Unveiling Drela: The Musical Wanderer Redefining Afrobeats

In the pulsating realm of Afrobeats, where rhythms echo the heartbeat of a continent and melodies narrate tales of love, life, and beyond, a luminary emerges—a young star whose music transcends borders, welcoming the world with open arms. Enter Mohammed Salisu, known as Drela, a name destined to resonate globally.

Over the past half-decade, Afrobeats has witnessed an astronomical ascent, evolving from a local sensation to a global phenomenon. With infectious rhythms and irresistible grooves, Afrobeats has captivated hearts from Lagos to London, Accra to Atlanta. Yet, amidst this sonic revolution, a new voice arises, promising to lead into uncharted territories: Drela.


Encountering Drela’s music for the first time felt akin to discovering buried treasure. In the depths of a music executive’s studio, his unreleased project beckoned like a siren’s call, teasing with glimpses of brilliance yet to be unveiled. From that moment, I became a fervent disciple of his artistry, eagerly anticipating the day the world would witness his genius.


Meeting Drela in person only solidified my belief in his star power. With charisma radiating from every pore and a talent defying description, Drela transcends being merely an artist—he is a force of nature, a musical wanderer on a journey of self-discovery and sonic exploration.


His music, a tapestry woven from R&B and Afrobeats, defies categorization, blending genres with a fluidity as mesmerizing as it is intoxicating. Each note is a brushstroke, painting vibrant canvases of sound resonating globally. It’s a symphony of “Melodies Never Heard Before,” a testament to Drela’s boundless creativity and unwavering vision.


But Drela’s journey began long before the spotlight beckoned. Raised in a community where music was life, he absorbed a rich tapestry of sounds. From Fela Kuti’s timeless beats to Afrobeat legends’ soulful melodies, his upbringing laid the foundation for his musical empire.


With a talent that turned heads and captured hearts early on, Drela emerged as a rising star on the Nigerian music scene. A mesmerizing performance in December 2022 caught the attention of CashBoy Records, securing him a coveted spot on their roster, where he undergoes grooming for the grand stage. Yet, Drela’s star already shines bright, illuminating the path for a new generation.


What sets Drela apart is not just talent but authenticity. His lyrics reflect youth narratives, addressing social issues and the vibrant energy of African life. His voice, deep and rich, is a testament to his artistry and a cardinal characteristic of his unique sound.


As Drela prepares to unleash his music, excitement permeates the air. With a dedicated fan base and electrifying stage presence, he is poised to become the voice of a generation, a beacon of hope hungry for authenticity and innovation.


So, keep your ears to the ground and eyes on the horizon, because the rise of Drela is a journey you won’t want to miss. In a world craving new voices and fresh perspectives, he is a shining star—a musical wanderer redefining Afrobeats for a new era. And with each note, each melody, Drela brings us closer to a brighter future.


In his pursuit of authenticity, Drela recognizes the importance of building a supportive community of like-minded individuals. He affectionately refers to their followers as the “Dreaders,” emphasizing the connection and unity that exists between them. Through his music, he hopes to strike a chord with his community, creating a space where everyone can find solace, inspiration, and empowerment.


The emerging music star talks about his journey to self-discovery, music exploration, and more in this interview with Acada Magazine, enjoy.

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in music, and how did you get started?

A: The unresisting love for music kept coming. Being around musical instruments in church led to me singing and doing what I’m doing today. For me it’s been music all my life, but when people like 2face, Dbanj, Neato C, Davido, Wizkid and a couple of other cool kids flying the flag of Afrobeats who showed us how far this music thing can go. I knew it has to be music.


Q: Can you tell us about your creative process when writing music?

A: My creative process is deeply personal and immersive. I thrive in quiet spaces where I can let my thoughts flow freely. I believe in thinking outside the box, allowing my imagination to roam unrestricted. When I create music, it’s a journey of exploration and expression. I draw inspiration from my own experiences, emotions, and the world around me. Every song starts as a seed of an idea, often sparked by a fleeting moment or a powerful emotion. From there, I delve into the depths of my soul, crafting lyrics that resonate with authenticity and truth. Melodies come to me naturally, weaving themselves into the fabric of the song. It’s a delicate dance between inspiration and intuition, where each note is carefully placed to evoke a specific emotion or tell a particular story. And as the music takes shape, I find myself lost in the magic of creation, channeling my passion and creativity into every beat, every chord, and every lyric. In the end, the result is more than just a song—it’s a piece of my soul, laid bare for the world to hear.


