WHO IS D.R.E.?
Many people deem “#luv” as the first work of musical art for DeAndreá E. Riddick aka D.R.E., but what they don’t know is that he actually got his start as a young child in the fifth grade. After being asked which instrument he’d like to learn to play, he requested drums, and was denied that option by his mother. I’m sure anyone can imagine why. Instead, she insisted he choose a more tolerable instrument and that is when he opted for the violin. Once again to his dismay, he was denied that choice (this time by the music store clerk) who claimed DeAndreá’s arms were too long for the instrument. The beautiful viola was then introduced to him.
Over the years as he learned and began to master the viola, DeAndreá joined several organizations where he played competitions across the state of Missouri and won many awards. One being the Cameron Youth Orchestra, an all African-American string orchestra and another being the St. Louis Youth Symphony Orchestra where he enjoyed third chair placement in 1995. In addition, DeAndreá sang tenor in his church choir and self-taught himself to play his grandma’s piano.
Through college, DeAndreá minored in music studies and became president of Miami University of Ohio’s gospel choir. This further developed his managerial skills which proved necessary when he helped manage, create and sing with friends on numerous occasions.
Fast forward to 2020, D.R.E. found himself fully immersed in music business after a visit to Sawhorse Recording Studios where his friend, CURTIS was already hard at work creating his latest album, “Love… Life.” He thought he was there to spectate until he was bombarded with questions from CURTIS regarding the creative direction of that particular recording session. It was soon after when D.R.E. was asked to participate further on the project.
On two of the album’s songs, D.R.E. sang background on “Back In The Day (Kinda Luv)” and “Last Song.” He had been asked to provide vocals after showcasing his technical ability assisting in song building and structure. CURTIS had yet another idea in mind for D.R.E. when he asked him to record a song with him. The background gig was CURTIS’ way of preparing D.R.E. for the duet. He obliged and that is when the hugely successful “#luv” began its creation. Both CURTIS and D.R.E. listened to a plethora of music tracks over the course of days while narrowing the search down to just one. Once “the track” was found and agreed upon, CURTIS asked D.R.E. what he’d like to write and sing about. Since the overall theme of “Love… Life” was love and life, D.R.E. said they should write and sing about love.
They both took the song and began writing. CURTIS returned a day later to share a verse and working chorus with D.R.E. He liked what he heard and began to follow in kind with an additional verse with technical notes. They spent days rehearsing together before they finally laid their vocals in the recording booth. Another song was born in the form of “#luv.”
The Successful Artist
In time both artists realized how impactful and enjoyable the song would become. And for D.R.E.’s first time, he certainly performed well with his writing, singing, and overall musical genius. From the first moments in the studio only as a visitor to the level of guest performer, CURTIS instilled a lot of trust in D.R.E. with his friendship and his musical ability. Ultimately this resulted in D.R.E. being asked to executive produce the entire “Love… Life” album project, which he graciously accepted. With this role, he has helped CURTIS navigate the tough waters of music business in the midst of a global pandemic. He has facilitated photo and video shoots, networking parties and most importantly helped CURTIS land his biggest hit to date with almost 100,000 Spotify streams alone.
It’s safe to say that little brown boy playing the viola has turned into a force to be reckoned with as a successful singer/songwriter, producer, director and business man. Outside of music, D.R.E. enjoys traveling, meeting people and experiencing all the world has to offer.
Now that you know much more about DeAndreá E. Riddick aka D.R.E., listen to three songs from CURTIS’ “Love… Life” album featuring his talent.