Buffalo, N.Y., isn't exactly a music mecca, but that hasn't fazed rapper Edreys: He's a main attraction unto himself.
Buffalo, N.Y., isn't exactly a music mecca, but that hasn't fazed rapper Edreys: He's a main attraction unto himself. He's worked as a producer and lyricist, solo and with groups like Soulive and Raw Intel. In fact, the latter was signed to Elektra earlier this decade and had four tracks featured on videogame "ESPN NFL 2K5." In 2002, Velour Records released a 12-inch from his previous group MEKA 54, produced by Soulive drummer Alan Evans. Edreys manned the decks for tracks featured in "Farce of the Penguin," HBO's "Unscripted" and Lifetime movie "Officer Down."
His forthcoming record, tentatively titled "Good Morning, Amy," however, will be his first solo album. "Every Sunday morning at 7 o'clock, my boys Brian Anderson, T1X and I would powwow at this joint called Amy's Place. It's a place where we think of how to take the music to the next level," says the artist, who was born Edreys Wajed.
The set's first official single, "I Like It," has been picked up for digital distribution by the Orchard and will be featured on the Yahoo Music Hit List for five weeks starting March 21, with a video to match.
Additionally, Edreys is trying to make a play as an active live performer. He's opened for the likes of Craig David, Ghostface Killah, Slum Village and Premiere, and will try to earn himself a crossover crowd with select dates on the Vans Warped tour this summer.
"I write digestible music, stuff that's good for any different crowd. I'm not trying to make the club hit or the jewelry song or the song about ho's. I don't use profanity and I don't talk about guns or murder unless I'm reflecting a story," he says. "People seem to identify hip-hop as all these things, but I'm out to make universal music. It's intended for everyone." He also plans to move to New York City once a plan for rolling out his album has been established.
When he hasn't been busy with music, Edreys has established himself as a graphic artist and painter. He set up Gallery 51 in Buffalo a few years ago, featuring high-end stationery and his own prints, plus works by other local artists. He's also been an active contributor to the Albright-Knox Gallery for contemporary art and is trying to secure a sponsorship for his music from Sakura art supplies.