Phoenix, AZ, July 01, 2021 –(PR.com)– Determination is the name of the game for musical talent Dres Smuzic, a young-adult singer/rapper and song-writer who is signed to the upstart, majority Black-owned Phoenix-based record label Nod Head Records.
She’s waiting to burst onto the scene with a debut album, but before that, she says, she’s enjoying the moment – considering a major hurdle she’s jumped to get there – and refusing to conform for the sake of success.
Along with more than a half dozen label mates, the 23-year-old will be featured in Nod Head’s debut album – a compilation project with the iconic DJ Jam, known as the “Official DJ of the West Coast” after years of working with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. The album will be released in the fall.
“It’s all about taking this energy and making it positive. I’ve been in many negative situations in the past few years, but I’m very serious about my music, making music and going forward,” she said.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, the young artist is looking to continue blazing a path for people like her, who are trying to make it in the industry.
One of the major barriers for her as a gay woman, she says, is being able to showcase her art without having to succumb to the stereotypical need to appeal sexually to the opposite sex.
“It’s really about creating a safe place for her, and allowing her to show up at the studio and be the best version of herself; Ian Baranack and Jeff Lucero (who are engineering her lead single “Summer HoneyDew”) have been amazing,” Nod Head Records CEO Tip Horne said.
Dres quickly points to “Old Town Road” rapper Lil Nas X, who she described as the exception and not the rule.
“He’s opening doors for the gay community,” she said. “It’s not every day that you’ll see a guy on a (stripper) pole. He opened that door for me, and now I’m grateful to use his example for creative control and expression.”
“It’s hard for us to get in the industry and find that comfort,” she continues, rattling off names of female artists who she says have been defined by appealing to the heterosexual community: Beyoncé, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion and Nikki Minaj.
“They want women in booty shorts and crop tops…” she said suggesting that’s not a road she’s willing to take. “I’m not impressed by that. There should be more to music.”
Horne says that he’s benefited from Dres’ steadfast stance on not being sexualized.
“It’s a shame that that’s what it takes for mainstream exposure. She’s so talented. And I know that if she was willing to dress provocatively, she’d have signed a deal way before she met me,” said Horne.
Listening to Dres’ music, it’s not hard to tell that she’s not only clever, but is the type of artist who shows, rather than tells.
“I like to mess with the (listener’s) brain,” she says.
In label mate Angelica A.D.’s debut single, “Possibilities,” also slated for release this fall, in which Dres features, she spits a bar:
“You wouldn’t think it till you do it.
It’s better to find out than to lose it.”
On the surface, it would seem like she’s trying to convince a straight woman to explore with her.
Rather, she says, she’s allowing her muse to figure it out for herself.
“You’re not happy with this guy and your soulmate is with your own gender,” she says about that line. “I word this so that I’m not trying to come on to you.”
She adds that she’s sharing a popular truth that many are afraid to admit.
“People don’t want to talk about it. You can fight who you are or you can be who you are… I’m living for my music and I’m enjoying this moment,” she said referring to both the movement for equity in the LGBTQ community and her excitement at this stage in her musical career.
Dres is a self-proclaimed military brat, born in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. and moving to Germany; England; Knoxville; Tenn.; Lexington, Ky.; Indianapolis and now, Phoenix.
In addition to being a singer and hip-hop lyricist, she is a musician who’s played in orchestras and enjoys playing piano, violin and guitar.
She credits her father, who is big on poetry, for cultivating her love for words.
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