Dre Island is undoubtedly one of the more intelligent and exciting young musicians, to emerge out of Kingston, Jamaica. Born Andre Johnson, on May 2, 1988, Dre Island exhibited a very strong interest towards music at a young age.
His enthusiasm pushed his grandmother into convincing his father to have Dre take music lessons. Dre had the privilege of choosing which instrument he wanted to learn. He chose the piano. As the lessons went by, he improved his skills and began to love the piano more and more. At age 11 Dre was introduced to a recording studio. He observed keenly, everything that went on, and it was from there that he developed the knack for building beats (Rhythms) and having different artistes sing on those beats. His stage performance abilities were nurtured by his church, where he was a member of the church choir. He then went on to showcase his talent at weddings, local concerts and functions.
He began his professional journey, working as a producer in some of Jamaica’s top recording studios. As a very focused and hard worker, he successfully completed projects with both local and international artistes such as Jah Cure, Sizzla, Pinchers, Julian Marley, and Junior Reid. He has also collaborated with producers Baby G and Jam 2. With all the experience garnered from his behind the scenes projects as a producer, and an unwavering support from family and friends, Dre Island, in 2008, decided to make a transition into becoming a recording artiste. His ultimate aim was always to become an artiste. However, he realised the necessity in learning as much as he could about music, before embarking on such a path.
Dre Island’s strikingly unforgettable voice and flow performed at quite a number of prestigious local shows. He was called onstage in 2010 by dancehall artiste Ding Dong at the world renowned Reggae Sumfest, to perform their collaboration “If I Could Do It Again”. He also made an appearance at the annual Shaggy and Friends charity concert in the same year. In 2013, he made his first Rebel Salute appearance and was well received. Other shows that he graced, are Arts in the Park, Bridging the Gap, Layers of Souls, Bob Marley Trench Town Rock, Tribute to Dennis Brown, Dre Island live in concert at Gee Jam studios, Keesing Live, Midnite in Kingston and also Reggae Riot.
In 2014 Dre Island proved himself a successful international artiste as he opened for Chronixx while touring throughout Europe. He then came home to perform his very first solo show kept at Nanook in December 2015. The show highlighted his early singles like Rastafari Way to his most recent hit M-16 and helped to showcase his thriving independent career as a recording artiste.
Dre Island has quite a number of songs out, that are burning the airwaves, spreading his positive messages like ‘Wildfire’. A few of these tracks are: ‘Happy As Can Be’ produced by Anju Blaxxx, ‘Like A Drum’ featuring Alaine also produced by UIM Records, ‘Whistle Away’, produced by Donovan Bennett, and ‘Jah Is Here for Me’, produced by Notis Records; along with many more.
To date, Dre Island has officially released his mixtape entitled Rastafari Way, produced by King-I-Vier along with several singles and his most recent video for the single M-16 off of his upcoming project Now I Rise set to be released towards the end of 2016.
Dre Island has no intentions of letting go of his love for music, or falling short on creativity. Through his music Dre Island vows to continuing doing ‘Jah Works’ to inspire the people of the world.