Miami Valley Music Focus: Dayton's Dre Meezy on life as a music producer, artist and educator
One of the Miami Valley's best kept secrets is a triple threat talent. Native Daytonian Dre Meezy is a music producer, artist...and educator. The multi-talented musician is a long time teacher for Dayton Public Schools. Meezy is a veteran in both fields and very well respected. Meezy has gotten great local buzz for his latest single (and music video) I Miss My Dawgs. In this interview, Dre Meezy speaks about his new material, his careers, and his civic pride.
First and foremost, you are an educator. What subject/grade do you teach, and how long have you been teaching?
I am currently at Stivers School for the Arts. I work with children that have special needs, grades 7-12. This is my 27th year with Dayton Public Schools.
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
Working with children with special needs is a very rewarding job. Those kids are truly the best students in the world. Their perseverance is amazing. They never give up despite the odds. This career kind of chose me.
Your other passion/love is music. How long have you been an artist, and what led you to it?
I have been in music since I was a four year old kid. I studied piano and guitar at age six. I have been behind the scenes producing records since the '90s. I was never interested in becoming an artist or front man. I have done hooks and have written for many artists. Never my own project.
In 2021 I released a song on DistroKid.com that I dedicated to all of my friends that I had recently lost to COVID , violence and several accidents. The song is called I Miss My Dawgs. I didn't do it for any notoriety. Many people loved the song because it was heartfelt. My good friend Jose Estremera ( aka North) from Central State who I've known since the 90s, called me and said he loved the song! He then told me he wanted to go all out with this song. He asked if we could do a video. I laughed and said, " Whatever ...are you serious?" Needless to say, he made me become an artist on his label FaceLand Records. I have literally been an artist since August 2021. Not even one year yet. Jose is also owner and founder of Agnes All Natural Grill.
Tell us all that you have done and currently do concerning music.
I, along with my brother, Tiwan Diwane, have produced and written under the name Drem On Productions. I also worked as a youth mentor for at risk teen boys called K4L Kings For Life. I taught the boys how to engineer on Pro Tools and how to format songs. Currently, I am writing songs for my debut release on FaceLand Records sometime in 2022.
You've worked with nationally known artists in your musical career. Who were these acts, and what exactly did you work on with them?
We have produced for such artists as; DeMarco and 275 , Scarface, ( The Pressure) Styles P (It's Whatever), Zapp Troutman (Roll with Feezy), PMD of EPMD (Still A Customer), and John Elway (Colorado Crush Theme Song). We have scored several movies and television programs such as; Young Bread Gettas, May Day, Life Ain't Easy, Vow Village and Savage Sports.
Are you producing/performing anything currently?
I am currently producing up and coming releases from Demarco275 and Phillipia. I recently did a collaboration with Digga, who's a member of the Gravediggaz and the Flatlinerz (who were signed to the Def Jam label) , C-Money Baby and Candy Barz. My second single and video, Gangstas Dont Cry, will be released right before Valentine's Day.
You are a proud Daytonian. What perspectives do you have on the city as an artist? As an educator?
As an artist from Dayton Ohio, it is an honor to be from the same city as so many Funk icons. There are big shoes to fill. There really hasn't been a big national breakout artist from Dayton in a long while. The game has changed since the '70s, '80s and' 90s. Yet, the rules are still the same. Good songs + good promotion = hit records. There really aren't many physical records being sold these days. Streams are essential to success now. Social media works as publicity. The sky is the limit. It's fair game for anyone looking to make it.
Miami Valley Music Focus explores the places and people behind the music of Southwest, Ohio. This series is made possible by support from Ohio Arts Council.