Manager Tunde Balogun discovered D.R.A.M. through the blog Pigeons And Planes in 2014 and knew he had to go check him out. He hopped on a plane, saw that the artist was the real deal, and was repping him by the end of the year.
What most impressed Balogun was D.R.A.M.’s ability to blend rapping and singing in a unique way.
Photo: Glen Oakes Photography
D.R.A.M. - Cover photo for Pollstar's March 27, 2017 issue.
Some already released tunes were repackaged into an EP, with “Cha Cha,” which was already gaining traction, being the pièce de résistance. The moves soon paid off, as Chance The Rapper invited the upstart onto his 2015 fall tour.
“D.R.A.M was already a great performer, but that tour made him the artist who he is now as far as live. … He figured out how to win the crowd over every time,” Balogun said.
With Chance fans having seen him live, the next step was to cut an album. Writing and recording took most of the first half of 2016, and one the of last tracks cut, “Broccoli,” featuring Lil Yachty, took on a life of its own.
The song was released on SoundCloud and positively received, and subsequently pushed through more media. The results were incredible, to the degree that the LP, Big Baby D.R.A.M., was released soon after to ride the momentum. At press time, “Broccoli” had gone RIAA 4x Platinum with more than 300 million streams on Spotify.
Photo: Christine Hahn
“I believe that D.R.A.M. is gonna end up being one of the biggest artists of this generation,” Balogun said. “He is going to push the envelope every time. People are gonna see the growth every time he puts out music.”
Fans are apparently already catching on, as Balogun said most of the rapper/singer’s first headline tour was sold out, with some venues requiring size upgrades.
Plans in 2017 include appearances at destination festivals Coachella, Bonnaroo and Soundset. D.R.A.M. will also take headline dates in the fall and open for a major act that is still being kept under wraps.