I believe that Drea Smith is destined for greatness. One half of indie duo PYYRAMIDS, along with OK Go’s Tim Nordwind; previously fronting the genre mashing He Say, She Say with best friend Million Dollar Mano; currently working on a solo project with Doc McKinney (Santigold, The Weeknd, K-OS + more)—this lady is a creative dynamo. It’s only a matter of time before the world catches on to how kick ass Drea is! Here’s our recent chat…
I am so excited to have found PYYRAMIDS!
DREA SMITH: Aww thank you! I read your blog and it’s awesome!
Ha! I was checking out your blog as well and as I was looking at it I was thinking, wow! Janet Jackson, PJ Harvey, Bratmobile and all the fashion related things you feature are all very similar to my own tastes. I was so excited looking through it! How did you first come to music?
DS: I actually went to performing arts, like junior high, I was a vocal major. My mom put me in front of the TV and I was watching MTV early [laughs]. I knew I wanted to be a rock star when I was eight.
You love such an eclectic mix of music, you love punk, hip hop and more, yet your music doesn’t necessarily reflect all these things.
DS: Yeah, well you know what’s funny? I actually want to do a little bit of every genre that I like. I want to get involved with all of it if I can. I love post-punk music and down tempo music, PYYRAMIDS lets me explore that side of music that I like.
You play guitar too?
DS: I used to. I’m trying to freshen up on it. I started playing guitar when I was fifteen but, I haven’t really picked up a guitar much in the past five years. I need to get back into actually writing with a guitar and exploring how a guitar would sound now for me.
Before you were in PYYRAMIDS you were in He Say, She Say (pictured above) which was signed to Lupe Fiasco’s label; can you tell me about the experience of being in He Say, She Say?
DS: I started He Say, She Say with my best friend, Mano. We’re still super close. We started writing songs together when I was eighteen and he was twenty. We met in college. I had sent some of the demos to Doc McKinney, who is my mentor now. He’s worked with The Weeknd. He said, ‘Y’all should be a group.’ The industry was so saturated with solo female artists. Mano is a DJ who is heavily influenced by house and dance music, things you would hear at a club. I was heavily influenced by indie rock, introspective lyrics and punk music. We ended up meshing all of those genres together to create He Say, She Say. Mano went to high school with Lupe and had been sending him things that he had been working on and He Say, She Say caught Lupe’s attention and he signed us. We’re actually on an indefinite hiatus but me and Mano talk about making music all the time together.
Mano DJs for Kanye West now?
DS: Yes he does. I am so stoked because Watch The Throne tour comes to L.A. soon and I get to go to all three shows!
What does PYYRAMIDS mean to you?
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