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ynf Dru Grange Songs included “The One”, “Stay with Me (Always)”, “Seasons”, “She Can Ride”, “Gettin It In”, "Don’t Be Afraid”, and “You”. In our quick interview, we discussed 'In Essence', The One, songwriting, The Voice Russia and YNF. Determined. Revolutionary. Unstoppable. These are fitting words to describe Dru (Andrew Grange), whose musical influences include Usher, Frank Ocean, Marvin Gaye, D’Angelo, Jodeci, and Stevie Wonder. Dru first tasted success as the lead singer of the R&B group In Essence, whose debut album The Master Plan earned a JUNO Award, MuchMusic Award, and a SOCAN #1 Award (for the club hit, “You Will Never Find”) in 2004. Working with a team of hit-making songwriters and producers motivated Dru to take his talent to a new level and increased his desire to reach a broader audience, both as a singer and as a songwriter. The One, Dru’s first solo album, was released in 2008 to critical acclaim. The first three singles, “The One”, “Stay with Me (Always)”, and “Seasons” garnered strong chart positions at CHR/Top 40 and Hot AC radio across Canada, peaking at #10. The One was also released in Japan on DRU JVC. Dru demonstrated his versatility as a vocalist when he was featured on Doman & Gooding’s high energy Dance hit single, “Runnin” in 2009, which earned him another JUNO nomination for Dance Recording of the Year. Rupert Gayle (Maxi Priest), producer Alex Greggs (*NSYNC, Britney Spears, Shakira), and platinum songwriter Evan Bogart (Beyoncé, Rihanna) co-wrote a number of tracks for Dru’s second album On The Brink in 2014, which included his smash hit singles “She Can Ride” and “Gettin It In” – which both sold over 50,000 digital downloads each. The third single from On the Brink was “Love Collision”, which earned Dru another JUNO nomination in 2014 for Reggae Recording of the Year. In 2015 Dru put out the single “Deja Vu”, produced by heavy hitters Baseline and Kuya Productions. “Deja Vu” earned Dru another JUNO nomination for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year. In 2016, Dru released Don’t Be Afraid”, which has been streamed over 900k times on Spotify and the video has over 500k views on YouTube. That year he also opened for Sean Paul’s Canadian Full Speed Tour. Dru’s 2018 releases “Like I Do”, “Caroline”, “A Girl Like You” and “You” have each been well received and have collectively earned over 350k streams on Spotify to date. This success reinforces Dru’s excitement for his upcoming album TRB MMXX (The Rebirth 2020), set for release in April 2019. In Dru’s own words: “This album will have a deeper soulful 90s RNB feel, but still maintaining pop appeal. From the themes to the songwriting, it all came from my heart and personal experiences. “The Rebirth 2020” is my re-introduction to the music industry, but I’m bringing 20/20 vision along with my lessons learned.” To support the worldwide release of TRB MMXX, Dru will start with a European promo tour of 15 dates over May 17 – June 7, 2019, hitting 10 cities in 7 countries. Look for new Canadian tour dates in summer 2019.
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As I waited for a plane at the airport, I decided to go relax in a lounge.  Passengers can enjoy comfort with free drinks, snacks, magazines, and showers. At the entrance of the lounge you see a small sign letting everyone know that there will be a live performer today.  A gentleman in a nice suit enters the room ready to sing. Dru warms up with a few hit songs from musicians including Usher, Frank Ocean, Marvin Gaye, D’Angelo, Jodeci, and Stevie Wonder. Now he asks if everyone was ready. He explains that he will now perform some original tunes including “The One”, “Stay with Me (Always)”, “Seasons”, “She Can Ride”, “Gettin It In”, “Don’t Be Afraid”, “You” and YNF.

The time just flew by with this wonderful entertainment. Unfortunately, I heard that my flight was ready to go. Before I left, I can hear the performer quickly introducing himself. “I’m Dru, my upcoming album release ‘The Rebirth 2020’ is my re-introduction to the music industry. I’m bringing 20/20 vision along with my lessons learned.” Funny enough, as I got off the plane at my new destination, I noticed Dru waiting for a taxi. I asked if he wanted to split a cab and have a conversation.  In our quick interview, we discussed ‘In Essence’, The One, songwriting, The Voice Russia and YNF.

