The rising star talks her latest single “Drowning In Paradise”, and what we can expect from her upcoming EP.

Drue de Milo in pink dress

Dress, Florentina Leitner, Earrings, Sad collection, Ring, Atelier D’Ornements

Drue de Milo in pink dress
Dress, Florentina Leitner, Earrings, Sad collection, Ring, Atelier D’Ornements

In a time where music mainly consists of disco-inspired rhythms and synth-pop, singer-songwriter Drue de Milo is providing us with an escape with her cathartic cinematic pop anthems. Having broken into the scene a few years ago with nuanced lyrics and sultry vocals, the singer’s signature dream-pop style has led her to perform at the infamous Boom Boom Room and LA’s staple Viper Room, proving her vocal ability.

Drue’s latest single “Drowning In Paradise” is an ode to the singer’s own storytelling ability, as she gifts us with an ocean-drenched Bonnie and Clyde-inspired song filled with powerful vocals and delicate strings. Pulling inspiration from the water of Montauk, Drue threw herself into the deep end and learned how to surf.

Having first started her career as a ballerina in New York, Drue de Milo has been ever-evolving her skillset over the years; from directing to producing, the singer is making sure no creative stone is left unturned. We caught up with the rising sensation and talked new music, inspirations, and what we can expect next.

Check out the interview below…

Hi Drue, how has lockdown been treating you? Tell us one lesson you’ve learned…
Lockdown has been enlightening! I was just coming off performing again when it started, and I definitely found it challenging at first to shift gears, but overall it’s been amazing to spend time with myself and de-clutter. I’ve been writing new material, watching lots of surf videos, having deep chats with my dog, and learning the mini harp. Lockdown has driven home that life is unpredictable and that existentially we’re in it alone, but we’re also in it together. It’s more fun together. So we find a way to connect.

How did that duality of being born in Manhattan and raised in the suburbs affect your thinking on your musical influences?
So, I was reverse commuting for ballet and I had friends in both places. It was cool because I’d go to Spice Girls concerts with my friends from the suburbs and then sneak into CBGB when I was 14 to see Semi Precious Weapons with my city friends. I loved both. Today, I’m equally influenced by artists like Charlie Puth and Dominic Fike.

And that classic ballet background – has this discipline influenced other aspects of your life including how you approach music?
Oh for sure. I was taught very early that you do whatever it takes to nail it and there are no short cuts. I can be a little obsessive with melodies and mixes and, like, if the buttons on my shoes match my lipstick… but in ballet, your fingertips matter. It’s the details that really elevate something from a cool idea to something special. I’m detail-oriented across the board.

Who did you listen to growing up? Where are the most unusual places you pull musical inspiration from?
My mom loved The Rolling Stones and I was raised on them. I also listened to a lot of Motown, then of course Britney Spears, and I was obsessed with Sublime. As far as unusual places, I really love Celtic music – those masculine violins and gorgeous harmonies.

Congratulations on your new single “Drowning in Paradise” – what was it inspired by?
Thanks! Simply, it was inspired by the ocean. At first, I thought I was writing a love song about the ocean, but then, the ocean served as this metaphor for love and life itself.
I was in Montauk watching the rain hit the ocean from the deck of a swimming pool – there was water everywhere and this beautiful view but it felt silly; I wanted to jump in.

It’s taken from your forthcoming EP – can you tell us a bit about it as a body of work, and what it is called?
I’m calling it “DNA”. The title track is a playful, sexy, uptempo beat that repeats “I hope you never change.” I’m filling the EP with lots of deep bass and strings, music you can get ready for the party to, dance a little, and reminisce on the drive home.

Drue de Milo in pink dress
Drue de Milo in pink dress

(LEFT) Pink Dress, Rosepany, Earrings, Sad collection, Hat, Na Yeong Baek, Shoes, Stylist’s own

Drue de Milo in pink dress
Pink Dress, Rosepany, Earrings, Sad collection, Hat, Na Yeong Baek, Shoes, Stylist’s own
Drue de Milo in pink dress

How do you feel like your sound has progressed since one of your debut/earlier tracks “I Wanna Be Ur Girlfriend?”
I really love that song. I kept it pure, and since then, I feel like my sound has mostly just gotten more confident. Listening back, even that had some “clever” moments, so it’s progressed to less gimmicky, even more sincere, and more willing to explore darker elements. and more drums.

You’ve played some iconic venues including the Viper Room, Boom Boom Room and even a private show for The Real Housewives of New York – what’s been your favourite gig so far?
My favourite gig was for sure The Standard Sounds show. We did “Drowning in Paradise” with a cello and the room was filled with this amazing New York energy.

You’ve described physical triggers for your songwriting (such as surfing) – has this always been intrinsic to how you create your music? Are the two interwoven?
It’s absolutely always been the case. I wrote “Drowning in Paradise” mostly in between surf sessions, and I do a lot of writing on the treadmill. I always feel like what we want to say lives in our bodies, and when we’re moving we quiet the mind. There’s a song I’m writing right now that’s making me want to learn archery. There’s totally a bow and arrow video in the near future.

Much of your messaging is really empowering – how do you want fans to feel when they listen to your music?
Like they’re awesome. Like they’re the star of their own lives. If my music can be the soundtrack that gives ‘em top billing in their own minds, I’ve succeeded.

What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to in 2020?
Well, I guess, archery. Really, I’m looking forward to people hearing and seeing “Drowning in Paradise”. I’d love to be touring and to direct more videos – directing was an amazingly challenging and gratifying experience so I hope the whole project resonates. As we all know, life is unpredictable so I’m looking forward to taking 2020 slowly into 2021.

Emma Craft
Photography Assistant
Ryan Schostak
Erol Karadag
Natalia Thomas
Wardrobe Assistant
Nicholas Bradé
The Elevated Acre

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