Dree Paterson Isn't Quitting Just Yet?

Indie pop rock artist Dree Paterson from Los Angeles, California has been hard at work writing and recording for her debut EP release "A Louder Side of Me" and hit single "Forever" will take her on the next path to success! Dree herself took some time to discuss this EP's process and future plans.

1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Dree Paterson, and how long the band has been together.

Dree: Hello!!!  I am Dree Paterson, the singer, songwriter, front person and creator of this band/ project!!  I am a solo artist with a backing band and I've been writing songs and performing them as Dree Paterson for 3 years.  This however is my debut EP!

2. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

Dree: I have always been interested and partaking in the performance arts.  As a kid we didn't have much money, so I would go to great lengths to be involved in any productions, attend schools that focus on the arts and associate myself with places that I could train in the arts.  I'd sit on 2 hour bus rides to and from school, fight for scholarships  and attend dance practice every chance I could to become a performer that I could be proud of.  From dancing which went from a hobby to a profession and getting tastes and wisps of music from doing musicals, and just a general love for singing that I would do in my room daily I morphed into a person that was finally ready to try my hand in the music business and Dree Paterson was created.

The first thing I did as an artist was try to work with producers that I admired and make demos that I would create from writing to tracks.  This brought many trials and tribulations as I learned that people are not always good and kind and people will take your money and run or be very shady.  Nevertheless I took my demos once I paid for them and I used that to get involved with a performance rights organization SESAC, and I used them to  obtain song placements on NBC, USA and other productions.  I also used these first demos to connect with fellow writers that I could collaborate with.  I met an amazing songwriter Victor Garcia, through a connect at EMI and he and I wrote some great tunes together that we then performed at my first live show.  This show was scary and nerve-wracking my voice was far from good but people loved the songs and I knew that I was doing the right thing.  After that, I just kept writing, playing anywhere I could including 3rd street promenade, spending hours honing my craft and getting ready to write and record my first EP which is about to finally come out and I still cant really believe it! :)

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there?Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Dree: I am based in Los Angeles, and usually all the amazing players I have been fortunate to work with in my band setup are based here too.  I am looking for a steady band to always be, my band.  SO if you know anyone!??!

The scene here is oversaturated with the most talented artists you could find and many that we need to weed through.  It is the land of hopes and dreams and so competitive. Although fans have been really receptive to my sounds so far, this city is so alive with professional performers which makes it tough to gain a totally supportive following and people who truly love music coming out to all your gigs, as it may be compared to another smaller town.  Performing at legendary venues like the House of Blues, the Viper Room, the key club and Room 5 gives you a feeling like no other so I believe artists that make it really push themselves through a lot of work to negotiate unappealing contracts and promote the crap out of their shows just to achieve that feeling again :) I truly believe if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!!

So many great local bands and artists here, I recommend Sweetwater and the Satisfaction, Laura Evans, Rhye, the Shakers, Anahita Skye, Jef Joslin, Viza, Pancho and Sancho and so many more ! :)

4. Why did you want to go and call yourselves Dree Paterson?

Dree: Very simply, its part my real name (Paterson), part my alter ego (Dree)! :) I have a really difficult first name to pronounce and I was always looking for an acceptable nick name and one day Dree just came up.  It kinda reminded me of Dream or Young Dreezy or Dreelicious (a la Bootylicious).  And I rolled with it!

5. How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?

Dree: My style is really ever-changing and very widespread which I know doesn't answer your question in the slightest.  This upcoming EP "A Louder Side of Me" is particularly rock based with an influx of pop chorus' that results in a hybrid between mainstream and indie.  There are flashbacks of 80's hair rock, hints of Paramore in the arrangement and in your face rock aspect, a hint of Bruno Mars swag, and stylistic vocal choices that I'm not even 100% sure where they came from but I'm attesting to my roots as a soul and r&b music lover (Amel Larrieux, Stevie Wonder, Aliyah, Etta James).  I also was heavily influenced by 90's pop and rock, so I would say I draw a lot of inspiration from artists like No Doubt and Third Eye Blind.  Some of my modern day influences are Bruno Mars, Paramore, Adele, Pink, Fun., and Ingrid Michaelson.  But to be honest the next record could be completely different! :)

6. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Dree: A great deal of my songs are meant to inspire, through being about it, doing what you say, saying what you do, and going for your dreams. "Forever " has a very anthemic quality and a tells people to love with all your heart and don't let anyone break you down.  "In or Out" is about a struggle against yourself to push through when you think you are all alone and you want to give up.  I also like to write really fun, blunt  songs about everyday realities and situations others may not dare to write about - being a hotmess, people mispronouncing your name and even quitting your day job.  I also have a song called "Dust" on this record which is an introspective rock ballad about our existence on this planet and about how fleeting everything around us is.  I'd say I have a broad amount of topics and concepts on my mind, but I mainly draw inspiration from real life, people I know and personal experience. And yes, I have also Taylor Swifted it, and written about ex lovers, but they really do give you some of the best material. :)

7. Do you write your own songs? Can you discuss the songwriting process in detail?

Dree: I do write my own songs, but Im keen on collaboration and song development even if it is tedious and difficult at times.  This EP was co written with Jeff Zacharski and also had writers Andy Moresi on "Forever" and Ben Spivak on "In or Out."  I believe two heads are better than one, and I embrace collaborations to the fullest. Songwriting has no one process for me, and all these songs have had fairly different birthing methods.  I generally like to start with the concept and everything falls into place from there.  Either we start with the guitar or piano, a cool riff or chord progression or I have lyrics and melodies in my head that I bring to the table and we alter them and morph them into the songs they become from there.  I write a lot of lyrics and melodies in my spare time to no instrumentation at all, and then I just bring it to someone who can help me complete the picture.  I often times have even created production in my head and see the bigger picture before its completed.  Sometimes you just need to collab with someone who can fill in the small details and make sure that you are telling the story you want to tell from the ground up.

8. Can you tell me about your new single "Forever"?

Dree: "Forever" is one of my favorite songs on the EP and it was a sure fit to be a single.  It has so many cool elements that Im proud of from trippy backing vocals to a crazy guitar solo and a really anthemic chorus.   This song is about taking a risk on a love that you believe is forever despite outside adversities that all love faces and in spite of yourself.  Its a fantasy to some and a reality to others about boundless love, being unbreakable, timeless memories, and eternal bonds.  Are these thoughts real or just in someone's head is the question that the song will not answer.  But its up to you to decide how you view love.  I am personally a hopeless romantic so this song comes from a personal place and viewing others situations.

9. How would you describe the overall sound of the new EP?

Dree: The overall sound of the new EP is very sincere, bursting with energy and hope, rocking and in-your-face, yet still pop music.  It is 100% Dree.

10. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this EP?

Dree: Making an EP has been my goal for a long long time.  But it wasn't attainable before this year.  I am a self funded and totally independent artist so everything I do in the process I have a heavy hand in, from creation to production and leading into the aftermath of a record promotion and distribution, touring, and placements.  My goals are and have been to create amazing content that Im proud of that people can have and enjoy a little part of me with. Further, I'd love to see these songs placed in tv and film as some of my past works have been and touring is a must. I have never had a regional tour and I'm looking to perform at colleges and cities outside of LA and I'm hoping that this EP takes me there. I just want to make great music about something people can relate to and give them an inspiration that if I can do it, so can they!

11. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

Dree: Oh god yes!  In my old records I've used a lot of live instrumentation which has remained the same but here we have integrated the B3 Organ, piano, horns, interesting plug ins, and got really creative with harmonies and backing vocals.  I love the almost circus like horns on "I Quit" and the crazy delays and dream like effects on my vocals in the bridge of "Dust."  This whole album was a creative sonic playground with a lot of experimentation.  I had some outstanding musicians as well, Greg Pajer on Guitar, Blake Paulson on Drums and Ben Spivak on Bass not to mention an entire chorus of friends and fellow artists doing a gang vocal on "I Quit," which really brought it to a new level. I can't wait for you to hear them all!

