The Real Drew Sidora

Saturday, 29 August 2009 12:57 Written by  Frances Moffett

Most recently known for portraying a homewrecking singer on The CW’s “The Game,” Drew Sidora wants people to get to know the real her. (“A lot of people didn’t know that [I was a real singer]; they thought I was just a character,” she explained to GlossMagazineOnline.)

drewSidora, a Chicago-born singer/songwriter, actress, dancer and community leader, has been making her rounds on the radio, television and the big screen for the past few years and doesn’t plan on stopping yet. She recently signed a deal with Slip-N-Slide Records and has been working diligently on her debut album, which is tentatively scheduled to be released next March. Read on to learn more about the R&B songstress and see how she plans to make her mark in the music industry.

Photo Credit: Richard Talleyrand

Since the release of your song “For the Love,” which was a huge hit in Chicago, you’ve been everywhere. Did that single propel you to doing bigger things?
I believe that song did a lot for me, musically definitely because the radio embraced it and the DJs embraced it. I was able to perform it and open up for acts like Fantasia and Faith Evans to Bobby Valentino to Talib Kweli. It just gave me that validation like, ok, she can not only have a song on the radio, but she can also perform and grace stages. So it gave me the confidence and the look in order to get in the studio with a lot of top producers and to get looked at by labels. It really helped propel my music career, along with [the movie] “Step Up.” I did music on the soundtrack and in the movie. I really believe that gave leverage to me being ultimately signed to Slip-N-Slide.

How has the Slip-N-Slide experience been, especially being that they mostly work with rap artists?
I’m really happy with the decision of signing to Slip-N-Slide because out of 15 years, they’re such a successful label continually putting out rap artists, such as Rick Ross, Trina and Plies, and they’ve all been platinum plus. So to come up under them with that success is really important to me. Plus, signing with a smaller boutique label like Slip-N-Slide, I’ll have a better chance of actually coming out (laughs). So I look at that as a definite plus. And they’re also looking into going into R&B, which is something new to them. I felt like I can be part of that movement and be apart of making history for the label. We’re really excited about this new journey…it’s only been seven months, and we’re already going to radio with my first single next month. In less than a year, things are already moving.

So what’s the new single?
The producer who did my first single entitled “Juke” is Lamb. He’s from Miami and he produced Jasmine Sullivan’s “Need U Bad” and also he did “Let it Go” for Keyshia Cole. I’ve actually just been in the studio with him for the last three weeks nonstop because we’re creating a monumental album. We want to create a different sound, so I’m mainly just working with him right now capturing that new sound, that new direction that I want to take for the album. Lamb is definitely phenomenal. He’s definitely established but fresh. What we’re doing, I’m really excited about it.

What can we expect with the debut album?
It’s going to be where I am in my life. It’s going to be real true to that. And just about having fun, being in love and trying to get it right, being heartbroken and just wanting to be young and sexy and all those types of things. Those aspects are going to be all combined in the album. I’m really focused on making the album as much of me as possible because people might know me from different roles in movies and TV shows, but I want them to get to know who I am as a person. So it’s going to be very real, very intimate, allowing them to get the chance to pretty much know what I’ve been through and what I’m going through in my life right now on a personal level.

Photo Credit: Marc Moran

You’ve had quite a few roles in different movies and on television. What made you transition into that?
I’ve always been pursuing a musical career, but the music industry is a lot more difficult. It was really about bridging the two passions of mine together. When I landed the role in “Step Up,” I was really able to use both my talents, which is acting and singing. And from that point forward, I started doing shows like “That’s So Raven,” “Girlfriends,” “The Game,” and recently I did a movie in Africa where I got a chance to play a singer. That was really important to me [because I got] to let people know I do sing; I’m not an actress trying to sing. I didn’t just wake up and say I want to sing today. I actually was classically trained in piano at age 3, so to be able to finally get that out has been a long journey.

How did you land the role on “The Game?”

That role was crazy because I actually did an episode of “Girlfriends” where I played a singer and dancer, and Lynn was trying to get in my hip hop group and I was trying to teach her the dance moves. It was really a funny, funny episode and the executive producer Mara Brock Akil was like, ‘Wow, you have your own music. I’m doing a show and I want to bring you back for that.’ They actually wrote me into the script using my real name, which was crazy because the only time you use your name is if you’re a huge star, and I was like wow. That was a blessing because it really gave notoriety to the name. A lot of people didn’t know that. they thought I was just a character. For me to be on that show was really great for me.

You have a couple films coming out soon.
I have a film out right now called “Frankenhood” with Charlie Murphy. I also did a horror movie called “Farmhouse.” A film I did called “B Girl” is due out in theaters at the top of next year.

What are some of the things you want to take on in the future?

I look forward to redeveloping my production company. I really look forward to building on that and picking up scripts and helping develop and produce those projects for the African American community, as well as have a music production side to sign other artists, especially from my hometown. I want to reach back and help other people fulfill their dreams and their passions. Once the album is out and people recognize me for that, hopefully anybody that I meet in my path that I can help, I look forward to bringing them out of my company. I think that’s important.

With an industry full of new, aspiring artists, how do you want to carve your own lane?
By just really developing that sound and sticking to what I know and what’s true to me. I think once you lose yourself, you kind of lose your fans, you lose your identity. So just making sure that I have chemistry with a specific producer and that we stick with that and we continue to grow together. Being innovative, just saying who I am, not caring if people accept it. I think that if people love you, they’ll learn to love everything about you. A lot of people try to conform and do what they think people will like. And that’s when people start not being able to recognize you for you. I am definitely going to continue to stay grounded through everything and keep those around me who are going to help me to stay and continue to be who I am so that I never lose that. And I think I’ll reflect that in my passion, in my music, and just in everyday life.

Visit Drew's MySpace page for more on the rising star!

Frances Moffett

Frances Moffett

GMO Editor-At-Large Frances Moffett is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. She has worked with GMO since its inception. With a love for journalism and all things writing, she is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public relations and advertising from DePaul University. Frances is also an editor at the country’s largest association management company and has written for a variety of publications, including Jet magazine, The Chicago Defender and The Chicago Reporter.

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