Andreena, we could not be more excited to have you featured on hustleGRL. Being a woman who is so devoted and hard working towards her dreams is so inspiring and it’s something that we stand for and support. We are so excited about your newest project “Naked,” an amazing body of work. You started out as an artist at the tender age of 3. At the age of 11, you were recording your own material and while attending The Etobicoke School of the Arts, you put your everything into this career as an artist.
Can you imagine doing anything else?
I can imagine myself doing many things but creating music as well as teaching it is the only thing that really gives me a rush, from a career standpoint.
Your new project “Naked,” is it a compilation over a span of time or within this year?
I started working on Naked really as a 6 song project end of 2011 however I took a break from the music scene to handle life and everything that comes along with it. Then last August when smoke began to clear, I picked it up again and a year later Naked was out.
22 tracks, a free LP. How generous. Naked has to be one of my favorites along side with Anything, and that Breathe interlude I almost wish it was 10 minutes long. So sultry. So sexy. Almost feels like you are Naked when you listen to it. What is your favorite song or song(s)?
I don’t have any favourites; they’re all very personal to me and came at very specific points in my life so it’s hard to choose one but the track Naked was the 1st song I completed for the album so it definitely set the tone for everything else that I wanted to create.
I see that you are going by the name of “Andreena” these days. Why did you decide to drop the last name?
Well my last name isn’t Mill, it’s actually Miller and everyone seems to give me nicknames so dropping the Mill for me was really my statement for introducing MYSELF to the world. No nicknames, no aliases, the real me this time around.
So in your song “The Ones,” you sing “Fathers be good to your daughters.” Growing up with your father as a musician, what type of relationship did you have with him and what has he taught you as an artist?
My mother and father really both crafted me to be humble, to be disciplined and to always work to be the greatest at what I do. At an early age I was taught that in this business there’s no use in being basic. So they made sure I was in vocal training dancing learning instruments anything to make me better.
It seems like “The Ones” has to do with losing a loved one. “Laying down when your soul is ready to fly.” Have you recently lost love or is there a reason as to why you wrote this beautiful ballad?
The hook actually says “they will be the ones, to lay you down when your soul is ready to fly.” During the recording of this album I lost both of my grandfathers, people around me were losing parents, friends, etc. I realized how impactful those changes can be on someone’s life. Parents need to be good to their children. They will be the ones to bury them when they’re dead and gone. They will be the ones to define what the world will be in 30 years so we have to be careful of the lessons that we teach.
I saw a tweet saying “I’m dyyyin my mom just asked “Dreena who’s Mary LMFAO” can you tell us a little about Mary?
“Mary” is my ode marijuana (please legalize). My mother thought It was my ode to bisexuality.
Back when you collaborated with Drake on Comeback Season. What did it feel like to collaborate with him then, and see how much he has evolved as an artist today much like yourself?
Drake has always been an amazing artist it just took time for the world to see what a few of us saw budding in the studio at the time. Working with him never felt like work. We always had a plan and executed within an hour and then went to McDonald’s, haha. It’s easy to collaborate with others who are as passionate and as dedicated to what they love.
Being a Toronto Native, what does it mean for the city when it is so full of talent. Myself being from Canada makes me so proud to have an artist like you showing the world how talented Toronto can be.
Thank you! :) For me, I’m proud to be an artist from this city because Toronto is never easy on people. We’re a tough crowd to please so if you get the hearts of a few you’re lucky. I got to say, I’ve been blessed to work with the best of the best in this city and I see what we have to offer. I just hope Torontonians continue to support each other to allow the industry to continue to grow.
“My Boo,” can you tell us a little something about who that is or used to be?
I have no boo. But when I find him, he’ll be sexy, smart, he’ll smell good and be able to make me laugh a lot. Oh and he has to watch cartoons. Too much to ask for?
I kind of want to focus my questions on the now, your new LP, and what is to come from you as an artist and person. Because this is your newest body of work, this creation is at the top of so many people’s playlists. You have experimented with your vocals, sounds and topics. What more is to come?
More writing, more production. I am into theatre, so hoping to dabble into that but I’m really motivated by teaching so I have a few things in the works :)
Something that looks exciting and something you are probably so proud of is your “Bare it all vocal training & music business” project. Can you tell us a little about it?
It’s pretty much a program designed to inform aspiring artists in Canada about the process of taking their craft from being a hobby and into the professional stages. There’s a lot going on in this 5-day program. Studio sessions, vocal lessons, info regarding grants as well as how to get out there and get paid!
What are you hoping to achieve with this other than helping out aspiring artists?
I want to help keep the doors open for Toronto. We have so much talent here and people don’t have many outlets as beginners. It’s been a hard road for many artist here; I just want to educate people so that our industry can flourish so we don’t always have to leave to be successful.
Producing, co-producing, words, even that rapping flow. You really put yourself into a project wholeheartedly. Working with Hit-Boy for “Blue,” what was that like?
Great! He’s amazingly talented. And Blue was practically freestyled as I wrote it, so the song came together pretty quick. Hip hop is a huge love of mine so rapping on the album had to happen.
As you probably saw we have made a few posts supporting your project “Naked”. Is there anything about the project that you were hoping that your listeners could relate to?
I just wanted it to be an album with songs that people could relate to. I wanted it to be honest and open, things people are sometimes afraid to admit, I wanted to say.
For our final question: the 22-tracks flow so nicely into one another. Between interludes, skits and your bonus track. In one sentence could you explain what this project is about?
Naked is about finding love, losing love and finally finding myself.