DRAM Dives into Carefree Brilliance With ‘DRAM&B’ Release

The Hampton native discusses love, loss, and newfound creative freedom as he prepares to release his latest project and embraces independence in the music industry.

Experiencing a Zoom call with DRAM reveals his carefree spirit and fun brilliance. The Hampton, Virginia native who likes to “Cha Cha at the Latin bar” and “acquired taste for salmon on a bagel with the capers on a square plate at the restaurant with the ‘why you got to stare’ face” after achieving notoriety is definitely in a different place in his life. 

He spent the weekend eating good food, relaxing, and gearing up for the release of DRAM&B, which is set to drop on April 12. Recorded entirely at his Atlanta home, which he’s lived in for around a year, DRAM found more freedom in isolation as the house came with a studio. 

“I feel like DRAM&B is the first project since my debut where I think brightness, movement, and those kinds of energies are more so at the forefront,” said DRAM. “Reasons being the past few years have been really rough with me and I feel like my music reflects that going through a loss. 

DRAM admits that, outside of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, he was rattled by losing his mother in 2020. In that period, he dropped several projects, like 2021’s Shelley FKA DRAM and What Had Happened Was… a year later. Many fans may remember an old baby picture of him and his mother was used on his 2017 #1HappyHoliday Christmas EP. That loss affected his approach to music because of how much she supported him. 

“Looking at the analytics on my SoundCloud, my mother’s account was the number one listener of all time,” DRAM explained. “I’m talking about; she knew my words front to back and knew everything that I was doing. I really had this moment where I felt like even she would want me to be back making records that felt good and made the world feel good.”

This is what makes DRAM&B such a reinvigorating moment for DRAM, who hopes to bridge a gap between his past works and where he’s at now sonically. Lead single “Marry Me” has the singer crooning to an uptempo beat: “Because I love you more and more, day by day, my feelings grew for you /And I say, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh / What I had in mind is to give you all of me 'cause

Honestly, you're all I need.” Meanwhile, the music video shows him officiating three weddings for his fans. For DRAM, he wanted to showcase all forms of love and celebrate it in the most grand way possible. One of the couples is even same-sex. 

“I just wanted to showcase what the world is right now,” explained DRAM. “Love is a powerful thing that everyone needs to experience. If you have the joy of experiencing that, then you should be able to celebrate it no matter what you are, your preference is, walk of life, race or whatever. Do your thing.” 

Love is a throughout line with DRAM&B, including the track “Te Amo,” which has DRAM singing in Spanish to Latin guitars in a way only he knows how. Ironically, it’s also the first song he’s ever given a songwriting credit to as a co-writer. DRAM mentioned that her girlfriend’s parents were visiting, with her father, a skilled handyman, assisting with various tasks around the house as they settled in. During this time, while working on a new record with a looping beat, her father, unbeknownst to DRAM, overheard the music from the bathroom. He suggested the phrases that intrigued DRAM enough to encourage him for more lines. 

“I love foreign records, records that I don't understand, but I can feel I have anyways, neither here nor there,” said DRAM.  “So we wrote down a list of lines. So I went to those and I picked a few. We had the hook, and I'm like, alright, boom. I'm telling my girl just love statements.”

While that explosive freedom and creativity is still pumping through DRAM’s veins, he’s also been maneuvering as an indie artist as well. He spent the early moments of his rise with Atlantic Records and Empire Distribution. Now, he’s enjoying the crash course of really understanding how much involvement goes into making the wheels turn in a musical operation. That includes managing the onslaught of emails in his inbox. 

“Emails are crazy to me bro cause I don’t even know how many I get a day because it’s already intertwined with other things like Guitar Center and MAX[streaming service],” explained DRAM. “And then sometimes things can find themselves just washed in between all of the noise.”

When DRAM isn’t making music, he’s also built up a nice social media following doing random things on platforms like TikTok. Between cooking, playing the latest NBA2K (he mentioned spending $50 a month in VC), or making music, he’s just being himself, wide smile and all. He’s managed to navigate music industry politics while maintaining centeredness. From his perspective, everything is working out just fine. 

“If you f**king with me, I’m f**king with you,” said DRAM. I feel like so many things, so many blessings have happened in my life by letting things flow and moving on my own accord. Things align. People align themselves.” 

Stream DRAM&B here.

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