The music industry is changing right now. In tandem with the music industry at large, the festival climate is changing and leveling itself right now as well, as evidenced through the recent cancelations of multiple big festivals. And while the festival climate changes, the local market seems to follow right in its foot steps: Promoters that were here a year ago are now nowhere to be seen, and the rotation of DJs has changed as well. Perhaps people are starting to realize that its cheaper for a Netflix subscription and a trip to Specs than going out to watch live music and DJ sets?
While we’re witnessing the field level itself out, it’s important to recognize the players that are standing tall and proud in an unforgiving market, the players who have proved their staying power. Meet one of Houston’s top DJs, DRU (aka Andru Delgado). We caught up with him recently to ask him a few questions about his music and what it’s like being a DJ in Houston.
Free Press Houston: Can you tell us a little bit about your transition from the underground scene to bigger stages and venues?
Andru Delgado: Absolutely! So one name that really sticks out in the scene for me especially is Erick Dean. He helped not only launch, but push me at the beginning. He told me when my sets sucked and when they were a little less suck at the very beginning. But no one starts out good. So it really helped me. I’m more to the point with everything I do just as he is. Ultimately, I really can say he motivated me to always be better than the time before. Second name that really sticks out is Parker Clark. I can’t tell you how many times I bugged the shit out of him at every show I attended at Stereo Live. Eventually, we created a friendship. And about two months after I started DJing with Erick, I ended up getting booked for the terrace at Stereo where I played several shows opening 9 to 10 or 9 to 11 most weekends. But after a lot of time put in and earning my spot and respect, I got to be direct support for FELMAX! That was easily my turning point into playing big stages and headlining shows!
FPH: What sets you apart from other dubstep DJs?
AD: That’s kind of a hard question. I wouldn’t really consider myself solely a dubstep DJ. My last show (Lil’ Bund and DRU’s over the top party) was full of every genre. Although I play anywhere from a 75 to 90 percent dubstep set most of the time, I dabble in hip hop/trap, psytrance, and even some hardstyle. I think that alone is what sets me apart. There’s a lot of very talented DJs here in Houston, and keeping the audience surprised as much as possible is what keeps EDM fans here excited about what my next set will be like.
FPH: In your own words, can you describe what has made DRU an electronic up-and-coming name in the Houston area?
AD: Personally, I think making a connection with your fans probably plays the biggest roll in building a solid and reliable fan base. My fans and friends are ultimately the reason I’m here, and without them I literally wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am now. So I guess creating a reliable fan base is what has made the DRU brand succeed here in Houston.
FPH: The majority of your fan base knows that you’ve been in the studio, yet you haven’t released any originals. Why is that?
AD: This is probably the question most people are wondering. As you’ve stated, yes I’ve been working really hard in the studio. I’m very, very particular about releasing something that I’m completely proud of. So, that’s what’s been going on. I really do want to give my audience my best work always!
FPH: When can we expect some music from you?
AD: I really want to try to get this Luniz — I got five on it remix out as soon as possible. I can’t give a specific date, but very soon is my answer.
FPH: What role does your fiancé play in your career?
AD: Amber is my rock. She definitely keeps me very grounded as trying to balance a social life, my DJ/producer career, work and being an incredible husband to be takes a huge toll on someone. She supports everything I do, and I literally can’t thank her enough for being my best friend as well as putting up with my wild life.
FPH: Can you tell us a little bit of the struggle that comes with being a popular DJ and being in a committed relationship?
AD: There’s definitely a struggle sometimes, but honestly it’s not always this way. She understands what I have to do, and the fan’s that will come along the way and how sometimes at shows I take a big part of my night networking with people and creating a memorable experience with fans. Its definitely gotten easier the further into my career I’ve gotten, and I’m very grateful to have someone like Amber along my side to keep me level headed.
FPH: What is it like being a producer/DJ from Houston?
AD: Im absolutely so proud to be from Houston. The scene here is incredibly unique. There are so many people thriving at so many different genres, and it makes me incredibly happy that I get to come up with these guys, let alone call them my friends. There’s a lot of very talented people here and nothing inspires me more than a little friendly competition. I think that’s what pushes me more than every to only release something completely my own as well as up to par with these guys and girls here in Houston.
FPH: Do you think the city shows you love and why?
AD: Oh absolutely! From tags from big and little fans in posts about playing shows in and out of town to finding my name high up on a poll I didn’t know I was on for some dope show, there’s nothing more rewarding for me to know that my city has my back HEAVY, and hopefully one day I can give back to all these amazing people and especially this city for everything they’ve done for me. I honestly think Houston has one of the best support systems I’ve ever seen. We’ve grown very fond of quite a few smaller artists that are growing rapidly like Big n Slim and of course Bailo, and very recently we had Golden Child come destroy Houston for his first time. I think Houston is definitely known for showing incredible love to up and comers as well as established artists. A lot of artists, from my experience, find Houston as almost a second home for how much this city shows love. So yes. This city makes a random ass fat guy from Houston feel extremely special, and I wouldn’t change a single thing and will always love this city for everything it’s done so far.