DREER is back on Full Flex Audio, and is ready to answer some of our questions in the first artist Q&A of 2021! You can also pre-save his upcoming EP on FFA, 'Serial EP', at the end of this blog post 💾🔪
1. Welcome back onto Full Flex Audio, DREER! We’re already a month into 2021, how has the first month of this new year been for you so far?
"Hey there, it feels great to be back! My first month has been quite interesting personally and professionally, I'm in the process of moving house for example but that hasn't stopped me from being able to write music throughout the month as per the usual!"
2. For those that are new to the DREER name, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you arrived onto the dubstep scene?
"This question always is tricky to answer because it's hard to point to one moment and be like "that one, that's the reason". I've been an avid listener of the music since high-school and saw the rise of household names in that period (names like Skrillex, Zomboy, Eptic, Must Die, just to rattle off a few), I guess you could say then that I've wanted to be involved since at least 7 years ago, or to be more accurate: when Skrillex's Bangarang EP dropped.
The real turning point for me when I started producing four years ago was the works of Midnight Tyrannosaurus, particularly his collaborations with Dubloadz, his general flow and atmosphere in his tracks, and (perhaps more apparently) his deep dubstep tracks. Since then it's felt very natural to be in the style and corner of the scene that I'm in; it feels like a perfect fit!"
3. Is there a meaning behind the name, DREER?
"So the name "DREER" probably took me the better part of the year of 2019 to create, I used to be under the alias name, "White Crow", which was my old DJ handle in the years leading up. However my high-schooler brain didn't take into account hindsight and I wanted to give my music a more meaningful ground to create music and art from so I started brainstorming ideas for names and thematic directions for months. I landed on DREER, most names it seemed were taken but also it is an abbreviation of sorts of the word "dreary" which I felt was the perfect encapsulation of both the aesthetics I wanted to achieve and the mood of the music I was making, so moving into 2020 with this new idea and brand was exciting and now one year later we are here! (trust me, this is the shortest version of the story I could make, I could rattle on and on for hours about how DREER came about in every aspect)"
4. For those artists that are just starting out creating music and producing, what advice would you give to them?
"I would say that in my experience of also being an upcoming artist as well, you should foster these three qualities in your personal and professional endeavours when starting: Diligence, humility, and win/win.
Diligence for doing your work. We are all in the business of long-form timelines and projects that can take as long as you want to make them, a song can be written in a day, a week, a month or even a year! it really depends on how diligently you commit yourself to your craft, this will be evident in the final product and EVERYONE will be able to tell if you've put in the time, trust me.
Humility is equally important, I can't tell you how many times I've seen ego destroy relationships, dissolve a persons art, and alienate them from the reality of things. In every achievement, every milestone (and even every challenge) of your personal and professional life, you should be punctuating it with gratitude and humility for the situation you are in. This EP release has been one of those moments for myself, since there could easily be someone else here writing up about their EP instead. But I have put in time to be able to afford this opportunity (diligence!), and I'm very humbled by that.
Win/win should also not be forgotten; it is the mindset you want to take with you in all interactions in the scene. You want the best for yourself of course, but for you to have the best for you, you must also want to benefit someone else just as much! The art form that we are all involved in is one of collaboration, for anything that we make to become meaningful, we must always be working to not undercut others and ourselves. Not only will this be important for your work and art, it will be important in also developing yourself into becoming a better person as well! so always think win/win!"
5. What can the listeners expect from 'Serial EP'?
"I would say that you can expect something minimalistic, eerie, cold, and even maybe a bit frightening (a few of my friends when I was showing them the demos' legitimately were saying they felt creeped out and had goose bumps). Serial EP is the amalgamation of how I've interpreted the feeling of learning about some of the most prolific serial killers in America from watching a lifetimes worth of documentaries on numerous cases. So I guess you can also expect an aural meditation on hearing truly disturbing stories about real people who caused so much darkness on such an unparalleled level."
6. How do you avoid a writer's block, and what techniques do you use to stay active and in the zone whilst creating music?
