Dre Sinatra: Behind The Vinyl [Interview]
Los Angeles, CA – From throwing house parties to being featured at Hollywood’s hottest clubs, Dre Sinatra has developed into one of the most prominent DJs emerging from the Los Angeles music scene. He recently met up with Sina Tash of HipHopCanada at the SUPR HUMN Studios in Los Angeles, where they discussed his career development, DJing with Ray J’s Knockout Entertainment Tour, his role on VH1’s A Family Business, his love for Toronto, and more. The interview reveals much of the story behind how Dre Sinatra paved his path to success.
HipHopCanada: Tell us about Dre Sinatra… Who is Dre Sinatra?
Dre Sinatra: Dre Sinatra is a hardworking individual who has paid his dues at every level of the game… from the bottom, all the way to the top. I put in a lot of hard work to get here. Dre Sinatra is just hard working, with straight up swag.
HipHopCanada: How did you come up with the name Dre Sinatra?
Dre Sinatra: Well my name is Andre. I was listening to Frank Sinatra one day and I started doing more research on the dude. I was like, damn this dude is crazy, just so ill, ahead of his time. I thought it would be an ill DJ name since I was doing radio at the time.
HipHopCanada: What radio station?
Dre Sinatra: I was doing a station out in Palmdale, but I also was doing Sirius satellite at the time through one of my homies in Boston. I was doing guest mixes. People have known me Dre One, but that’s just too generic, and it’s what my friends call me.
HipHopCanada: When did you start DJing?
Dre Sinatra: Back in ’94.
HipHopCanada: How old are you now?
Dre Sinatra: I’m 30-years-old, so that’s over half of my life. I’ve always wanted to DJ, since I was about 12, but I didn’t get my hand on tape decks and DJ systems until ’94, then we just started throwing our own party.
HipHopCanada: I know you’re familiar with the Hollywood scene and always spinning out there. I know you work with many artists, like Ray J. Tell us about that.
Dre Sinatra: Well that has been a blessing. I started working with some underground cats, then I started working with rap artists who had gone gold and platinum, then I started working with Ray J. It was all progression, through hard work. One thing led to to the next. Ray J helped me get to the next level, getting me on TV and getting me different opportunities.
HipHopCanada: What, specifically, did you do with Ray Jay?
Dre Sinatra: I was tour DJ, and then also getting a lot of shows and bookings. TV appearances. He’s a good friend of mine, and has become like a brother to me.
HipHopCanada: So what is Dre Sinatra listening to right now?
Dre Sinatra: Personally, I feel like no one is putting out better music than Rick Ross and Drake. I know it sounds so commercial to say, but at the same time they are producing some of the best music. I also like The Weeknd too.
HipHopCanada: So Drake and The Weeknd are both from Toronto. Do you listen to any other Canadian artists?
Dre Sinatra: I really like Swollen Members and Kardinal Offishall. Good music will prevail no matter where it’s from. Good music is just good music.
HipHopCanada: Do you have any plans for working with any Canadian artists, maybe hosting mixtapes?
Dre Sinatra: Yea, we fuck with Canada heavy. We’ve worked with some independent artists in Vancouver, Winnepeg, Toronto. Actually I’ll tell you about the best moment ever, that actually took place in Toronto. It was at the best hotel I ever stayed at, in Toronto. I was having a moment, I had the flyest room, I was in the tub watching tv, and right as I’m thinking, “wow this is the dopest moment,” I saw me, Ray J and Shorty Mac come on BET Rap City. Right as I’m having that moment! When that happened, I realized hard work has paid off. That was the craziest moment I had, and I’m glad it was in Canada. Now Toronto really has a special place in my heart. Plus, oh all the beautiful women, I thought I met my wife out there! I lost her number and was heart-broken.
HipHopCanada: Alright if the lady sees this interview on Hip Hop Canada, hit us up. We’re going to hook you up with Dre Sinatra! Okay, now I’m going to drop a few words, so if you could give me a one word answer on these…. starting with: Music
Dre Sinatra: Life
Dre Sinatra: Love
Dre Sinatra: Real… gotta keep it real
Dre Sinatra: Tough
HipHopCanada: Yeah, you’re originally from L.A. Where in L.A. are you from?
Dre Sinatra: I’m from the North Hollywood area. It’s a tough, little shady spot. If you think about it, it’s so tough here. No one wants to break bread. Sometimes it seems like there’s more love outside of L.A. When you’re from L.A., you get more love outside of L.A. It’s just like anywhere else; if you travel somewhere you’ll get more love than where you’re from. That’s just the reality.
HipHopCanada: So how can people reach you, listen to your mixes, or get in contact for a feature or booking?
Dre Sinatra: Go to DreSinatra.com. You can follow me on Twitter @DreSinatra. Follow what I’m doing, I just want to connect with people. If you’re really serious about what you do and think you’re talented, holla at me.
Written by Sina Tash for HipHopCanada