Q: What themes or messages do you aim to convey through your music?

A: Primarily, my goal is to spread happiness and address social issues through my music. I strive to give hope and encouragement to listeners, particularly through uplifting and joyful songs.


Q: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and how have they shaped your sound?

A: Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is my champ. His ways of addressing issues influenced me. Eedris Abdulkareem’s energy inspires me too.


Q: What sets your music apart from other artists in your genre?

A: My sound, especially my vocals, makes me different.


Q: Could you share a memorable moment or experience from your journey as an artist so far?

A: Overcoming fear. I once performed at a show where fear overwhelmed me, but now it’s history.


Q: How do you approach collaborations with other musicians or producers?

A: It’s all about vibe and connection. Once we’re on the same page, we create magic.


Q: What do you hope listeners take away from your music?

A: I want them to feel connected and always take away love, happiness, and truth.

Q: Tell us about your newly released project Ice Cream Boy?

A: The EP “Ice Cream Boy” is my debut and it’s basically my way of introducing myself to the world. It’s a captivating musical journey that showcases my versatility and artistry. Consisting of two tracks, it explores different facets of life through emotive storytelling and captivating melodies. The lead single, “Ice Cream Boy,” is a joyous anthem celebrating life’s simple pleasures, while “Money on My Mind” delivers a motivational message of determination and perseverance.


Q: How are people reacting to this project?

A: The love has been massive, gradually sinking in with great music lovers, and it has become a basis for the building of the Dreaders. It’s a great way to get started in the ever-competitive space. The love from the DSPs, radio, and TV is humbling; it shows we are on the right track, and from here, it can only get better.


Q: How do you navigate the challenges and opportunities of the music industry as an emerging artist?

A: Stay focused on challenges and opportunities. That’s the key to getting ahead.


Q: How do you balance your personal life with the demands of your music career?

A: Music is my personal life. It’s what I focus on 100%.


Q: Can you share a bit about the story behind your stage name, Drela?

A: Drela reflects a relentless, high-spirited person. I got it from a dream, symbolizing my life’s essence.


Q: What values or principles do you aim to represent through your personal brand as an artist?

A: Spreading love and happiness, creating an impression of positivity in society.


Q: How do you engage with your fans and build a community around your music?

A: Networking, interacting with new people, and being an impressionable person fans can connect with.


Q: What role do you think social media plays in shaping your personal brand and connecting with your audience?

A: It helps me connect with fans globally, shaping my waves and reaching the right audience.


Q: Are there any specific causes or initiatives that are important to you, and how do you incorporate them into your brand?

A: Initiatives that brings happiness to people and fighting depression resonate with me. I incorporate them into my music.


Q: How do you stay authentic in an industry that can prioritize image over substance?

A: By being true to myself, doing what I love passionately, and believing in myself.


Q: What aspects of your personality shine through most prominently in your music and public persona?

A: My voice, it’s the magnet that draws people to me.


Q: Can you share any anecdotes or experiences that have helped shape your identity as an artist and influence your brand?

A: Reflecting on past experiences, it’s about pushing boundaries and stepping into uncharted territories. Moments like performing on big stages or shooting music videos have spurred me to strive for excellence. These instances silently remind me that there’s always room to grow and achieve greater heights without limits.


Q: How do you envision your brand evolving as your career progresses?

A: I envision my brand reaching new heights, from performing at prestigious venues like O2 to collaborating with esteemed artists like Burna Boy. I see growth, greatness, and international recognition in the near future. Moreover, I aspire to become a blueprint for aspiring African artists of my generation, inspiring them to chase their dreams relentlessly.


Q: What was your first ambition?

A: Initially, my dream was to become a footballer, aspiring to be a goalkeeper. However, the allure of music proved stronger, despite my father’s desire for me to pursue a career in the military.


Q: Who do you think is Afrobeats’ greatest artist?

A: Undoubtedly, Fela will forever be regarded as the greatest in Afrobeats history. While Burna Boy is making a compelling case, Fela’s legacy remains unparalleled and timeless.

Q: A word to music lovers out there?

A: “Music is a universal language that has the power to evoke emotions. Whether you’re listening to your favorite songs or discovering new artists, it has the ability to inspire and uplift. And that’s what I’m looking out to doing with my sound. Keep listening and stay with me on this journey.”


Kindly follow me on my social media platforms.


Instagram: @officialdrela

Tiktok: @officialdrela

Twitter: @officialdrela

Facebook: Drela Thryth




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