If the name Drew Sidora sounds familiar it should, because she was on the hit sitcom “The Game” and played a major role in the big Derwin/Melanie break-up. She has also played in countless roles on television and not to mention on the big screen. Something you also might not know about her is that she is really a singer, as portrayed in her role on “The Game.”
In December 2008, Drew signed a recording contract with Slip-N-Side Records, which is home to hip-hop heavyweights Rick Ross, Trina and Plies, and Drew is the very first female pop act in the history of the independent Miami-based label. Now, in 2010, Drew Sidora is gearing up for the release of her debut album this fall and is now promoting one of the album’s lead singles “Juke It,” an infectious pop dance anthem that honors the culture and movement created in her hometown of Chicago.
In our exclusive interview with Ms. Sidora, we discuss a range of topics including her beginnings in music, her musical influences, which character on “The Game” she feels like she identifies the most with and more! We also touched a bit on her new album and what she’s looking for in a man. For more on Drew Sidora, check out our exclusive interview below!
Bonnie (GossipOnThis.com): So Drew tell us, when did you first discover you had a love for music and acting?
Drew Sidora: Definitely it was at a very young age. I mean I just always loved listening to different types of music. I was playing the piano at age three and grew up singing in the choir so it was always something that was a passion of mine. I definitely took acting classes and just got involved in a lot of like school plays and things like that. It was just a matter of time before I was able to you know do it professionally and pursue it as a career.
Bonnie: Which artists would you say inspires you musically?
Drew: Definitely I’m from Chicago so I was brought up on Minnie Riperton, and the Chi-lites, and Luther Vandross, and you know old school music because Chicago is very rooted in live instrumentation and things like that. So I grew up just having a love for jazz and of course taking piano I love classical music. And when I moved into hip hop, I was inspired by anybody from Janet Jackson to Michael Jackson just watching their stage performances and Stevie Wonder for his lyrics; Anita Baker for her stylistic vocals… so I was inspired from so many different genres. That is why I am so excited about my project because it’s going to really encompass so many different types of sounds of music that I know a lot of people can really really appreciate my album as a whole.
Bonnie: Now, I have noticed in some of the roles that you have played that you have been able to showcase your music abilities as well as your acting abilities. Do you typically like to, when you can, showcase your music along with your acting?
Drew: Exactly, like that is a blessing you know? That does not happen all the time. So it was great for me to implement my music of course doing “Step Up,” doing the soundtrack. Getting the chance to work with platinum selling artists such as, Mario and move on and write for people like Corbin Bleu from “High School Musical.” And of course on “The Game” you know using my music and also playing myself somewhat. I’m not completely like the character but obviously branding my name, and letting people know I’m a singer as well as an actress. And letting people get a chance to hear my music and YouTube-ing it and downloading it. You know that definitely was a definite up for me to even land a deal you know. So it definitely has been a great journey like I’m really really thankful for the fans and just everybody supporting me and wanting to hear music. Which allowed a lot of labels to look at me and say, “Hey let’s do something with her” as far as getting her a project out. It was definitely a great thing.
Bonnie: Now you mentioned, “The Game” which I’m a huge fan of which you know a lot of people are. I hated you on “The Game.”
Drew: [Laughs] Oh my God………
Bonnie: I was such a Melanie and Derwin fan! But from the different characters on “The Game” who would you think resembles you the most in real life as far as personality just the whole nine?
Drew: Who do I think is like me in real life? Is that your question?
Bonnie: Yes, or which character you can identify the most with?
