DROZE (born CHARLLES PEDROZA) is the latest act, and the first male vocalist, to be launched by GONNA BE MUSIC, the new label owned and operated by dance-music impresario MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ, also known as MICHAEL M.
Bouncing back and forth between Miami and New York City his entire childhood, DROZE was raised by the radio, specifically the soul and R&B stations of the 1980s. In the harmonies of SWV, TOTAL, BRANDY, and BROWNSTONE, he found both relief and comfort—both of which were more than necessary given his tough, troubled teenage years.
DROZE may have faced obstacles, but they didn’t define him. He eventually racked up twelve years of classical music training on four different instruments. Every step of the way, he developed his voice as well—but kept that particular talent to himself. That all changed when long-time friend Rodriguez heard him sing the epically difficult ERYKAH BADU hit TYRONE at a karaoke bar. Droze’s performance—charismatic, original, and eminently entertaining–convinced Rodriguez to pursue and eventually sign him.
Once a management deal was in place, DROZE began to plot his course. With such a big voice—and such a distinctive style—he was naturally suited to the genres he loved the most anyway: soul, R&B, and deep house, the deeper the better. Early on, he exhibited a talent for free-flowing ad libs—a talent eventually noted by critics, who compared his vocals to those of great dance-music powerhouses of the early 2000s.
DROZE made his official debut last year, as a featured artist on the DANNY G-produced, GONNA BE-released NEVER STOP. The same team followed up earlier this year with the even more epic RUNNING (OUT OF TIME), peaking at number 27 on the BILLBOARD dance/club chart.
Even before RUNNING (OUT OF TIME) started to chart, DROZE was already expanding his musical horizons, adding featured vocals to the ambiguously themed CORRUGATED TUNNEL track WHEN THERE WAS HOUSE. Released by Ireland’s legendary VISION COLLECTIVE RECORDINGS, the song was well-received and often played by DJs throughout Europe. The accompanying video—an artistic statement unto itself—helped. Directed by CORRUGATED TUNNEL’s very own EDWIN JAMES, it helped the single get noticed by bloggers all over the world.
For his fourth outing, DROZE decided to reinvent a classic R&B track for a new generation of listeners. His cover of GROOVE THEORY’s buoyant TELL ME, produced by GIUSEPPE D, has just been released—and fans are already clamoring for remixes. They may have to wait, because DROZE is busy polishing THE DROZE PROJECT, an EP written and executive produced by Rodriguez, with production by Giuseppe D, KC ANDERSON, and OBA FRANK LORDS.
What will the next year have in store for DROZE—and what does he already have in store for us? Stay tuned and find out.