DeAndre – It’s His Time!
By Lexi Lewis, Entertainment Contributor
Truth Records’ hot new singing sensation, DeAndre, released his debut single, “Her Crazy,”. This single is sizzling with a little reggae undertone that captures you from the very start of the song to the very last note. It was produced by the multi-Grammy-nominee, Cutfather.
You may remember DeAndre (“Dre”) from American Idol in 2012 where his exceptional vocals landed him a Top 10 finalist spot. I had to opportunity to sit down with DeAndre to talk a little about the new song, the video and him.
“This song is a new vibe for me,” he says. “It’s a song about being in a relationship; when you can’t stop thinking about her and it drives you crazy – that’s basically what it’s about. This song was given to me so I didn’t have any input in writing the song but I could relate to it.”
This up-and-coming artist filmed his video for “Her Crazy” in Malibu and Venice Beach, Calif., in April of this year under the direction of acclaimed film director, James Cox (Wonderland).
“It was my first music video, and it was different” he recalls. “I came out of my comfort zone when it came to a few things, but it was a lot of fun and long hours. We shot it from 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. the next morning, but I would love to do another one.”
With any debut single release, there is usually an accompanying release party to celebrate the accomplishment. DeAndre’s was right here in Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay loves DeAndre and has embraced him since Idol and after his stellar performance at the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival in January of this year. Black Women Business Owners Executives and Entrepreneurs (BWBOEE) and the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival teamed up to co-host the single release party for DeAndre on June 19 at Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI).
DeAndre is young, handsome and extremely talented. However, when asked what image and/or reputation would he like to set for himself, he said “Not in any particular way; I just want fans to see Dre. I’m fun, cool, a nice person and not a goodie-two-shoes. Each time I see a fan or when I am on Ustream I try to really bring my personality out so people can see who Dre is; I didn’t get to really do that on the show (‘American Idol’).”
Asked what the word “family” means to him, Deandre got serious.
“Oh my goodness, it means the world to me! I wouldn’t be here without my family because my family is my biggest supporter– and not just blood-related family,” he says. “Family is the people that surround you with love; the people who support you like my hula family, my friends are my family, my DreDreamer family – they mean everything to me and are a part of my life. If it weren’t for my parents and all the people I consider family, I wouldn’t be who I am today, I wouldn’t have the things I have or be where I am today. Family is my life next to God.”
“And, like I said, my fans are my family, and I want them to know who I am so every other day or so I try to get on Ustream to reach out to them. If you’re supporting someone, you want to know who they are, and I want to know my fans, too. When I meet a fan or DreDreamer at a concert, I will sit and talk to them for what seems like days; I’ll be the last one out! Even if I meet someone who is not a DreDreamer, after speaking with them, I hope they’re a DreDreamer at the end of the day.”
DeAndre’s style is unique because of his diverse background and the people who inspire him musically, including Miguel,Maxwell and Justin Timberlake.
He has said he wants his musical style to be a mix of R&B and Reggae, so I wondered if we can expect some of that on the album. He replied “Honestly it is up to the label but hopefully I will get a little Dre in there because it’s going to be a little more contemporary; but, the second album for sure.”
I asked him what he feels like when he is singing or what goes through his mind. “When I’m going up to sing my first song, I wonder if the fans are going to boo me or not because I’m so nervous. By the second song I’m having fun. I’m not a big slow song singer, so I’m trying to have fun and keep people dancing and being in a good mood.”
Many artists would love to tour with specific artist if they could. DeAndre said “I would love to go on tour with Justin Timberlake. Like said, I fell in love with his new album!” And not only would they love to tour with certain artists, but also collaborate on future music. “I’m working with Eric Benet’s people, so hopefully that would be one person but my dream would be Patti LaBelle because that’s my girl. I based my vibrato off of her when I was a kid.”
Since American Idol, DeAndre has been busy working , but he’s also taken some time to write some songs. To date, he has written 18 songs he says are about “Personal experiences with family and things I hear from my friends.”
I’d like to send a special thank you to those DreDreamers who submitted questions for this interview. And thanks,DeAndre, for the opportunity to interview you. You have a wonderful spirit, you are humble, you are incredibly gifted, and you are loved by your “family.”
DeAndre’s single is available now on iTunes. You can purchase your copy today at www.iTunes.com For more information go to www.truthrecordsllc.com.
Article written by Lexi Lewis for Destination Tampa Bay magazine