The Platinum recording artist deemed this year her “biggest.”
Chicago rapper, songstress, and actress Dreezy is ready to make the most of the year! The musician first propelled into stardom after the release of her single “Body” featuring Jeremih. Since then, she’s toured nationwide, contributed to the Grammy-nominated “Revenge of the Dreamers III” album, and starred in the Netflix film “Beats.” Dreezy’s songs have gone Gold and Platinum, and she’s become a household name in the realm of R&B and Hip-Hop. Recently, the rapper rang in her birthday at an intimate dinner with friends and family. Throughout the night, guests enjoyed signature cocktails made with CÎROC’s new, limited-edition flavor, CÎROC Summer Citrus.
The Knockturnal spoke with Dreezy about her music, upcoming projects, and celebrating her birthday in style with CÎROC.
The Knockturnal: Where did you get the stage name Dreezy?
Dreezy: It’s funny. I got my stage name surprisingly as a joke back in the day when I first started rapping. I was literally joking with my friends that I will make a rap name with “ezy” because you got Young Jeezy, you got Little Wheezy, and you got Chris Breezy. I was like “what am I gonna be?” My last name is Sledge so I thought I couldn’t be Sleazy. Then, I ended up thinking everybody called me “Drea” and we ended up going with Dreezy. Over time, I felt like it was a joke, but then I had to make it a little more personal. That’s when I came out with Big Dreez.
The Knockturnal: You recently celebrated your birthday with friends and got to enjoy the limited edition CÎROC Summer Citrus at your party. Could you talk about the party and having CÎROC included in that experience?
Dreezy: It was an intimate dinner that we had with CÎROC and it was perfect. Everybody was having a good time. The dinner was circus themed so it felt like the summertime being at the circus with your friends and family. We had acts coming out and then we had the drink which was a perfect vibe for me. I love fruity, tropical drinks like a Mai Tai is one of my favorite drinks. When they came out with the Summer Citrus, I thought it was perfect to have in my party. The mix was real fun, and there were good vibes everywhere. The toast just brought my 27th birthday in a special way. I’m really a fan of CÎROC so I was happy to have them there with that flavor.
The Knockturnal: You turned 27! What would you say is something you’re looking forward to this year?
Dreezy: I’m looking forward to everything. I think this is gonna be my biggest year because I’m so motivated. I’m so hungry. I’ve been wanting to make this year count. I’m gonna be in for a little bit of everything. Music, acting, brand ambassadorship, traveling, and everything! You’re gonna see Dreezy everywhere.
The Knockturnal: You’ve done a bit of acting in the past such as playing Queen Cabrini in the Netflix movie “Beats.” Is acting something you’d like to get back into?
Dreezy: Of course! It’s crazy. I had a birthday trip to Jamaica. but the whole trip I was practicing for this audition that’s coming up. Hopefully I get that. I have another audition that I’m about to do either today or tomorrow that I’m hoping I get. So it’s something different for me, but I’m definitely trying to take it serious. I really want to be a mogul. I don’t want to just be looked at like a rapper or a singer. I want to do multiple things. Hopefully acting will be able to show my personality a little more beyond music.
The Kncokturnal: Onto your music, you’re from Chicago, a place with a number of famous rappers including your past collaborators Common and Lil Durk. How would you say growing up in that rap scene inspired your music?
Dreezy: It inspired me completely like you said Durk was one of the first people who gave me an opportunity to get on a song. Lil Durk, King Louie, G Herbo. Shout out to them. Their whole sound and what they were doing inspire me to go just as hard as they were going and try to go even harder because I’m the only female in the room. I think even in my story. Growing up in Chicago wasn’t the easiest, it was hard work. It made me who I am. I’m able to express myself from that point of view and I think that’s what makes me different from so many other artists because there’s not really too many that could tell a story like that.
The Knockturnal: “Body” was arguably one of the biggest R&B hits of 2016. How did that song change the course of your career?
