At an early age, when I was first able to pick up a pencil, I became fascinated with drawing. During my teen years, I wanted to be a comic book artist but unfortunately fate had a different plan in mind.
There were real life experiences that forever altered the path to my original dreams. These life occurrences previously mentioned consisted of bad relationships, health issues, as well as insurmountable debt; among other things. I still kept determination and perseverance on my mind to get me to the next level.
In the earlier part of my adult years, while attending college on Staten Island, I became inspired by a hip hop group to get involved with fashion. With me being more in control of my destiny, I decided to pursue my interest in clothing primarily printed t-shirts. At the beginning, I had a business partner with whom I formed a clothing label other than the one I have now. We eventually parted ways due to some creative differences.
Fast forward years later, I made my first attempt to strike out on my own with another fashion label. It never worked due to a lackluster name. Then came my solo project number two which ended up being the next miss. That didn’t stop me from creating until finally I came across a name I could get behind.
I had an epiphany…”Rhorie Drey Brand”. It flowed so perfectly and there was such a positively proud air about it. That lead me to add “Strength – Leadership – Focus” as a tagline to promote self-empowerment. Through all the adversity I’ve faced I knew my new brand had to convey a positive message to inspire others.
There are many lessons I learned throughout the entire process of building a brand and being an entrepreneur. With whatever business you plan to start, make sure you do some homework on the subject matter. This is key and instrumental in making the journey to success move much more smoothly. Come up with a strategy from start to finish of how you plan to build your brand. It’s important to also have an endgame whether you plan to license your business or sell it outright. Insure you trademark, copyright or patent your idea to prevent thieves from jacking your vision.
Here are some starter links to help you on your way:
Intro: What’s good everybody? I’m blessed to have the opportunity to interview a strong woman and a powerful songstress…Ms. Gail Campbell!
RD: (opening) Let me first say that it is an honor to have you as the first woman interview for our blog…your presence here is much appreciated!
GC: Hey Bro…. It’s a pleasure to be here… Thank you so much for having me…
RD: How are you doing today?
GC: I’m well…. All of my gigs have been canceled because of this health crisis…. But other than that… I’m so blessed…
RD: What is your mood like at this time?
GC: Mannn…. I’m grateful…. It’s been a great year… and I’m so looking forward to what’s in store…
RD: What was it like for you growing up?
GC: Well…. I had a complicated upbringing…. I had a lot of love …. But we also had a lot of hardship….
I don’t imagine that my life was drastically different than many individuals who grew up in Newark…. Newark is a complicated city…
RD: Where are you originally from?
GC: I’m originally from Newark, Irvington, and East Orange…. Lol… The TriCity…
RD: When did you realize that you had a love for singing/music?
GC: I didn’t realize I had a love for music… because Music was always a part of my life… I come from a family of singers, and artists… So I didn’t see anything special about it… It was just what we do… who I am…. I’m just beginning to realize how special music is and how blessed I am to be one of God’s instruments…
RD: Was your start in music traditionally like other singers…in the church?
GC: No… I wasn’t really raised in the church…. My introduction to music was Heatwave, Blue Magic, Earth Wind and Fire, Aretha, Ella, and Run DMC….LOL… I found the Lord as an adult… and the church definitely helped me find my voice….
RD: In one word, what “title” would you give your musical style?
RD: What is the source of inspiration for your songs/music?
GC: I’m inspired by brave artists like Basquiat…. by Stanley Ipkiss who is also the PRODUCER of my album BLOODY WATERS…. I’m inspired by the greats like Janis, Muddy, Mahalia, I’m inspired by artists who were ahead of their time…like Kelis…
RD: Would you say that you write a majority of the lyrics or is there a collaborative effort when it comes to content?
GC: I wrote every word of my album except Chops Tha Savior’s verse on OVERDOSE…. I love writing…I know that one day I will have to collaborate on a song…. I think it will take some serious strength for me to put down my ego and accept another person’s input….lol
RD: Who are some of the music producers you’ve worked with in the past until present?
GC: I’ve worked with my Uncle James Mitchell who is a Dope PRODUCER…. I’ve worked with Moises Laporte…. I’ve worked with Ali Sudani… and a few others on joints that I’ve featured on…. but THE SUPER HUMAN PRODUCER STANLEY IPKISS is the PRODUCER of my entire album BLOODY WATERS…. He was hand picked by God to produce this album….
RD: Which one(s) would you say is your favorite music producer(s) to collaborate with?
GC: Each brings a different feel…. For what I wanted to do on BLOODY WATERS, Ipkiss was the man….. When I want to sing a beautiful heartfelt ballad, James is it…. If I’m on the Neo Soul vibe Ali got it…. But it just depends in what my heart wants to sing…..
RD: Which other artist(s) have also worked with and who else should we look for, out of your camp?
GC: I’ve worked with Wise Intelligent of the LEGENDARY PRT, Double O, Tha Savior, Swerv, Vicky Martin.. All if which are a Damn Problem!!!… meaning they are the best in the business….
