DRAM Interview: "I do what feels right."
The Virginia-based rapper makes his Oz debut at Falls Festival later in the year.
Words by Jackson Lavell-Lee.
For all those not familiar with 29-year-old Virginia rapper DRAM, he’s coming in very hot from his latest studio album BIG BABY D.R.A.M. for the national Falls Festival tour over the New Year's period. To mark the incoming good times we sent DRAM a few questions, and turns out the man loves working hard in the studio. So much so he’s given Juicy J pointers, leading to collabs with Pretty Flacko, the one and only A$AP ROCKY, Nautica, Lil Yachty, Donnie Trumpet and SZA, and when he found some time from his busy schedule we talked musical inspiration, his background and assless pants, check it below.
Hey man, how you doing? I hope your recording sessions have been going well! I’ll start simple to kick us off, have you been to Australia before?
Nope, I’ve never been before, I just heard it was fun!
Dope man, hopefully we can deliver on the party vibe. What are the major inspirations behind your music?
Main influence would be the mind-state that the captain of the mothership, George Clinton, had. Just to be free, free with yourself, free with your music, keep the funk alive. Many many people exhibit this but George Clinton for sure is the main one.
Give us a little bit of your back story, how did you get into music?
All my life I’ve been wanting to make music. I’ve been singing ever since I could remember. I always wanted to put myself in situations where I could showcase myself singing and performing in general.
What does your name stand for?
Does.Real.Ass.Music. Shout out to Sean at LVRN! He thought it would be funny having it be more of a statement so I was like sure let’s do it!
What genre do you classify your music as? I think it’s like buzz/RnB, it’s a blend and do you use auto tune?
As far as genre, I’m gonna go with what you say! And yes but very sparingly.
So Gilligan with A$AP has been a pretty damn successful song - I love the trashy throwback of old Gilligan’s Island… so what inspired that track, the lyrics, the beat?
I had walked into a Juicy J session to do a hook for him on a completely different record and had walked on the early stages of the beat being made. I started giving out pointers and shit and basically built it out to the point where I was like “damn, this shit is cool” and it just came in to my head. I really don’t put much theory into all my music. I do what feels right and do what comes to me and whatever sticks, sticks. I just put the additional glue around it and make that bond even tighter!
Let’s talk about the video clip too, it's pretty damn weird but great?
It’s all Nadia Lee Cohen’s idea, shout out to that magnificent lady because she gave a concept and idea, sent the treatment randomly outta nowhere and everything came to life, exactly the way it was supposed to.
Your album from last year has been a great success, I wanted to touch on Cash Machine, is that song realistic or written as something you aspire to?
Nah, it’s literally from a real life experience. I was sitting in the session with Wallpaper and my guy Nigil shows me the phone, and it’s a large amount of money. He says “this amount of money just dropped in your bank account today.” I was expecting my check from the label when I first signed so when that shit came in and as soon as I saw the money, I was inspired to do the song and did it that same day.