Dreezy: That’s my first Platinum record so it changed my life. It came out in 2016 and it’s 2021 and I just performed it again last night. To me, I feel like it’s just a classic. It was a big learning experience. It was something different for me. I’m happy I did it. It was my first song that put me on the road. It taught me a lot about the industry and just how to become an artist. My first big music video. I think it’s like a milestone for me and now I want to continue to grow off that because I got so many different sounds of music. “Close To You” just went Gold and that’s completely different from “Body” and now I’ve been dropping singles and it’s been getting over millions of views with the videos and it’s been more street Hip Hop. I think it was a different experience for me. It helped me tap into the Pop market.
The Knockturnal: You were on the Revenge of the Dreamers III album back in 2019 and have cited J.Cole as a major inspiration. What did being a part of that album mean to you?
Dreezy: It was one of the best moments of my career because J.Cole is one of the reasons I started rapping. Of course, Lil Wayne is my number one inspiration, but J.Cole might be number two if we’re really talking about what I was listening to when I was growing up. If he’s not number two, definitely top three. It will be Wayne, Kanye, and J.Cole. Growing up I definitely was listening to his music. I remember I got one of his quotes tatted on me. The line kind of inspired me. It meant something to me. It’s like a 360 that I ended up meeting him and doing shows with him and he was giving me advice. From the first time he gave me his phone number it was just crazy. Then, to actually be on the first single of the album and for it to go Platinum and be Grammy nominated. Everything just made me feel like I’m really doing my thing and this stuff really came true. I appreciate being able to stand next to rappers like him because I got a lot of respect for him. J.Cole is legendary so it makes me feel like I’m gonna be legendary; already am.
The Knockturnal: You dropped your “Beatbox Freestyle” a few days ago. What’s the songwriting process like behind your freestyles and remixes?
Dreezy: I start hearing bars in my head to be honest like whatever beat that I’m gonna hop off. I sit with the beat. I live with it for a day. Usually when I get in the car or when I first wake up, that’s when I get my best bars or when I go to the studio. I’ve been going to the studio a little earlier now instead of going late. I don’t start writing until I feel like every bar is a bar. I really take my style of writing from Wayne. One thing I remember about Wayne is you used to have to decipher what he was saying. If you think he was saying something simple, you might need to run it back again and see what the metaphors were. That’s just one thing I always took with me because I felt like that’s what made him the greatest rapper of all time because he actually took his time with the metaphors and his lyrics. With “Beatbox,” I was almost scared to put it out because I felt like it was too lyrical. I just wanted to prove a point real quick for my freestyles. As long as I know I can do this, we can go back to making fun songs anytime. That’s really what “Beatbox” was. I was just inspired. I felt like for my fans, I had to deliver so that’s what I did.
The Knockturnal: You released your last album “Big Dreez” back in 2019. What have you learned from that project that you’re carrying onto your next studio album?
Dreezy: What I learned with the last project was I felt like “Big Dreez” was an experiment for me. It taught me that for the next project I do, I want to make it more cohesive. I need to have more visuals, and just put myself out there more. I think I’m so cool with my music. I put it out there and I just let it be. But, I want to put an actual push behind the visuals and the marketing this time. I want to really get creative to deliver my music in a good way because one thing about it is I go to shows and everybody knows the words. But, visually I feel it’ll resonate with people more. So for the next one, I’m just gonna have to be ready for the creativity to come out more.
The Knockturnal: And when can we expect a new album or EP?
Dreezy: I’m really just working out the business behind the scenes. One thing about it is when I first got into the industry, I was one of the first girls to get signed. I didn’t really know about doing the business the right way. Nothing was right. So over the time, I had to get my business together and now my business is totally on point. Everything is A1. To my fans, I appreciate everybody being patient, but just know that when I do this next time it’s gonna be more of a business woman move rather than just a rapper move. The music is done. The music is there, but the business has to get taken care of. Soon as it gets wrapped up, we coming with the music, and it should be here in no time.