Five-time Grammy award winner, The-Dream, embodies more than a knack for good music, or an ear for a hit.
After one conversation, it became evident that I was dealing with a cerebral artist who has had time to reflect and grow.
During my one-on-one interview with The-Dream, he shared some interesting perspectives on matters such as releasing new music, marketing that music and healing from situations beyond his control. I would share this in hopes that artist, musicians and grinders everywhere consider applying these concepts to their everyday behavior — their commitment to being great. Here’s what I learned from the Radio Killah.
Consider consumer behavior and mesh it with an out-of-the box marketing idea. With his latest double EP, Crown/Jewel, The-Dream is taking a marketing risk and pushing his music outside of normal business procedure. Instead of releasing his album with an overreaching buzz and built-up anticipation of the project, The-Dream sets the tone with the understanding being, his music is worth marinating on. The double EP will consist of two separate, very different albums, with a half of a dozen songs each. Crown will be released on March 31 and Jewel to follow June 2nd.
“The double EP came on the far front that people consume records so fast now that I wanted to break my album in half and that way give people a little time in between to get into the albums.” The-Dream said.
In action, we will get to witness a boss move such as this and we will get to see if he is successful. Regardless of the outcome of his unique strategy, we know one thing is for sure. The-Dream believes whole-heartedly that people will appreciate the respect that he demands. He believes the effect will be just as grand as if he released the albums as one whole.
“I think when you start driving people, or trying to push them into doing something usually you have a bad response. The best thing to do is do the best or greatest thing you can do within your talent. People respond to that…they still do. I don’t think people are dumb.” He explained.
Always stay True to your art, your self and your dream.
Although he has been mentioned for his part in other major hit records, and projects, it’s been a while since we’ve heard new music from The-Dream — music that is his own. He has not released a solo project since his 2013 album, “IV Play”. He has recently left Def Jam as an artist and is now releasing works under his own label Contra Paris. A place where he can release the art he wants to share with the world.
“Crown is more of the consistent Dream, more so what I’ve grown to,” said a humbled singer. “But Jewel on the other side is more so my ideas that I usually would give away.”
The-Dream, if nothing else, continues to prove that he is the epitome of an artist, a musician rather. He and long-time partner, Tricky Stewart, have also teamed up on an all vinyl treat, Gods of Analog. Even after the game starts to change and more entertainers blur the lines that divide R&B and Hip-Hop, The-Dream remains true to his talent.
“R&B doesn’t mean the same as it did when I was kid. It means something else,” The-Dream said. [R&B artists] are trying to get out of the category of where R&B has gone. So I think I would market myself as a musician/songwriter, rather just an R&B singer.”
When burned out, let your music be the restoration you need. Over the past few years we’ve learned about The-Dream in so many other scenarios other than music — accusations that could break the lover-boy image, as well as, disappointing many fans. Yet, we see a very happy Dream with his newly-wedded wife. He sets the bar, and protects his happiness. He is unbothered.
“My music has a lot to do with it, its therapy in its own. I think it helps me to understand things in a way a normal person couldn’t,” he said. “[People] don’t have that much time to talk and write out [their] feelings or get behind a mic and pour [their] emotions into a device, to the world and share it with the world. So that’s one of my blessings in disguised to be able to do that.”
By allowing his music to be an outlet for the emotions he could not express. He is able to think through situations and understand them, learn from them even.
“It’s not that I’m overall over it and I can just turn the page. It’s just that I am able to understand it. That’s the most I can hope from when you’re trying to get out of a place and be healed.”