Drew: I think the reason people love “The Game” so much is because they can identify with pretty much everybody in the show. It’s very real; all the characters were created by Mara Brock Akil and she allowed us to kind of create and have somewhat of a say so as far as things that we felt would make it more real. So a lot of women always come to me and at moments I felt bad for Melanie, but then at certain times I felt bad for Drew’s character. And because at some point a woman either has been in a relationship and the man cheated on them, you know which was the case with Melanie. Or they were the woman that the man said that he was single and they have a relationship with you and then you found out that he actually had a girlfriend, or was engaged, or actually married, which I think all women experience at some point in their life. So for me it’s like I’ve been on both sides. I’ve been on the Drew side and I’ve been on the Melanie side. I know people who have been married and they are like Kelly in the show where it was devastating to go through a marriage and have those ups and downs. So it’s so real for any woman wherever she is in her life it’s like you have to relate to someone in the show. I can identify definitely with my character as well as Melanie, because I think if you ask any male if they have ever lied, if they’ve ever cheated, 90 percent will say umm yea you know. You know it is what it is, but I think that’s why people love the show so, so much because they felt that it was so real, I know these people.
Bonnie: Do you think you’re currently more recognized as an actress or as a singer? I know you are trying to get your album out so right now, do you think you are more as an actress, singer, or maybe even both?
Drew: I think now it’s pretty much both. People know that I am an actress obviously, but a lot of people are catching on that, “oh my gosh she really does sing. Her name is really Drew Sidora. She really does have an album coming out.” And now they are demanding it more. They are more waiting for it and wanting to hear it, which is a great position to be in because you don’t want to shove something on someone that they don’t want and that they don’t really care about. I just love the fact that people hit me up all the time asking me, “When is the drop-in? We’ve been waiting; we’ve been waiting since “Step Up.” I’m like WOW, that’s amazing so I feel like now is just the perfect timing to get the album out. People are wanting to hear it, waiting for it. I’ve been in the studio working really hard, just laying down a phenomenal project, so I’m really excited for everyone to hear it. My single actually dropped April 6th. The single is entitled “Ladies Go,” so I’m looking forward to that. It’s definitely a summer smash record, so we are just gearing up for that now. ( Editor’s Note: After we conducted our interview, the label decided to switch it up and release “Juke It” as the lead single for Drew’s debut album. )
Bonnie: Tell us about that song. What does that song about? It sounds like it’s going to be empowering women for sure.
Drew: Definitely, it definitely empowers women. I mean beyond “The Game” I meet so many women who are like, “Oh my Gosh I loved you on the game. He lied to you!” or people were like, “Yo he lied to Melanie,” and it’s just always about women. And even in the show before it got canceled we wanted to have Melanie and Drew rectify their relationship and be able to talk and come together as women. Because so many times the women get mad at the women when really we have to address the men who need to be honest, and not always blame the women and let the man take fault. That way he can be a better man, and be a faithful man to whoever he ends up with. So the song is definitely empowering women. To all my ladies whether you are single, married, you’re young, or your older whatever it is, that is really what the record is going to be about. So I’m excited it’s a club record so if you like to dance it’s a great, great feel good record and I’m really excited about it.
Bonnie: Now you’re with Slip-n-Slide Records, correct?
Bonnie: And I know some of the artist that are also signed to them include: Trina, Plies, Rick Ross, Jagged Edge; will any of them be making a cameo on your album? Or is your album complete yet?
Drew: We are still working on the album, but definitely, I look forward to working with my label mates. I’ve gotten a chance to work with Trina on her project that’s coming out this summer, so, it’s definitely family. I’ve been able to learn a lot from them with their successful careers, but I’m just happy to come up under them and they’ve just kind of kept me under the umbrella and just teaching me the music industry because I am a new artist. So, I am really really excited. I am in great company. I feel like being the first “Pop Princess” of Slip-n-Slide or pop female artist on Slip-n-Slide I’m looking forward to making history with the whole Slip-n-Slide family and really having my place within the company.
Bonnie: We’ve talked about relationships a little bit with “The Game” and the different roles that you have played in your movies and I know that you were on “That’s So Raven” as Eddie’s love interest at one point. What do you actually look for? I know your male fans want to know what do you look for in a guy?
