Chicago R&B duo DRAMA were nice enough to chat with us on the eve of their Saturday performance at The Underground Music Showcase.
Ultra5280: If you could sum up the essence of Drama what would it be?
DRAMA: The essence of drama is creating the concept of originality, art and feeling. In general, we’re friends who were brought together by way of music that is way bigger than us. We didn’t know what to expect when we started sharing our art, but our mission was always to love everything we put out and connect with people and their day to day feelings. If you listen to our songs, our hope is that you might find one that will strike an emotional chord.
Ultra5280: Tell us about your music influences. What styles have the biggest pull when you’re creating your music?
Via: Sade and Drake. 100% smooth, simple, clever, relatable and impactful.
Na’el: I gain my influence from many different producers of various different skill sets. Pharrell for his drums, Kanye for his sampling chops, Jon Brion for his beautiful arrangements and overall production. I could go on, but I’ll leave it there for now.
Ultra5280: What was the hardest song to write and why?
Via: Our new single ‘Give No Fucks’ for sure. The beat is unlike anything we’ve done and the process was relatively unorthodox for me. When writing a song, I usually spend a good amount of time listening to the music before words form. GNF came together relatively quickly. The majority of my lyrics come from a dark and cold places of mourning and loss which, for me, help songs write themselves. GNF musically felt like a party everyone was trying to get into, I didn’t even know where to begin. So I had to picture what that might feel like and “what would Pharrell and Bruno Mars do” and let just let it flow.
Ultra5280: I would say my favorite genre of music is sad dance tunes. Why do you think listeners gravitate towards sad dance music?
DRAMA: The same reason the earth is dying but the flowers are still blooming… life goes on.
Ultra5280: What can we expect from your live performance this weekend at UMS?
DRAMA: Lots and lots of love and laughs, possibly some tears and some make out session in the audience… haha. It’s an emotional rollercoaster with us. You gotta come expecting to experience the ride.
Ultra5280: What’s the next move for Drama?
DRAMA: A lot of touring! We’ll be on the road this fall with SG Lewis in North America and back across the pond for some shows in Europe. Looking forward to also releasing our first full album in 2020! :)