ynf Dru Grange Songs included “The One”, “Stay with Me (Always)”, “Seasons”, “She Can Ride”, “Gettin It In”, "Don’t Be Afraid”, and “You”. In our quick interview, we discussed 'In Essence', The One, songwriting, The Voice Russia and YNF. Determined. Revolutionary. Unstoppable. These are fitting words to describe Dru (Andrew Grange), whose musical influences include Usher, Frank Ocean, Marvin Gaye, D’Angelo, Jodeci, and Stevie Wonder. Dru first tasted success as the lead singer of the R&B group In Essence, whose debut album The Master Plan earned a JUNO Award, MuchMusic Award, and a SOCAN #1 Award (for the club hit, “You Will Never Find”) in 2004. Working with a team of hit-making songwriters and producers motivated Dru to take his talent to a new level and increased his desire to reach a broader audience, both as a singer and as a songwriter. The One, Dru’s first solo album, was released in 2008 to critical acclaim. The first three singles, “The One”, “Stay with Me (Always)”, and “Seasons” garnered strong chart positions at CHR/Top 40 and Hot AC radio across Canada, peaking at #10. The One was also released in Japan on DRU JVC. Dru demonstrated his versatility as a vocalist when he was featured on Doman & Gooding’s high energy Dance hit single, “Runnin” in 2009, which earned him another JUNO nomination for Dance Recording of the Year. Rupert Gayle (Maxi Priest), producer Alex Greggs (*NSYNC, Britney Spears, Shakira), and platinum songwriter Evan Bogart (Beyoncé, Rihanna) co-wrote a number of tracks for Dru’s second album On The Brink in 2014, which included his smash hit singles “She Can Ride” and “Gettin It In” – which both sold over 50,000 digital downloads each. The third single from On the Brink was “Love Collision”, which earned Dru another JUNO nomination in 2014 for Reggae Recording of the Year. In 2015 Dru put out the single “Deja Vu”, produced by heavy hitters Baseline and Kuya Productions. “Deja Vu” earned Dru another JUNO nomination for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year. In 2016, Dru released Don’t Be Afraid”, which has been streamed over 900k times on Spotify and the video has over 500k views on YouTube. That year he also opened for Sean Paul’s Canadian Full Speed Tour. Dru’s 2018 releases “Like I Do”, “Caroline”, “A Girl Like You” and “You” have each been well received and have collectively earned over 350k streams on Spotify to date. This success reinforces Dru’s excitement for his upcoming album TRB MMXX (The Rebirth 2020), set for release in April 2019. In Dru’s own words: “This album will have a deeper soulful 90s RNB feel, but still maintaining pop appeal. From the themes to the songwriting, it all came from my heart and personal experiences. “The Rebirth 2020” is my re-introduction to the music industry, but I’m bringing 20/20 vision along with my lessons learned.” To support the worldwide release of TRB MMXX, Dru will start with a European promo tour of 15 dates over May 17 – June 7, 2019, hitting 10 cities in 7 countries. Look for new Canadian tour dates in summer 2019.
Dru Grange #whatonwhatsgood

1. Can we discuss your time with the Popular R&B group ‘In Essence’ Do you have any fun memories or stories?

I will forever miss performing on stage with my group. A cool moment was when ‘In Essence’ won the Juno for RnB Soul recording of the year 2003. We were positive that we were not going to win against greats like Robin Thicke, Tamia and Glen Lewis. We were at the bar killing time. Our A&R rep at the time Ivan Berry informed us that our category was coming up. He must’ve known something.  We didn’t. He insisted we go back to our seats. Luckily we got back to our seats as they announced the winner for RnB Soul Recording of the year “IN ESSENCE!” I can’t lie. We were completely shocked. What a blessing at the time. We always think back and wonder what would’ve happened if they announced us and our seats were empty? Lol.

2. Looking back at your first album ‘The One’, released in 2008 with singles, “The One”, “Stay with Me (Always)”, and “Seasons”. Describe your emotions before and after it first went out to the public?

I was terrified! I wondered if the public would accept me as a solo artist.  After the success of “Stay with me”, I felt better. That confirmed that I made the right choice to do a solo album.

 

ynf Dru Grange  In our quick interview, we discussed 'In Essence', The One, songwriting, The Voice Russia and YNF.
Dru Grange #whatonwhatsgood

 

3. What sort of advice would you give to songwriters?

Songwriting is not supposed to be difficult. If you are hitting a brick wall while writing walk away and move on to the next song. They say “the song is already in the room, you just need to bring it down”. So I opened my mind and let it flow naturally. Melody is one of the most important parts of a song. I like to focus on that first to catch a vibe and I usually record the melody first. Also, don’t judge yourself too hard until its finished, you can dissect and rearrange after.

4. You appeared on the show “The Voice Russia” For those who may not know, ‘The Voice’ is an international reality television singing competition. The show’s format features five stages of competition: producers’ auditions, blind auditions, battle rounds, knockouts and live performance shows. Dru, how was your experience on “The Voice Russia”?

The Voice Russia was an amazing experience that I will never forget. The blind auditions were nerve-racking while waiting for a chair to turn. I was so happy when 3 out of 4 turned for me. Making it to the semifinals was so exciting, feeling the energy of the live audience was amazing. 40 million viewers every week was great to broaden my international audience.

 

 

5. Dru, what can you tell us about your new highly anticipated single “YNF” to be released on April 7?

I’m so excited to finally release YNF! YNF is a remake of my group In Essence’s hit ” YOU’LL NEVER FIND”. I rewrote the verses to make it more relevant for today. It has been over 20 years since we wrote it. This is like the 20 year anniversary of our Gold-selling hit from the legendary New York Citys ICON Funk Master’s 60 minutes of Funk. Hot 97 showed us so much love long before we had Canadian radio stations like FLOW 93.5. I hope the nostalgia gets to the fans from 1999 and the new fans get a taste of the golden era of RNB. (YNF)

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By Jovin Tardif

What On What's Good is spreading positivity in the sports, entertainment and other industries #whatonwhatsgood creates reviews, interviews (#cinqque5tion), suggestions & discussions to engage individuals in order to have a fun experience together.