Drei Ros opens up stereotypes, stigmas, and the importance of sleep ahead of his new album 'Excuse My Accent'
The Romanian born rapper also talks about working with 808 Mafia, giving up a basketball career, early influences, collaborations and more in this exclusive interview.
Romanian born artist Drei Ros has spent years spicing up tracks for artists such as Pusha T, Gucci Mane, and Kap G, but is now ready to embark on his own solo career. This October, Ros will be releasing his debut trap album 'Excuse My Accent.'
Ros was born in Ploiesti, Romania. At the age of 16, he moved to the United States to play college basketball in Seattle. But after his father was diagnosed with liver cancer, he moved back home to Romania with his family for his father’s final days. While home, a childhood friend invited Drei into a recording studio for the first time. With an abundance of emotions coursing through his veins, he completed his first musical project in Romanian that summer which he dedicated to his dad, entitled 'Between Life and Death.'
Although never officially released, the positive reviews garnered from the project motivated Drei to continue to create original music. After a brief career as a professional basketball player in Romania, he eventually decided to move back to Los Angeles to cut his teeth in the vibrant music scene of the city.
Since living in LA, Drei has fully immersed himself in the city's urban music culture, picking up notes of trap, hip-hop, R&B and similar genres in his music. In 2009, Drei teamed up with artists Burre Collins and Dyce Dylli to form the band B.O.S.S. (“Building Our Success Story”). His infectious Romanian accent added intrigue to his lyricism and brought quick success to several B.O.S.S. singles – ultimately leading to a tour of the Pacific Northwest.
Still new to the music industry and experimenting with his sound, Drei teamed up with more artists from diverse backgrounds to dabble with adding his own creative style to a multitude of genres. He’s since paired up with the likes of Jamaican Reggae legend Junior Reid, Alex Mica, Evelyn, Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, Pusha T, Krisha, and many more.
At the turn of 2018, Drei teamed up with J Romero and Kap G to create the infectious single 'Loco.' Drei then featured on the Latina trap track 'Bomberos' alongside Latino/Urbano duo Los Rakas and produced by DJ duo Breakfast N Vegas. The single was featured on Spotify’s ‘New Music Friday Latin’ and ‘Beast Mode’ playlists. This was followed by a collaboration with Sy Ari Da Kid, Reo Cragun, and Tray Haggerty, entitled 'LIT,' which dropped last August.
Now, Drei is all set to show the world the fruits of his explorative journey with his album, 'Excuse My Accent.' Produced by 808 Mafia, the trap album features both English and Spanish lyrics, giving it the edge of international appeal. With his Romanian roots and the lessons from his many collaborations molded into the foundation of the artist he has become, Drei’s new album will feature hints of his past creations, blended with his own unique approach to delivering a never-before-heard experience across its 10 tracks.
In this exclusive interview with Meaww, Drei discusses his upcoming album, the xenophobia that inspired the album, working with 808 Mafia, influences, collaborations, and upcoming plans. Read the full interview below:
Congratulations on your new album ‘Excuse My Accent.' The title is an obvious reference to your Romanian accent, yes?
Yes and no. It’s not only about my accent, but it’s also about the stigma of being a foreigner in this country and being a music artist at the same time. Making the kind of music I make is my passion, and people like to put you in a box due to your background and ethnicity. 'Excuse my Accent' is a testimony not only to people from different countries but for anyone that has ever felt different.
What was going on in your mind as you recorded the album?
Mostly how to balance all the diversity in the album. When mixing so many styles into one project, you have to make sure you don’t tip the scale too far in one direction. The album itself was very fun to make for that reason as well. I enjoyed every second of it.
The album has been produced by 808 Mafia who’s worked with the likes of Drake, Migos, and DJ Khaled. Could you take us through the production process? What was it like working with 808?
The processes of working with 808 was a lot of hands-on in the studio grinding. We would take every song and peace it together like a painting until the picture was clear. 808 Mafia are some of the most talented producers I know. I am honored to have worked with them and look forward to working with them again in the future. The way I see it when you have good-hearted people all together in a place, amazing things can happen and with that comes this amazing project.
We’ve already heard your single ‘LIT’ from the album. How many tracks in total?
The vibe of the album is very energetic and a real look into my mind. It’s the way I live my life. There will be 10 tracks, and I have put 100% of myself and my story into every track.
You have a string of collaborations to show off. Any exciting names that feature on ‘Excuse My Accent’ apart from Sy Ari Da Kid, Reo Cragun, and Tray Haggerty?
I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of talented people on this album—up and comers and vets. 'Excuse My Accent' couldn’t be boiled down to a few exciting artists. Everyone on the album made it the amazing project that it is.
‘LIT’ comes with a slick psychedelic music video. What was it like to work on the visuals?
I had my videographer really let loose on his interpretation of the song. I was very happy with what he did. 'LIT' is supposed to feel as the title says and when watching the video you can feel that way without even being under the influence. You could say the vibe is being LIT on life.
What kind of artists were you exposed to while growing up in Romania?
I was exposed to all kinds of really talented people in Romania. I will always love my home and the people there. It would be hard to put them all down, but just know one visit, and you will be a fan of the culture and the music.
You gave up a basketball career to pursue music. When did you realize that music was your true calling?
I feel people can have multiple callings. Music and basketball are both passions of mine, but I had to give 100% to one of them and music was what I chose to do. I can’t really remember the moment when I made that choice, but as you can see the choice was made and it is one that I’m happy with.
What can we expect from the upcoming album?
With this album, I really got to dig into some of the issues of immigration and how people view other counties or the things they don’t understand. The way I see it, music is a universal language so I was able to express in a way that even I was surprised to see. Even when I listen to it, I’m finding out new things about myself in the way I put my words together and the feelings I give off—very enlightening!
You also recently featured on the track ‘Bomberos' alongside Los Rakas. Any more collaboration plans coming up in the near future?
I have a lot of collaborations in the future that I’m working on. Trust me, this is just the beginning of a lot of new and exciting projects with me and other artists.
When you’re not working on your music in the studio, what do you like to do in your free time?
I like to sleep in my free time. I’m in the studio the majority of the time and sleep is an understatement. In all honesty, I’m working on my craft and creation most of the time. It’s what I love to do. I don’t feel you’re really living if you’re not doing what you love.
What kind of music are you listening to these days? Could we have a link to a playlist of the tunes you’re currently into?
I’m always listening to new music and classics, It’s hard to pin down just one playlist that I listen to, but I would say you can start with Trap Land, Rap Caviar & Beast Mode.