Adrea Simmons, known professionally as Dre’a, has been singing since she was five years old, taking after her mother, a professional singer whom Dre’a tells me fronted for the band Blues ‘N’ More for 12 years. During that time, she saw her mom open for some top acts, such as the Temptations and MC Hammer.
Hailing from Port Lavaca, Texas, the 23 year-old singer-songwriter is currently signed with H-Loyal Management, who originally recruited her to write songs for another singer on their label. She accepted the offer, and was subsequently asked to be half of a singing duo with the lady she was writing songs for. She agreed and after that project ran its course, Dre’a realized a solo career was what she really wanted to pursue and she’s currently working on her first solo album.
CHRIS CHARLES: Were you born and raised in Texas?
DRE’A: Yes, born and raised.
CHRIS: Your mother was in a blues band. Did she get you started singing?
DRE’A: Yes, she’s a big influence in my music career. I loved watching her perform and how she interacted with the crowed. I thought she was great.
CHRIS: I heard she opened up for some big names. Care to drop a few?
DRE’A: In fact, she did open for the Temptations, LL Cool J, and a few more. I remember when she opened up for the Temptations, they pointed her out in the crowd and acknowledged her, telling her how talented she was. In that moment, I was so honored to be her daughter.
CHRIS: What genre of music did you listen to growing up?
DRE’A: I listened to a lot of R&B and some hip hop. I do enjoy some country as well.
CHRIS: Being from Texas, I’m not surprised you were exposed to a lot of country music. So, who are your musical influences? After listening to your demo, I’m guessing Destiny’s Child must be up there on the list.
DRE’A: Some of my musical influences are my mother, of course, Aaliyah, TLC, Whitney Houston, and yes, of course, Destiny’s Child
CHRIS: How many songs have you written and now have ready to record?
DRE’A: Right now, I have five written and ready to be laid down.
CHRIS: That’s half an album. How many more are you still working on?
DRE’A: I have four I’m still working on at the moment.
CHRIS: Would you ever consider being part of a group again or are you strictly setting your sights on a solo career?
DRE’A: I tried the group thing and it didn’t work out to well, so yes, I’m strictly solo.
CHRIS: Do you write all of your songs by yourself or do you sometimes collaborate? DRE’A: I do write most of my music myself. I do write with some of my labelmates, who are more experienced, and I also do a lot if collaborations with some of the other local artists in my area.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music business there and in Nashville before joining the U.S. Army and serving in South Korea. He remained in Asia for several years afterwards, teaching English and covering the regional entertainment scenes. Currently in a mindset between Seoul and San Francisco, besides Idol Features, you can also catch his writings in the print edition of the quarterly magazine, Effective.