The Come Up: Dreezy Prepares for Stardom
Dreezy, the multitalented rapper from Chicago has been steadily growing over the last two years, and it's paying off big time. Her hit single, "Body" featuring Jeremih, currently sits at No. 62 on the Billboard Hot 100 and looks promising to continue to climb up the chart. She's got her sights set on making it to the top.
Breaking out in 2014 with the mixtape Schizo, Dreezy's popularity took her to new heights after unleashing her remix of Nicki Minaj's "ChiRaq." Common put her on the track "Hustle Harder" from his Nobody's Smiling LP and soon enough, the labels started calling.
Powerful vocals as a singer and ruthless bars as a rapper make Dreezy, born Seandrea Sledge, the complete package. Interscope Records recognized this and offered her a deal, which she gladly accepted in late 2014. She kept the momentum going by dropping the Call It What You Want mixtape in July 2015 and From Now On EP in December 2015.
With each project, Dreezy's growth can clearly be heard. From a more versatile sound to her lyrics, the young upstart is looking to make her mark in music in 2016. While in New York City, the 22-year-old stopped by XXL's office to talk about her evolution as an artist, becoming more independent and her plans to drop a mixtape and debut album this year.
XXL: Your growth from project to project has been incredible. What do you credit that with?
Dreezy: I think just getting signed with the label; [Interscope Records] brought a lot of sounds. I think before I got signed I didn’t realize how big my sound was or how far I can take it. I still don’t. But when I got to the label they would just have me try different stuff. Like the Terrace Martin record, I would've never did nothing like that. The “Body” record, same way, they brought that track too. It came out dope. I’m just trying stuff every day. I want to have a versatile sound; I just don’t want to have one sound.
Why were you unsure before?
It wasn’t that I was unsure I was just closed-minded. I was in Chicago and working with one producer and he’s dope and he’s well rounded but I was never trying this other stuff so I never did it before.
What was the day like when you got signed?
I had to sign a lot of papers [laughs]. It was a thick stack of papers. I went to a lot of labels and I still feel like I made a good decision. I was listening to how people were talking to me. I went to one label and she’s on her phone and moving stuff around, she’s not listening to the music. It’s like even if she did want to sign me I don’t really feel comfortable. When I went to Interscope, Joie [Manda] was already on it. He’s looking at me like, “I want the next big female rapper, can you do that?” He was about his business. He told me what he wants to do and he believed in me.
2015, how was that year for you?
Terrible, just a lot of bad stuff. I was really trying to figure myself out. I’ve been living in L.A. by myself, I just had to grow up real fast to get used to the industry life.
With you living by yourself, what did you see within yourself that you needed to change?
I came in with a whole crew; it’s just me now. I found out a lot of people are fake, a lot of people was around for the wrong reasons. I found out some people are thieves. I lost my boyfriend; I’m not with him no more. I just really had to be independent. I always been independent, I just had to be about me. That’s what my daddy was basically teaching me anyway. You got to be selfish; you can’t worry about everybody else. I was worried about the producer, I was worried about my boyfriend, I was worried by my friends, my family.
I learned when you get your money you can’t help everybody. You got to take care of yourself first because there are people making more money than me that’s asking me for stuff. I‘m young, adults asking me for stuff. I got to get myself straight first before I go broke trying to help other people that ain’t finna reach a hand back.
But I think it’s good because I was too dependent on people. I just matured. I feel like I’m on a whole other level.
How did all this affect your music?
It affected my music in a lot of ways. My subject, what I talk about more. I think It’s harder to write when you living life. I used to just write just to write. Now I’m like going through real life and I got to write about these things and deal with it at the same time. It’s stressful. I just lost my best friend. Everybody saying, “Get back on your ball," and "You got to go back in and write.” It’s hard.
How do you get through that?
I’m still working through it. I had to take a little break. I came into the new year like I’m ready then my friend passed literally the next day. That set me back but I’m getting through it. At the end of the day I just felt like I got a purpose. I know what I’m supposed to be doing; I just got to do it. It’s a whole lot of distractions and stuff going on but [I’m in] tunnel vision. I just got to focus, that’s it. Everything is going to fall into place and stay prayed up and do right by people in my life. I just eliminate a lot of the things that were pulling me down. But I’m cool. I’mma be good.
What was the turning point for you to be the person you are now?
When I moved out of my momma house and dropped out of college. I moved out my momma house, went to college then I moved back in with her. We kept bumping heads because I was trying to get my music off the ground but I had dropped out of college. She was mad about that. She helped me get a job but I had ended up quitting the job and she got mad about that. Eventually I just left. From that point on, I just started to do everything on my own because I already knew what I wanted to do in life. They didn’t really understand it. I wanted to live my life how I wanted to live. That’s when things changed.
What do you have planned for 2016?
Hopefully my album comes out this year. I’m going to do everything I can to get it out this year. Before my album comes out I want to drop a tape. I got everything planned. I’m doing everything I said I was going to do.
What’s the end goal for you for your career? What does the light at the end of the tunnel look like?
I really want to travel and live my life and be the greatest at what I do. I want to really be able to live my life. I want to be cool, be happy and my family be straight.
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