“M16”, the first single off of Dre Island‘s forthcoming debut album Project Now I Rise, is an emphatic introduction, loaded with crossover appeal. The track, which released late last year, has an ability to connect with fans of reggae, rap, and EDM.
Dre Island is the stage name of 27 year old Jamaican artist Andre Johnson. The Kingston native has a Damian Marley-esque vocal delivery, which he uses to sing and rap his powerful, uplifting lyrics.
Despite the fact that he has yet to release an official album or EP, Dre Island has stirred up a following from the YouTube videos of his songs “Rastafari Way” and “On Time”, as well as from touring with the fellow Jamaican reggae star, Chronixx.
Dre Island’s dedication to music began as a young child, when he learned to play piano and joined the church choir. He also spent much of his time growing up in a recording studio, which is where he says he developed his ability to construct beats and produce his tracks.
Dre Island is expected to drop Project Now I Rise in the early part of this year, but so far no release date has been set. Also, plans for a tour to showcase the new album have yet to surface. So, in the meantime, check out Dre’s collection of music on SoundCloud, or learn about his recording process for the aforementioned single “M16” in his mini YouTube documentary of the song.
Watch: Dre Island – “Rastafari Way”