Thanks to the internet, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing DREL for a couple of years now. I’m so glad I stumbled across his label, Lifted LoFi Records, and can now call him a friend. Based in Chicago, DREL works hard to support LoFi artists, helping them reach their full potential while creating music for the masses to enjoy.
But, his creativity doesn’t stop there. Not only does he run his independent label, supporting a wide range of LoFi artists, but he himself also makes beautiful music. Truthfully, I did not realize LoFi rap was a genre until I met DREL. He shares, “LoFi has a unique vibe that can’t be copied over and over again; that’s why I like it.” It only takes listening to one song from his catalog to become hooked. His flow is unique, and his lyrics aren’t like every other rapper you hear on the radio. His fluidic rhyming touches on topics that are relatable to all walks of life. Paired with the melodic beats, what’s not to love?
I had a chance to chat with DREL on his latest release, “Quick Thought,” which came out this week. Check it out, and be sure to do a deep dive into his music while you’re at it!
How long have you been making music? And tell us about Lifted Lofi and how long that has been around.
I started making music in late 2017 but didn’t start taking it seriously until 2018. I created Lifted LoFi in December of 2019. As an independent artist who did mostly LoFi rap, there weren’t a lot of labels back then who would release with unknown LoFi rappers. When I did find labels, I didn’t like the way they operated and treated their artists. So with that in mind, I created my own label. I started it to truly help upcoming LoFi artists and that has been my main focus. We’ve had tons of great artists release with us. I personally feel that I’ve helped a lot of artists get their name and sound out there. I know there’s a lot that would agree as well. I’ve been told that working with my label is a great experience so that really makes me happy. I’m proud to start something from the ground up and have it succeed!
What can I expect from your sound if I’m a first-time listener?
If you’re a first-time listener, you’ll see that I have my own unique sound. I don’t sound like anyone else, nor do I talk about the same things as anyone else. I try to stay true to myself and rap about things that I feel matter. I’ve been told a few times that I somewhat have an Earl Sweatshirt flow and sound. Which is pretty dope because I feel like he’s a great artist and doesn’t conform to the industry ways of making his music. Not everyone will like my sound/style, which is okay. At the end of the day, I make music because it’s my form of art. If people like it, that’s great; if not, that’s fine as well.
What inspired your new single, “Quick Thought”?
“Quick Thought” is a track that initially started off as a freestyle. I developed it more thoroughly so that I could release it as an actual song. It’s about the current state of rap/hip-hop music. I’m not pleased with the negative aspects of the music that is being put out for people to consume. I feel that it’s bad for the culture and it’s a negative influence on the youth.
I always just try to be myself. I don’t pay attention to other artists’ styles, flow, etc. I just rap what I feel and do it the way that works for me. I like to speak on things that actually matter. I never talk about jewelry, cars, clothes, drugs, etc. Materialistic items don’t make a track authentic; all of that stuff is fake.
What does the rest of 2022 hold for you and your music?
I would like to do more collaborations this year with some dope LoFi artists, so I’m going to focus on that. I’m definitely going to continue building the label up and helping artists become lifted!!
Thank you, DREL, for sharing your craft with us.