Powerful singer and multi-instrumentalist Droze (aka Charles Pedroza) made his official debut last year, featured on artist Danny G Italy’s single “Never Stop.” He is currently about to release “The Droze Project,” a new EP, following the recent release of his latest single, “Tell Me.”
Although plagued by a difficult childhood going back and forth from Miami to New York City, Droze was raised by the radio, especially the R&B stations of the ‘80s. With several rough teenage years behind him, he managed to obtain 12 years of classical music training on four different instruments. Eventually, long-time friend Michael Rodriguez discovered that Droze could sing during a karaoke performance, and the rest is history.
Droze will be featured at the Jersey City Pride Festival on August 26.
How has your classical music training influenced the music you put out today?
I think the biggest influence has got to be my musical ear. I can jam out to just about anything, because I can see the musical structure, the key changes and nuances. If you go through my iTunes, you’ll find everything from country to Motown to french hip-hop and even some opera. Any track at its root starts with instrumentation. That’s key.
Do you think that tough teenage years helped to mold the music and the messages you put out?
I think art requires a certain degree of pain. I know it’s a horrible thing to say, but I think that artists put out better stuff when we’re going through hardships. The things I’ve been through find their way into my lyrics, and that memory in turn directly affects how I sing a certain track compared to another one. Tough years are imperative.
Are there any specific new projects that you are currently working on?
With the album being new-ish, my main focus is getting it out there. I think my entire team is working on getting the album airplay and getting my face out there. With “No Time” being the latest single, I have a slightly more specific focus on that, and the track is making the rounds. I’ve caught it on the air from New York to LA and as far away as Croatia and Ibiza. But of course there’s always another track to promote, and new collaborations to look out for, and new music videos and so much more I can’t get into yet.
Which artist or artists were you inspired by growing up?
I grew up listening and loving groups like 702, Total and SWV, but being Latino and in Miami, it was hard to not idolize voices like Jerry Rivera and Marc Anthony. Nineties R&B groups will still always be my go-to though.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
Number one, it gets better. I promise it does. Number two, in the words of RuPaul, unless they payin’ yo’ bills, pay them bitches no mind.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
If I have it my way, I want to be performing on stage somewhere monthly, whether it be big festivals or nightclubs. And I want to be a featured vocalist on some heavy-hitting DJ tracks, like Calvin Harris or David Guetta. I’m ready for more, and I hope my fans are too.
Performing Thursday Aug 24th at the Zig Zag party at Le Bain at the Standard and Aug 26th at the Jersey City Pride Festival at 8pm.