There’s Only One Dren STARR, and He’s From the Lower East Side

With over 30 years of experience, Dren STARR is a notable personality in the music scene. He is a highly talented artist who has worn many hats in the music industry. Dren started as a DJ, then worked in the Loud and RCA promo department before transitioning to music production as a recording engineer. From there, he found his passion for making music as an artist and tour manager. It’s a diversely rich journey that makes him a highly versatile music mogul. 

Dren started DJing at 14 years old, and at 18, he was the first and only music entrepreneur running his own hip-hop radio station in NYC, WBAD RADIO 91.9FM. The radio station was a force to be reckoned with, competing against Hot97, which has since been documented on UPN9 news. In the era before social media, there were no podcasts, internet radio shows, or YouTube videos in existence. Dren’s radio station ran for 2 years but was unfortunately shut down by the Federal Communications Commission. 

Dren’s passion for what he does led him to open a recording studio, the first official studio on the lower east side of Manhattan. He later opened up several more recording studios throughout the city, performing production and engineering duties. His hard work and dedication saw him scale and work with the late great Big Punisher. Dren has also managed a few hip hop artists on a personal and tour level and Terror Squad’s Cuban Link, Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah, Wu-Tang’s affiliate group Killarmy’s Kinetic 9, and produced Tru-Life’s highly controversial mixtapes, Tru York.

Dren once took a five and half year break from music due to being incarcerated in an NYS prison. His release saw him met with the social media-driven era with a complete overhaul of the music business. As a result, Dren had to focus on digital marketing and promotions, including creating his LES BRAND. He has worked closely with the Roc Nation brand and the D’USSÉ cognac brand and side by side with Rolling Loud and many other hip-hop tours and festivals.  

Dren has also accumulated numerous career highlights, including being featured on the cover art of Ghostface Killah’s album The Big Doe Rehab. This was a classic hit when CDs existed. Being featured on Biggie’s duet album in the intro to track number 5 featuring Big Pun, Fat Joe, and Freeway is also a significant milestone in his career. Incredibly, this is the only time Biggie and Big Pun were on a song together, and Dren is in the track having a conversion with Big Pun. Dren also opened up Fat Joe’s latest album, Family Ties, on the intro of track number one. 

With the music industry being a fast-paced sector, Dren’s biggest challenge was converting to what he calls the industry’s new digital era. When he started his music career, artists and other industry players had to know people in real life. But in this modern era, people have profiles on social media and send messages and DMs. No one knows each other, and it’s crazy how you can send a message to someone in hopes of doing business. Dren also believes you can be nobody and become an overnight success, something he has seen happen more than once. 

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