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UnRated Magazine Review: A very special interview with Chicago's very own Drew Sidora
Band Review
Drew Sidora : Chi-Town Princess

Drew Sidora : Chi-Town Princess

A very special interview with Chicago's very own Drew Sidora

By Stefanie Newell
Photos by Adam Bielawski

Drew Sidora anyone? You might have heard the name. If you haven't you will! Drew Sidora is an emerging Chicago R&B singer gaining fans alike with her vocal prowess and dancing abilities. Her hit single "For The Love," is blowing up the charts on every major radio station, coining her as Chi-town's Princess! A multi-talented singer, songwriter, and actress Drew can be seen in her recurring role as Chantel on the popular Disney sitcom, "That's So Raven." UnRated had the pleasure of spending the day with Drew as she opened for LL Cool J at the Taste of Chicago this past weekend. Although Drew encountered a few mishaps, that were out of her control and caused by the soundman, she had an amazing performance and showed nothing but professionalism as she made it through her performance sans sound during parts of her show. She and her dancers endured as the soundman repeatedly had snafus with the sound. Not one to let something like music get in the way, Drew graced us with her immense vocal talent by singing acapella.

After her performance, she danced alongside LL Cool J when he made an impromptu request for some ladies to join him on stage while performing his hit single, "Head Sprung." If that weren't enough, we were able to sit down and get to know Drew a little better.

Stefanie: So Drew Sidora, is that your stage name?
Drew: That's my stage name. Drew Sidora...Sidora is my middle name so we just knocked the last name off, Drew Sidora.

Drew SidoraStefanie: So before we talk about your performance today at the Taste of Chicago, tell us how you got started in the music business?
Drew: Well I actually was in a group at age thirteen called "Mo'tempo," we were Chicago based. We did a lot of local things around the city. We had a song on the radio and I was also in the choir. I went out to L.A. and started my solo project and then came back to my hometown, which is Chicago, to get the support of my city and for my hometown to support my music. WGCI started playing "For The Love," and then from there, I got my deal like a week ago!
Stefanie: Oh that's great! Congratulations!
Drew: (laughs) Yay!!!
Stefanie: (laughs) Who did you sign with?
Drew: John Monopoly, Kanye West's manager.
Stefanie: Go girl, that's great!
Drew: So we are working on the album very diligently, it should be out later this year. So keep a look out for it!

Stefanie: We will! So obviously you're multi-talented, I know that you're also doing movies, tell us how that all came about?
Drew: Yeah, my sister who's also my manager is a television writer for a lot of TV shows. She got me involved in the acting. "Never Die Alone," that was my first feature film with DMX and then "White Chicks," and now I'm on the new season of "That's So Raven." I play Eddie's girlfriend, so it's fun and I just want to do both. Both singing and acting are my passions, I just love to entertain!

LL Cool JStefanie: I've read a lot of write-ups on you and they always refer to you as Chi-Town's princess, how did that start?
Drew: Chris Michaels from WGCI's, ‘Whispers in the Dark', he coined me as Chi-Town Princess. When I first heard it, I was like wow! When you hear somebody refer to you in that way, it's like woah! But people responded to it and I'm just humbled by the fact that they see me on that level. I'm just excited that my hometown is supporting and embracing me the way that they are, because it's so hard!
Stefanie: It is!
Drew: So I'm excited!

Stefanie: So let's talk a little about your performance tonight and I've seen other performances. I watched a performance just last night on the Internet. I think you did it with Talib…
Drew: Talib Kweli.
Stefanie: I was very impressed…
Drew: Thank you!
Stefanie: You obviously have a chemistry with the stage; tell me how you go about preparing for a show?
Drew: We rehearse eight hours a day, everyday, except for Sunday when we go to church!
Stefanie: (laughs)
Drew: We come to sound check, we get mentally prepared. We always pray! My mom's a minister so we pray every time before we hit the stage so that we get focused. Once we get out there, I just let go and have fun and just roll with it.
Stefanie: So you have the same 5 dancers every time you perform?
Drew SidoraDrew: Yes, I have 5 dancers. We had an audition actually like two or three months ago. I wanted to get my base and my team from Chicago. I didn't want to go to Hollywood. I wanted to pick people that are starting off just like myself so we can grow together. You can tell our bond and our chemistry because we have been working together for about a year now. So it's great to have people from my hometown that understand and support each other.

Stefanie: Okay so you have the single, "For The Love," for those people that haven't heard it, why don't you give us a little information on what the song is about?
Drew: It's written by my manager and myself. It's bridging the gap between old school and new school. It's about me being in the industry and trying to balance my social life, my personal life, my business life and really that person teaching me how to love. That's what's going on in my life right now because I work 24/7. So having that is really hard and you have to have discipline. So that's where the conflict comes in.

Drew: It's a Con Funk Shun sample.
Stefanie: Oh is that Con Funk Shun?
Drew: Yes! It's hot!
Stefanie: Oh you went way back on that one!
Drew: Chicago responded to it and it's a great song! It's a steppers cut.
Stefanie: Now can you purchase that song in the stores?
Drew: Not yet, it will be on the album and it just opened up to like the key markets. We're trying to shoot a video for it and open it up nationally. Right now, it picked up so quickly through other states that people are responding to it.

Stefanie: What are your plans for your future as far as your career is concerned?
Drew: Everything. I have a production company, and I definitely want to help other artists that are in Chicago. I just started a showcase called "Chicago Live," which is for Chicago artists to have an opportunity to showcase their music, along with Chicago artist that are known. I had White Boy and Famous. We had our first night last night and it went really well! We had a lot of people to come out and the game was on! People came out anyway and it was a great show! Hypnotiq is the official sponsor, so we're going to do it every month with live artists. I get a lot of emails from people that are like, "How do you do it?" I can't help everybody get a deal, but if I could help that one person and say look let's get you on stage, get your music out there, and have fun and jam together, that's what I wanna do! So we're going to have them each month and from there I'm going to continue acting, singing and everything I can to entertain.

Stefanie: Well you do have a beautiful voice and you are very talented.
Drew: Thank you!
Stefanie: I'm glad that you took some time to talk to UnRated.
Drew: Thank you!
Stefanie: Are there any final words?
Drew: I'll leave you with this… {Drew graces UnRated with a beautiful acapella performance.}
Stefanie: All right, thank you!
Drew: Thank you!

I am confident that we will hear nothing but positive things from Drew in the future albeit from her music or acting, she is without a doubt a rising star! You can visit Drew Sidora at www.drewsidora.com.

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