He’s the 29-year-old rapper born in Germany to a military mum who calls Snopp Dogg uncle, is mentored by Rick Rubin, collaborates with Erykah Badu and Lil Yatchy, counts Beyonce as a fan and just released his debut record Big Baby D.R.A.M.
Shelley Massenburg – Smith known by the acronym D.R.A.M (or Does Real Ass Music) is one of the most exciting new artists to emerge in the last two years and he recently made his Australian performance debut at all four Falls festivals and a solo show in Melbourne earlier this year.
The man behind the break out hit ‘Cha Cha’ and the double-platinum ‘Broccoli’, D.R.A.M is full of surprises and doesn’t take himself too seriously. “The best way to present yourself is as yourself. If I’m just me, I could trip and fall, but I’d roll around and be like ‘Y’all see that?’ and just get back up and keep going. I never let anything get me down.”
D.R.A.M attributes a lot of his recent success to the former head of Columbia Records and legendary American producer, Rick Rubin. “He’s an amazing man! I still cant believe he’s my mentor,” he says. “We’re in cohorts together now but literally the first time I met him it was amazing. He always just pops up on you, you never see him coming, he just appears, it’s crazy, and with Rick around the magic never stops.”
With the help of Rubin, D.R.A.M put out #1EpicHoliday which features the duet ‘Silver Bells’ with his mum, AKA Big Baby Mom. “All my family really loved music growing up. We used to ride in a van up to Jersey every other year for Christmas and New Year and they would play the Best of Luther Vandross non fucking stop from the top to the bottom, it wasn’t until I was about thirteen that I thought to bring my own earphones!”
Expect to hear more from the eclectic rapper very soon as he hints he has a lot of things in the pipeline for 2018. “You’ll have to stay tuned! There’s a lot of goodness coming through,” he says. “I can’t talk too much about it but I am working on a collaborative album with Erykah Badu, and much more.”
Release: Big Baby D.R.A.M.
Written by Natalie Rogers