RD: Do you prefer to be an independent artist or is your goal to sign with a major label?
GC: I wrestled with that thought a lot…. I mean, who wouldn’t want a machine behind them helping them CONQUER this industry…. But I also love the idea of being my own boss, having complete control, getting all my money… lol…. I’m just gonna continue to pray about it….
RD: What is something about your music you’d like people to know that they don’t already know?
GC: Hmmmm….. We that BLOODY WATERS is one one part of my musical expression…. There’s so much more to who I am as an artist….
RD: When it comes to your sense of style, would you say you tend to wear major brands or do you consider yourself a fashion maverick?
GC: Definitely a fashion maverick…. I like to mix and be creative….
RD: What are your favorite colors to wear?
GC: I love all the colors of the rainbow…
RD: Speaking of fashion, have you ever heard of Rhorie Drey Brand or Rhorie Drey HEF?
GC: Yes I have!!!!…. and I’m definitely here for it!!
RD: If given the opportunity, in what ways would you help or give back to your community?
GC: I love my people… I love my community….. I’m an advocate…. anything that needs to be done or said regarding my people, I’m down for whatever!!!… Always have been, always will be…
RD: What motivational or inspirational words you like to give to the next generation of singers/artists?
GC: Go hard…. Don’t compare yourself…. Do you because no one can beat you being you!!!!
RD: Is acting in a movie on the horizon for you?
GC: I’ve actually done a couple of small roles…. and I’m working on another role right now…
RD: Would you mind blessing us with a (video) a capella freestyle?
GC: I’d love to…
RD: We truly appreciate you coming through on this interview…do you have any other kind words for our viewers?
GC: Yes. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT!!! PLEASE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT AND SHARE WITH OTHERS THE INDIE MUSIC THAT YOU LOVE…I LOVE YOU AND APPRECIATE YOU SO MUCH!!!
There you have it, everyone! The amazing and gracious…Gail Campbell “A Phoenix Rising!”
Written by: Mellissa Thomas for Orlando Fashion Magazine
“We cater to those who set trends, not follow them.” – Rhorie Drey
Rhorie Drey took the “chase your dream” maxim quite seriously. He started drawing at the age of three and hasn’t stopped since.
The Montclair, New Jersey native bulldozed through any doubts about his dream job, teaching himself clothing design once he developed an interest in clothing in 1996. He got his hands on Adobe Creative Suite, Corel Draw, good ol’ pencil and paper, and went right to work, drawing inspiration for his youthful yet edgy Rhorie Drey Brand clothing line from music, movies, and prominent designers of that day, including Karl Kani and Fubu.
Why His Own Name as the Brand Name?
Drey explained that his name was the most espousing fit for the brand.
He said he’d come up with several other names, but none of them stuck. He felt more closely bonded to his name, and founded the clothing line on three key principles: “Strength, Leadership & Focus.”
“I feel this clothing line is an extension of me and represents me,” he said. “I can stand behind it wholeheartedly.”
Drey’s website states his clothing line is aimed at “free thinkers” and “non-conformists,” and he lives that mission himself.
How He’s Bucking the Status Quo
He’s not on the Facebook bandwagon. Drey spread himself across a slew of social media outlets: Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube, and Vimeo; but when DOFW asked him why he chose not to have a Facebook fan page, he said, “I attempted that before, and I was getting a response [in terms of] likes, but I feel that the Facebook [approach] is overdone.” He explained that he’s looking to the next greater tool now.
Don’t look for him on Instagram, either. He revealed that Tumblr fulfills the same needs for him that Instagram would in a much more user-friendly way.
In 2012, he aimed for recording artists. He sponsored the famous New York deejay DJ Blazita’s “R&B Summer Jams Vol. 5″ mixtape, which was distributed digitally and physically. The venture also involved her modeling his clothing and plugging his clothing brand throughout the mixtape.
He’s not settling for a fixed brand logo. He’d initially donned a crest (which you can still find in his Men’s t-shirt line), but felt the logo was cliché and has chosen to be fluid with his brand identity, aiming to meet his young customers’ unique taste with custom shirt styles and fonts to suit them. He expressed that he’s “revamping [his] brand right now.”
He prints domestically. In the current age of overseas clothing manufacturing for pennies on the dollar in the name of careless high profits, Drey opts to print his shirts in the U.S., and it shows. His clothing definitely markets to those with slightly deeper pockets to help support printmakers here.
(Hey, they need to eat, too.)
Looking to the Future
Drey’s current plan is to improve on his current designs and develop new ones, and position himself at 2014 tradeshows. He even plans to set up a pop-up shop, which will provide the benefits of a temporary brick-and-mortar location without the backbreaking overhead of having a full-time store.
In the meantime, if you’re a high school senior or college-aged, check out the Rhorie Drey Brand website and buy a shirt or underwear (yes, underwear!) for yourself or a friend at http://www.rhoriedrey.net.