“Also, find a mentor who can show you how the music industry works. I’m lucky to have that. My mentor DT the artist helps me a lot in that regard.”

Check out the interview with Drae Lawson exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: Tell us where this all began. What is your history in the music scene?
Drae Lawson:
I started singing in church doing gospel music. I sang bass in a well-known acapella group in Toronto for a number of years. It was a great experience. I got to travel the world and record a full album. I also got to hear my songs played on the radio and open for a few big name gospel artists as well. Once we broke up I stopped doing music for a little while but my hunger to create couldn’t keep me away.

What are the best ways to promote yourself as an artist? Any tips you can give us?
Google can be a great resource. I just try to Google different outlets and see what is available. There are a lot of websites that can help with promotion. Be consistent as well. Increase your online presence as much as possible.

What do you ultimately want to become in your career?
I want to be that artist who has a strong core fan base that will support me and my music. I want to be diverse and try different genres of music. I want to be known as the artist who is willing to take a bit of a risk when it comes to production. I want to be able to travel the world and collaborate with other artists as well.

What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
The hardest part is getting in. At first they don’t care. You could upload a song to Soundcloud and not get any plays, even though you may be talented. When you don’t have anyone who is already on to co-sign your music and you come out off of your own strength it’s very hard. But once you’re in, it gets a whole lot easier.

What is it like in your city? What is the music scene like, and how is it like living there overall?
I’m from Toronto, so I remember how things were like before Drake, Melanie Fiona, and Tory Lanez blew up and started killing the game. I was able to witness the come-up of Drake, I remember when he came out with “City is Mine” which is one of his older tracks off of his earlier mixtapes. From there I knew he’d be the one to put Toronto on the map.

What are some of advice you can give and share to other artists who are still trying to come up?
Keep releasing music. Stay on the net and keep putting yourself out there. Don’t let a month go by without putting out a new song. Also, find a mentor who can show you how the music industry works. I’m lucky to have that. My mentor DT the artist helps me a lot in that regard. He works on developing artists in Toronto.

What is the best thing that’s ever happened in your career?
The best is yet to come.

What is your inspiration?
I love to listen to old soul and r&b records from the 50’s all the way to the 90’s. My main vocal style inspiration is Nate Dogg. I think his style and his flow is so dope and timeless. I studied Nate Dogg a lot and I always been a fan of his ever since I was a little kid when I heard “Regulate” for the first time. I also Isaac Hayes and Barry White too.

Do you feel anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music?
Yes. Absolutely. The music industry has changed so much in just 10 years. As a result, now more than ever there is an audience for everything.

Where can we find you on social media?
Myspace: www.myspace.com/draelawson
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DraeLawsonMusic
Twitter: @DraeLawson
Instagram: @draelawson