DROR Talks Snapchat Fame & His New Single, "Tryna Be"
Texas-based multi-talented artist, Dror, has worked hard to carve out a place for himself in the music industry. From gaining fast notoriety after a feature on The University of Texas at Austin’s Snapchat Campus Story, to hitting Amazon charts, this old school-R&B-pop artist knows exactly who he is and who he is not.
“Being stuck in a routine was never easy for me because I knew I could contribute to so much more.”
Dror has worked with many of Sony Music’s biggest acts, fueling marketing and social media strategy for artists ranging from Diplo to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to H.E.R. Now, he’s ready to step into the spotlight to debut his new hit single, “Tryna Be”, that emphasizes the importance of breaking social norms.
Check out our exclusive interview with the Snapchat breakthrough artist Dror below, as he talks about his transition into the music industry.
Tell me about the Snapchat clip that went viral on the The University of Texas at Austin’s Snapchat Campus Story. Was that your big breakthrough?
When I started college, Snapchat was at its peak and piloting their Campus Story feature at our school. It became a huge deal and students would tune into the story religiously in class everyday to see what was posted. I saw a really big opportunity to try and start a career of some sort. I was in my dorm one day and I crafted this hook about UT that got onto the Campus Story. I didn’t think anything of it until people tweeted about it, wrote about it on YikYak, and that’s when I realized I had to turn it into something more. About three years ago, I gathered some of my friends on the football team to be in this music video for my song “Put ‘Em Up,” and it ended up gaining national coverage. It was super cool and was my first attempt with anything music related.
There’s obviously a big message around the story of your first single “Tryna Be”. Can you tell me a little about it?
It was really important to me that my debut single had a strong message. I wanted to show people exactly who I am and I wanted this first debut to set the tone for everything moving forward.
“Tryna Be” is just as much introspective as it is a wakeup call for people who have always known that I wanted to go into music. Being in college was super stressful for me at times because I always felt that I had to be in this specific routine and be in the scene of going out and partying on repeat—same people and same conversations. Being stuck in a routine was never easy for me because I knew I could contribute to so much more. This song is about feeling like you don’t fit in, but then looking around and realizing that you want more than just the social norms. I felt like there were so many people around me that were not necessarily passionate about anything and worried about the wrong things—that’s what this song is trying to portray. It doesn’t matter what your surroundings are, or who you are, you just need to know exactly what you want in order to dictate your own future.
What was the collaborative process like?
It took me a while to find the right producer to interpret exactly the direction I was going for. I ended up linking up with a friend of mine Justin F. Johnson, out of Nashville. It was super awesome to experiment with my sound and figure out exactly what type of artist I am. It’s this kind of R&B blend with pop, but at the same time, heavily influenced by Hip Hop and soul.
So you’re newly stepping into the musical spotlight—how has being in the industry affected your daily lifestyle?
This is definitely my plan A. There’s no plan B. I used to work with Sony Music where I helped different artists with their social media and marketing campaigns for their releases and that has been a huge help for me personally. I wake up every single day and this is what I’m thinking about. I’m either working on visuals, writing, or trying to meet people in the industry. I realized that you definitely have to be very entrepreneurial. If you want this, you have to be thinking about this 24/7. It is a constant hustle which I love and have come to fully understand.
Your music exemplifies such a unique and individual style of R&B that’s super experimental.
Yeah—it fits into this new modern R&B wave that’s infiltrating Pop. If you look at artists like Khalid or SZA, they have a traditional R&B sound, but that music has become more mainstream as R&B and Hip Hop have become more popular. I look at it as this kind of soulful, pop sound.
Do you write your own music?
One hundred percent of it.
Any musical influences?/ Any future collaborations coming up?
I’d say several songs by Sam Cooke and Amy Winehouse helped shape the soulful influence in my sound, while more modern R&B, hip hop artists ranging from Usher to Neyo were the soundtrack to my childhood. Those musical influences paired with legends like Elvis and Freddie Mercury are the type of captivating performer and showman I aspire to be.
It was important to me that the first batch of songs that I released had minimal collaborations to best present my own sound and introduce my vision accurately. Since most of those key tracks are wrapping up or complete, I’ve now begun talks with other artists and producers that I really look up to about possible collaborations on future records.
I am releasing my next single this week actually, it’s called “Cookie Cutter”. Similar to my first song, it’s about not fitting into the norm. But this next track goes a little deeper into my childhood and how I felt when I was growing up. It pushes back on a cycle that drives me crazy; you go to college, move back to your hometown, get a 9-5 that you’re not passionate about, marry and have kids with people you’ve always known, and repeat. That idea doesn’t sit well with me and is not the future I want. This next song reflects that and looks into the idea of growing up in such a tight knit community, and then breaking out of it.
Images courtesy of Adraint Bereal
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