Almost everyone has dreams and goals that they want to attain in life. However, due to various reasons, sometimes, things don’t go as planned, and we end up stuck. This was the case for celebrated music mogul Dren STARR. When he started his journey almost 30 years ago, he met countless obstacles and was at one time incarcerated for five and half years.
Even so, the multi-talented DJ, music producer, and engineer didn’t give up on his passion. After he finished his sentence, Dren continued his journey in the music industry, cementing his spot once more. Dren has worked with the late great Big Punisher producing several of his songs. Dren also did his last (BIG PUN) interview before passing away.
As an artist manager, Dren has worked with different hip-hop artists on tour as well as on a personal level, including the Roc Nation brand, Terror Squad’s Cuban Link, Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah, and Wu-Tang’s affiliate group Killarmy’s Kinetic 9. His experience and solid network that he has built over the years are helping him positively impact the music industry, creating a better environment for all industry players.
Dren began his journey in the industry when he was only 14 years. He notes that he has had a deep connection to music from a young age, describing it as his safe place. As Dren listened to various songs, he came to love and appreciate music more, which inspired him to take the next step of working as a DJ.
At 18, he launched his radio station in NYC (WBAD RADIO 91.9 FM), competing against HOT97. Shockingly, despite not having the resources and his radio station being quite young, Dren had cemented his place, gaining thousands of listeners before the radio station was shut down by the Federal Communications Commission two years later.
A young dreamer, Dren was not ready to give up on his passion. He went back to the drawing board and opened his own recording studio, Pirate. This was the first official studio on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, giving young talents a platform to showcase their skills. Dren later started other studios throughout the city, producing and engineering music for various artists.
“Challenges are part of life, and not everything will work in your favor,” says Dren. “However, you shouldn’t let that stop you from achieving your goals.” He adds that your determination, focus, and resilience are key factors to success.
When Dren was incarcerated in an NYS prison for five and a half years, he didn’t let that stop him from attaining his goals. Despite coming home to many changes in the music industry, he still chose to fight for his passion and built his career from the ground up. Dren struck a balance between the two worlds, embraced digital transformation, and he is now using the many social media platforms to connect with his audience and clients. He has started his own brand, Les Brand, helping creators with digital marketing and promotion.
“Your past doesn’t have to define your future,” says Dren STARR. He says his goal is to help other up-and-coming artists by giving them a platform to grow their careers. Dren also aims to continue creating more timeless music.