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THE HARDEST WORKING LABEL IN CHICAGO: THE RISE OF DREAM GLOBAL RECORDS

The music industry is constantly changing, but the Lawrence brothers try to stay ahead of the curve by adapting to and embracing new trends in music and not being afraid to pivot from the old ways. In 2021, Music Executives and siblings D. Lawrence, 31, and Tayski Lawrence, 29, relaunched Dream Global Records, an American record label and management agency. 

The pair has a knack for spotting talent and artist development. The formula is simple: Locate talented artists nationally, throw all the resources they have at these young musicians, and build them into the hottest acts out of their cities. That is home to artists like former 1017 records signee RoBoy and Bando Pop, whose latest single, “flights” featuring Lil Baby, garnered over 13 million listens on Spotify.

Following the rise of Dream Global Records, we wanted to dive into how the label functions and how two highly motivated individuals are helping shape the next generation of musicians. With the music distribution arm of Roc Nation, Equity Distribution, distributing Dream Global Records’ music catalog, D. and Tayski Lawrence have been able to run the company while still managing the day-to-day operations of the various artists on their roster. This is a tailor-made experience, and both music Executives know that they have to be creative and steadfast to run the label. 

“We pride ourselves in what we do here at Dream Global Records with artist development. Everyone is just catching these one-hit wonders or TikTok moments. Nobody is creating real superstars because everybody got away from artist development. Nobody wants to invest and put the time into artists to build something special.”

“One of the major things about my brother and me is that we always try to teach entrepreneurship to our Artists and everyone around us. We always tell our Artists the same thing: Some music styles don’t trend or last forever. Use your name, your platform, and the money you’re making to invest in other things that can be long-term financial gains to secure you and your children’s futures,” D. Lawrence said. The pair have taken their advice, branching into music management, distribution, and publishing worlds. 

You can connect with Dream Global Records on InstagramFacebook

Connect with D. Lawrence and Tayski Lawrence on Instagram.

 

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Jen Ash’s “Trouble” is Worthy of All Accolades

The latest single from Jen Ash has been circulating for a little over a month now and is demonstrating traction in the RnB field as critics, fans, and newcomers are flocking to this track which is a tribute to the late Amy Winehouse. My first impressions of this release are that the vocals really match the song. With an abundance of clever instrumentation, the vocals maintain a perfect symmetry to the melodic form staying comfortably in the frequency range the track is allotted to. Although this is a classic RnB style track, fused with the typical elements and changes that make this genre recognizable, Trouble exhibits a lean toward Gospel, Pop, and Soul. With these sub-genre roots, Trouble incorporates an exciting choice of organ pedal chords to compliment the piano lines while the saxophone samples carry the main melody. However, as stated by Jen Ash, “The song is so jazzy and bluesy. it takes me back in time. The saxophone adds another dimension to the song, where I feel like I’m immersed in a 50/60’s black and white movie.” This nostalgic feel is contrasted by a very modern vibe allowing this piece to resonate with a contemporary audience. Trouble doesn’t really like to experiment with timing and tempo changes that separate the chorus from the verse, this hinders the impact of the main hook this song really wants to push through. This step back from the punchiness allows listeners to get caught up in the jazzy and blues feel that permeates past Pop RnB. What we get is a vibe that captures the audience and sucks them into the track making it more wholesome and vibrant.

Trouble would be an excellent addition to any Urban, Pop, Adult Contemporary, and RnB commercial radio playlist. This track would also be a great fit for any club setting, as the main groove and the bottom end pushes through the main melody to elicit a dance response from the listener. Every aspect of the production has been meticulously fawned over, as each instrument is allowed its place within the frequency spectrum, yet blended together allowing for a full and competent mix. Trouble is a very enjoyable track, and worthy of the accolades it is receiving. As a follow-up to her other singles; No Other Lover, and I Am Dreaming Of You, Trouble is a perfect addition to Jen Ash’s growing catalog of up-and-coming hits. As a fitting tribute to the great Amy Winehouse, Trouble offers metaphor and symbolism that captures the essence of Amy’s music and the impact she had on her fans.

 

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Tia McGraff Impresses on “Sometimes Love’s Like That”

Tia McGraff is undisputedly a wonderful performer, a shining star within the Country, Folk and Americana music scenes. She specializes in making music featuring soft sentimentality, and she has a complete grasp over this strength. Her ability as a musical story-teller makes her stand out from her peers, and this comes across perfectly in her latest single, “Sometimes Love’s Like That.”

Like most of Tia’s output, “Sometimes Love’s Like That” is a sweet, sad sounding single. There’s a certain dreamlike atmosphere to this single that we feel really sets it apart from Tia’s usual work. It has all the hallmarks of her style, but there’s a warmth to it that evokes feelings of nostalgia. It’s like a perfect encapsulation of comfortable memories in the form of a song.

The songwriting matches this, as Tia writes about reliving old love and the sweet memories that come with it, even if there’s pain mixed in. We’ve got some fairly complicated feelings going on here, requiring a delicate and thoughtful approach to them. Taking these themes and butchering them can lead to the song sounding insincere or haphazardly put together, so how does Tia do?

We’re happy to report that “Sometimes Love’s Like That” succeeds in this department in spectacular fashion. Tia touches on these ideas and themes tastefully, greatly enhancing the song’s overall feel and vibe. We’d even go as far as to say the writing on the single is by and far one of its strongest suits, really capturing the feelings the song is going for.

There’s a fleeting sense of pain and sadness with the song too, which Tia expounds upon throughout the single. Love is a complicated topic, regardless of how simple and common it is, and Tia understands this. She explores the intricacies and pains of love, in a way that’s simply fascinating to listen to.

Production is fairly sparse, but it works better that way. The more simple production quality is essential to keeping the personal, intimate nature of the song. What’s most important however is that the song pushes the most important parts of the arrangement forward, enhancing the song’s atmosphere. There’s an almost grand sense of scale despite how personal the song is.

Overall, Tia McGraff once again impresses with “Sometimes Love’s Like That.” It’s an emotional tour de force of a single, standing out from the rest of the genre in its sheer quality of writing. Tia’s performance is also phenomenal, really conveying the complex emotions the song is trying to capture. We’re definitely looking forward to whatever she has in store for the future.

-Jason Airy

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