The-Dream Discusses New Music, Former Label Job

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The Juice Podcast interviewed The-Dream and Tricky Stewart, who stopped by Billboard magazine’s office a few days ago. The-Dream has two EPs dropping this year. The two-part album is entitled Crown and Jewel. Crown will be released next month, while Jewel will be released in June. Dream said the Crown album has more of an edgy pop sound, similar to the pop records he’s written for Beyonce, Justin Bieber, and Rihanna.

The-Dream proclaimed 2015 will be the year he’s recognized for everything he has contributed to music as an artist, songwriter, and producer. “People refuse to know me as a songwriter. They refuse to accept that there are things that I’ve done with others, with people who are now my good friends, and impacted their career to a certain level,” Dream explained to Billboard. Dream believes people don’t realize that he can write the hit songs he has created for other artists for himself. “They try to separate that. At the end of the day, I can’t convert people like that, I have to do it through music,” the singer said. He continued, “So if you think I’m one thing in the day time, and Batman at night, that’s exactly how I’m going to put out the album.”

The R&B singer signed a deal with Capitol Records last year, after departing from Def Jam Records in January 2014. The-Dream was also the Executive VP of A&R at Def Jam, while Tricky Stewart was the president of A&R at Epic Records, but he left his position as well. Dream and Stewart both claim, they saved each other from their executive positions at major labels; when the singer was asked about his time as a recording artist on Def Jam, Dream didn’t hold back on his true feelings. “Unfortunately if you’re on the Toyota car lot, you shouldn’t take Bentleys over there to sell them,” Dream told Billboard.

The-Dream‘s last project as a Def Jam artist was his 2013 release, IV Play. The album reached the Number 2 position on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart, and Number 16 on the Billboard 200. “It was my last album period in a contract obligation. It’s kind of hard for anyone to put that much into it,” Dream told Billboard. He added, “I wouldn’t expect Def Jam to put that much into it at that particular point, the same way I wouldn’t put that much into it, not from a musical standpoint but from a marketing standpoint.” The Dream concluded, “I had to make the record or I couldn’t get out the contract. IV Play was my get out of jail free card.” The-Dream is nominated for a Grammy this year for his production work on Beyonce’s self-titled album, which is up for Album of the Year.