12. When did you start writing for this EP?

Dree: This EP has been a product or 2013, through and through.  Jeff Zacharski and I wrote the first cut for the EP "Over" in the early part of the year and pre-production really went all the way up till Summer, where the recording process picked up. Its been the culmination of a years work but a lifetime's worth of hopes and dreams, blood, sweat and tears.  Some say it started when i was born. :)

13. Did you feel any pressure whatsoever about writing and recording for this release?

Dree: I felt lots of pressure writing and recording this release, when you are independent you put everything you have into a project, sacrifice a "normal" life for your dreams so obviously I wanted it to be amazing and for people to love it, but at the end of the day its  you that needs to be happy with it!

14. How was the vibe in the studio for everybody?

Dree: The studio vibe was good I got to record at three different places and my favorite was House of Rock a huge mansion turned recording studio in santa monica that many big artists have used.  I saw john mayer, sheryl crow plaques and more.  It was unreal.

15. Who produced "A Louder Side of Me" and what was it like working with them?

Dree: Jeff Zacharski and Local Play Studios produced the EP and working with him was incredibly professional, organized and efficient.  I was also pushed to new heights in my singing, writing and ideas.  We had a lot of great writing sessions and a lot of fun tweaking things and adding new colors and dimensions!  Coming up with harmonies was super fun too!

16. "A Louder Side of Me" is this a concept release and does the title have a concept or story behind it?

Dree: I've always wanted to do a rock album.  Some of my favorite artists to listen to are in the rock genre right now.  I have come out with a single in the past "Waiting (When I See You)" and have been known at my shows for a kind of jazzy, singer songwriter, Amy Whinehouse, Sara Barielles type of songwriting.  I just wanted to do something different and something LOUD!!!!  I always felt that I was doing music that others would find to be "good music," and this time I just said screw it let me just make the record I want to make and do it for me. :)

17. Who did the cover art for "A Louder Side of Me" and how much input did you have on it?

Dree: The cover art for "A Louder Side of Me" is being done by Ryan Luas at OurSeven Design Inc.  We are currently working on it still.  He did the "Forever " artwork and I had a lot of input on it, almost all of it was my concept and idea.  I wanted the  border to look like a "Forever" stamp like the stamps that you can use forever, no matter what the fluctuation of stamp price is.  Its timeless just like the concept of the song - timeless love. We added the graphic of me and the starry night sky design in the background to show people me and also another timeless and beautiful image like a night sky where the mind can wander gazing at the stars.

18. Can you go into one or two tracks on the new EP? If so, can you give us the track title and brief description of how the track sounds and how it came about?

Dree: "Over" is the first track that I wrote on the EP and it is about the feelings you go through before, during and after a breakup and how heart-wrenching it can be to move past and get to the next stage of being "Over" someone.   Its a catchy and uplifting rock song with a huge chorus that people can sing along to.  It was inspired by a breakup that I had with someone that really hurt, but soon I came to see how I was better off and the natural progression took over.  I just remembered in the moment how badly I wanted to get Over it, and how tough it can be, and how great it feels once we are!

"I QUIT" is another song from the EP which is really fun.  Its super quirky and is meant to be a feel good jam.  This is a song about the fantasy that many of us working simultaneously in show business and at a day job have: to quit the day job and to work solely in our craft.  It is a position that many people are in especially here in Los Angeles.  We all want to make it but we have to live and eat and support ourselves in the process so we have these menial jobs that we don't always love and we refuse to grow in.  Mine happens to be a restaurant.  I fantasize about quitting all the time... I'll let you know when I do :)  Writing it came really easily and I think I started it whilst driving in the car and finished it up with jeff one afternoon drinking some tequila. Its meant to be sung at the top of one's lungs! :)

19. What other plans do you have for the future as a band?

Dree: My hopes and goals are to take this EP on the road and play a tour, locally, regionally, internationally!!  I'd love to write more songs, do more albums, send some songs to tv and film and sing my way into your heart.

20. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Dree: Listen to my band on www.soundcloud.com/dreepaterson ; www.dreepatersonmusic.com ; www.youtube.com/dreepatersonmusic ; www.facebook.com/dreepatersonsounds Find me on twitter @dreepaterson and instagram @dreepaterson !!  Buy music on Itunes: www.itunes.com/dreepaterson and listen on Spotify !!!!

21. Anything else you'd like to add or care to say?

Dree: I love you.  I really do. 

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