listen to your music I get the feeling you have a lot of old school influences. Whose music gets you excited and why?
Drea: That's a hard one because there is so much music that I am exposed to now that I love to listen to. I love everything from Brazilian Jazz to Hip-Hop. Stevie Wonder is an old school artist that I love. He's been around for a long time and his music is timeless and priceless. What he did for music is amazing. He has a gift of uniting people and bringing people joy. I also like old school artists like Elton John, The Jacksons, Prince and Teddy Riley. Eric Benet gets me excited because he's so sensual and smooth. I also love Janet because she's hot and she's known for giving spectacular shows.

Adam Bernard: Where do you feel you fit in when it comes to today’s musical landscape, and is fitting in even of any importance to you?
Drea: I think I fit in with the independent artists who are not trying to fit in. I think true artists are not aspiring to fit in, but aspire to be true to their intent and the message they’re trying to convey. These are artists, in my opinion, that are the most fulfilled because there is a certain conviction and passion to being true. There was a time where this was not as visible because of the industry, but the industry has changed so much it hardly even exists now. There is a new emergence of independent talent and music out there that's finally being discovered. So as an artist, I do not feel it is important in trying to fit in because the whole purpose of artistry is to create.

Adam Bernard: Finally, I know you have a number of degrees from institutes of higher learning; how do you feel those degress have aided you as a musician?
Drea: I think they've taught me about discipline and opportunity. Education opens the door to limitless opportunities. It takes a lot of discipline and focus. Without education, and I've seen this so many times, people remain stuck, but once you're focused and you constantly educate yourself, whether it be real world or school, you can qualify yourself for the multiple endless opportunities. Opportunity is limitless.

Related Links

MySpace: myspace.com/sounddoc2
Website: sounddocentertainment.com


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:43 AM  
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