Tell us about yourself?
My name is Dres. I was born in Tampico Tamaulipas, Mexico. I am a recording artist and entertainer. Music is embedded into my family history. I come from a bloodline of musicians who have played on stages for Latin Grammy award winning artists. My family migrated to the United States when I was four years old.
Music and entertainment have been my biggest focus in life and also the inspiration for my entertainment company Urban and Arrogant. I am a husband, creative individual and all around social personality.
How has music shaped who you are?
Music has always been my outlet for self expression. It has taught me to be resilient, vulnerable, and to stay true to myself. Creating music brings fulfillment to my soul. As long as I am doing music, I feel complete. It’s always been a goal in life to create music full time, so it has shaped me to be goal driven and pursue what truly makes me happy.
Your latest song ‘Countin' Racks’ has been received with great fan-fair. For you, what elements go into creating a catchy track?
I love creating songs like 'Countin' Racks.' Something short and sweet, that makes the consumer want to replay the song over and over again. I’m all about capturing great energy, having a dope concept, and making sure that my song gets stuck in your head.
I like creating music that makes others feel confident in who they are. Dres Elements: Infectious Melodic Beat + Catchy Lyrics + Club Vibes.
If you weren’t a music artist, what else would you be doing?
If I wasn’t an artist, I would be a Music A&R finding talent and developing artist. Teaching them how to perform and owning the stage. Either that or a creative director for some fly ass company. I am a man with million dollar ideas and seeing them come to life is extremely rewarding.
How did you get involved with Koss?
I got involved with Koss through Martin Moore, who happens to be the Content Developer for Koss. I met him at a local networking event here in Milwaukee called #HashtagMKE during their 2-year anniversary. As soon as I met him we built such a dope bond and friendship.
A few months later we linked up for a Koss photoshoot, and he also shot the cover art for the “Countin’ Racks” single. I am honored to be involved with such a prestige headphone company and local brand like Koss.
What has been your biggest triumph?
Over the summer I attended Rico Love’s, We Love Music Conference. Rico Love is a grammy award winning songwriter who has worked with Beyonce, Usher, Mary J Blige etc. This conference is created for musical creatives to get in one room and soak up all the knowledge that is bestowed by his panelist through college based workshops. They teach you about self-care and how to have longevity as a songwriter in the music industry.
Rico brought Bryan- Michael Cox, Chris Hicks, Kawan Prather as panelist, who if you look them up have legendary resumes. I was apart of collectively creating a song on the spot on a Bryan-Michael Cox beat and a Rico Love hook. I was told to write a 12 bar verse to the song. I wrote it in about 15 minutes. I performed my verse to about 200 people, which Rico Love really liked my current mainstream flow, but told me that he did not feel much from my lyrics.
He challenged me to go home and re-write my verse and make him feel something and be vulnerable with my writing. He told me that my songwriting would be next level if I could accomplish this, since the flow was so on point. So I went home, and that night I stayed up until 5:00 a.m. Wrote like 10 different verses until I finally understood what he meant. I went back the next day, and recited my verse. The reaction that I got from the crowd, from Rico and his panelists will forever be my biggest triumph to this day. I got so much validation as a songwriter. I am forever thankful for Rico Love, for making me push my pen the way he did.
What has been your biggest tribulation?
My biggest tribulation is finding a loyal team who is as goal driven and passionate as I am, who has the best intentions/interest and wants to genuinely see me win. I wear so many hats, which sometimes prevents me from concentrating on being an artist.
There are times where I feel really alone in this journey, but I know that God and the Universe will put the right team when the time is right. In the meantime, I am working on being the best version of myself, putting out great energy so I can manifest everything that is meant for me.
What is one thing people don’t know about you?
One thing that people might not know is that, I have been working with inner city youth with mental health needs for almost 10 years. I advocate for them at school, home and in the community. I uplift them and encourage them to not be defined by their diagnosis. I help them overcome their early childhood trauma by finding community resources based on their common interest. Even though this job can be challenging at times, I know my one of my purposes in this world is to serve and use my leadership/mentoring skills to be a light to those who don’t have the strength to overcome struggles on their own.
What does being an artist in Milwaukee mean when compared to other large cities?
It means working twice as hard to get recognition. The resources here for musicians are limited and that is why artist leave to bigger cities to work with other creatives. On the contrary, it can be easier to build a foundation, since a larger city means more competition and more behind the scenes politics.
I feel like Milwaukee artists are often overlooked and not taken as serious due to people’s perspective of what the city of Milwaukee is. I feel like every artist here plays a big role in changing the mindset of outsiders looking in. This has been a great year for Milwaukee music and I strongly feel like by next year we will solidify our sound and be a force to be reckoned with.
Over the last decade, what changes have you seen in the music industry?
It’s not about talent anymore, it’s all about numbers and being controversial. Clout chasing is at an all time high and it has really devalued the art of making music. New artists have to constantly release new music to stay relevant in a time where people’s attention spans continue to get smaller.
Everybody is a music blogger or “expert” now, and if you don’t meet the criteria or expectation of what their idea of good music is, then it’s considered “trash”. Which is really hurting the culture, talentless people deciding what good music is. What I seen change positively, is that you no longer need a label to get your music heard.
Social media is the new wave and helps you build an organic fan base and supporters. Your in control of what content you put out. There are so many ways to distribute and monetize your music now. You no longer have to give up your rights as an artist and can own your masters. Streaming has really taken over and having access to new music on your phone or computer helps the consumer immediately have access to it.
Where do you see your music going 10 years from now?
Ten years from now, my music will be successful for all the right reasons. My artistry and catalog will speak for itself and continue to evolve with time. Aside from my projects, I see myself working with the top tier artists of my generation. I want to continue to grow my audience and use my platform to give back to communities through music.
I see my company Urban & Arrogant generating an abundance of revenue, creating jobs and breaking boundaries. My legacy will leave a mark in this world, and I will continue being unapologetically me by going against a system that was created to be followed and not lead.