Drew: Obviously, what we have all learned from watching “The Game” is honesty. For some reason men feel like they have to lie or protect people’s feelings. It’s just that when you find a good girl for all my men out there listening, just be honest, just keep it real, be yourself. I love a guy that has a sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Because I feel like we have all made mistakes, nobody’s perfect. I’m not looking for that perfect person, I’m just looking for someone that will respect themselves enough to just be honest and keep it so real with me you know. And to be honest I don’t know if you will agree but that is one of the hardest thing to find.
Bonnie: It is.
Drew: Just a guy that will be honest and keep it real. They all talk about it, “oh keep it real. I’m so real.” But really how real are you? And that is what I’m looking for, somebody who can just keep it real and just find a good friend that knows how to be honest. If they want to go out and still and test the waters, if they still want to be single then be honest about it, it’s all good. I think us as women, would respect you more for that honesty.
Bonnie: Exactly, and like you said it’s about women not turning on women. Really identifying who the culprit is in the situation.
Drew: Right, exactly.
Bonnie: Would you ever date anyone outside of the entertainment industry?
Drew: I look forward to a guy having a passion and being passionate about whatever it is they do. You obviously would have to understand the entertainment industry, our schedules and having to be kind of on the road more, so a lot of times I feel like someone in the industry might understand a little bit more. But at the same time, I feel like if you are confident man, you can be a business man as long as you understand and know who I am. Whatever you see on the blogs, you can’t believe what you read on the blogs. Sometimes I might have to have a male in the video or a guy obviously in “The Game” I maybe have to have a scene where we are having to kiss or things like that, but trust me when I tell you it’s all work. When we are on the set of “The Game” everybody’s professional, everyone respects one another, we’re all friends on and off set. So when I’m there if I am with someone then obviously I don’t want them to be jealous or feeling like I might cheat on them or anything like that. For me, I just want someone that is in their own career and successful and pursuing whatever their passion is and supportive of me following my passion.
Bonnie: Now you have a birthday coming up right?
Drew: Yes, May 1st, I will be 25.
Bonnie: Do you have any plans?
Drew: I don’t know what I’m going to do. I hope to be on the road somewhere honestly this year. My single dropped April 6th, so I’m sure we will be on a tour bus somewhere. So I’ll look forward to being able to celebrate with my fans in whatever city I’m in.
Bonnie: Well Drew thank you so much, we look forward to your album coming out. We look forward to hearing your single especially with the summer time coming up. I’m all about women empowerment so I’m definitely looking forward to hearing what you have to say as an artist.
Drew: Thank you.
Bonnie: No problem, thank you. Is there anything else that you are working on for the future?
Drew: I have my production company; it’s called Record Breakers Entertainment. We just co-produced a film called “Blessed and Cursed,” starring Detrick Haddon, Karen Clark Sheard and J. Moss who is a phenomenal gossip singer. I’m really excited about that. I just signed my first rap artist, straight out of Virginia her name is Michelle Genevieve. I’m really excited about her project so definitely be on the look out for her dropping very very soon. And I also have a film coming out that we did in Africa called, “The Killing of Wendy.” And I just finished a television series called “One Love” which is actually executive produced by T.D. Jakes. It stars Mark Curry (oh my God), Carl Payne (who played Cole on “Martin”), Chico Benymon (from “Half and Half”), Sherman Hemsley (who obviously was George Jefferson) he’s on the series, Sheryl Ralph plays my mother (she was the mom on “Moesha” and “Dream Girls”). So a phenomenal cast, I’m real excited. That show will actually becoming this Fall, so I’m really excited about that. So I have a lot of stuff coming out. Definitely the album and anybody listening definitely hit me up on Twitter (@drewsidora) and just keep updated with everything that’s coming up.
Bonnie: Well thank you Drew. I definitely think we will be hearing and seeing a lot more of you in the near future.
Bonnie: Well you have a great day, and we will talk to you soon.
Drew: Thank you! I appreciate you. Bye.
For more on Drew Sidora, follow her on Twitter or check out her MySpace!