The music industry can be cutthroat, especially in the world of hip-hop and digital marketing. It can be a highly competitive and often ruthless business to try and make a name for yourself within. With many artists vying for success and recognition, only the best of the best manage to make a lasting legacy. It’s a constant battle to stay ahead of the competition and stand out from the rest. Hip hop music is an ever-evolving genre, and success often depends on an artist’s ability to push the boundaries and innovate. Those who don’t stay ahead of the curve will quickly fall behind. It’s a risky and challenging business, but those who are successful reap significant rewards.
Dren Starr has been a part of that business for over 30 years, having adapted to a huge amount of change in the industry. Born in 1977 and raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City, Starr has witnessed firsthand the changes that came to the music industry. He started in the business at just 14 years old, building up his career as a DJ and radio host. Now, in 2023, the things that mattered then when it comes to success are all but irrelevant.
“My biggest challenge was from converting to what I call the new digital era of the music industry,” Starr explains. “When I started in this industry, you had to really know people in real life. Now, in this era, people have profiles on social media and send messages and DM’s. No one really knows each other and it’s just crazy how you can send a message to someone in hopes of doing business. You can be nobody and literally become an overnight success. I’ve seen it happen more than once.”
This shift became particularly apparent after his life and career were temporarily put on hold after a 5 and a half year incarceration. The entrepreneur hasn’t let this prison time affect much of his professional and personal life, as he served his time and reemerged into the business. Upon his return, so much had changed in just 5 short years. With everything existing digitally, Starr was forced to adjust if he wanted to continue growing his brand.
“Do good business, never burn any bridges, stay true to yourself and be humble,” Starr explains when it comes to how he managed to get back into the industry after his time away. “As long as your grind is real and your heart is pure you will always have a good name in this industry. I was gone for a very long time and came right back like I never left because my name and business was always solid.”
With producing, marketing, and developing new music, Dren Starr is also working directly with his social media platforms to build a reputation as an executive and influencer. Partnering with the D’USSÉ cognac liquor brand, Starr is looking for unique ways to bring his music and producing name to new markets.
Starr wants to create a legacy for his family, when he is no longer here. He hopes that this journey into the cutthroat world of the music industry can make it easier for his two sons to carry out said legacy. “My dreams and aspirations are to make the Lower East Side a household name sort of like how Wu-Tang did for Staten Island,” Starr explains. As a music mogul on the rise, Dren Starr has been actively building the Lower East Side’s name and will continue to bring notoriety to his hometown as long as he spearheads this industry. While masterfully donning many hats, more than anything else, Starr has a lifelong love affair with the hip-hop industry. Staying true to his roots, Dren never fails to represent and hold the values of the LES in every major move.