"Writers block is truly one of the most finnicky things I've talked about with my peers! because it really depends on an individual to individual basis, what works for me most certainly won't work for others. With that in mind here's a couple things I like to do when I may not be feeling creatively at the top of my game:
1. Always look for something or someone that can create a spark of inspiration. For example with the Serial EP I really enjoyed how the music in true crime documentaries was used to highlight certain points or moods in the visuals. Another example for the DREER project as a whole is also to learn about new stories, myths, or fables that pique your interest. Human creativity is so fascinating and expansive, there’s always something out there that can inspire you if you are willing to look for it. What is music if not just an avenue for one to interpret something they experience externally after all.
2. Stay active. Go for a walk, run, skip, jump! if your body is idle, then your mind will also be just as much. There has been a very healthy amount of studies into how fitness and an active body is conducive to a sharpened mind. I personally am getting back into the swing of my fitness in the form of signing up for a gym membership as well as going for walks. At the very least this will clear and declutter your mind, helping you think clearer as a result. Not much less can be said for diet by the way (Infekt has it right, EAT YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES!).
3. Do the work regardless. Yes creative blocks are annoying and it really feels as though you can't do anything at all. But that's the most glaring misconception about creative work going around I'm personally finding. If you have been following my other points (and practicing diligence, humility and win/win!) you may find that creativity and working on creative things is like a muscle, it will be less fatigued the more you are working on it, conditioning it. Before long you may even surprise yourself with how much you can do before you feel you may hit a wall or creative block!"
7. What's on the cards for DREER, over the next few months?
"Well for sure I'd love to (and low-key have) start collaborating more with others, I've been writing so much original stuff and a couple remixes here and there but I think the next step is to really get involved with others to see how my style melds with theirs!
Another thing that we can expect is an expansion of what we're already seeing in terms of visual design and aesthetics! I have made a point this year of having the packaging and presentation of my products to be levelled-up in quality, DREER is only half of its true potential if the visuals are absent.
It also goes without saying though, I have a bunch more music completed which is very exciting, though the Serial EP has been a huge stepping stone in my sound, this year will see that as the stone that precedes the avalanche of music quality that is to come. And that's all I can say for now."
8. With electronic music ever-expanding across many genres (and new sub genres/styles being created), where do you see the future of EDM music and dubstep specifically?
"Honestly, I feel like no matter what I say, I could be completely off the mark with where trends and the scene will go. Nobody could have seen how Future Riddim has taken off in the way that it has for example. I guess it also depends where you are looking in the scene as well, there’s so many different styles and cliques popping off all the time it can be dizzying to keep track of all of them. Personally though I would put money on that maybe we are all looking for something of a "less is more" mentality to the sounds we are hearing, dubstep is bigger and louder than it has ever been, the only logical step from going up would be to come back down and contrast it with something minimal but poignant (I would hazard a guess that is also the reason I have the following I've accrued so far as well). We will see though, that’s the amazing thing about art in general, there is no way of knowing how the landscape will change and evolve!"
9. If music was removed as a whole, how would you feel?
"I'd feel lost, bitter, sad, unintelligent, anti-social, and other negative emotions that I feel less and less as I involve and commit myself to this beautiful art. Music has been the conduit of great personal change in myself. I've truly made lifelong friends through this medium, memories that I will hold dearly, and a drive to better myself in all aspects of life. I owe my best self to music, and the only way to honour that is to give my best self to the world!"
10. What’s your most favourite style of music? And what is your least favourite style of music?
"My favourite style of music (at least in terms of listening) would have to be the post-edm indie-pop style that you see from the likes of Crywolf and EDEN, especially with how they convey these really nuanced emotions in their music, its all so very palatable in every sense! My least favourite style I guess is the hyper-commercial trap/rap that is churned out in the mainstream music sphere, it always feels like they are treating music like fashion which is not how it should be looked at, music isn't seasonal at all! Of course trends exist and have their place, but the vacuous and vapid nature of this particular style sullies the far more artistic and expressive rap music that is out there!"
11 . And finally, describe your upcoming EP, 'Serial, in only 3 words!
"Swamp meets horror!"
'Serial EP' drops on the 26th of January, 2021. Make sure you pre-save the EP below and get ready for the teaser trailer dropping soon!