Dee Aura Explains How Drake Cosign Made Music Career Feel “More Possible”

March 12, 2024

Read the full interview on AllHipHop.com!

Dee Aura doesn’t want to be boxed into a drill artist, he’s here to make a name for himself on his own terms. Hailing from Long Island, New York, the rising star has been enthralled with music since the age of seven. Inspired by the likes of 50 Cent, Fabolous, Max B and G Herbo, Dee Aura got his start recording and uploading songs to SoundCloud. By the age of 17, he landed his first live performance. Now, he’s ready to push his name from the underground rap scene to the mainstream.

Most recently, Dee Aura unveiled his newest single and visual for “Forensics,” which lives on his Fast Life EP. The record serves as a form of self-expression, for fans to relate and know that it’s OK to get things off your chest.

“It’s all about how I feel and speaking my truth,” he tells AllHipHop. “There are people who are gonna watch and they are either doing it out of love or they are haters. They are watching you and that’s like forensics.”

Directed by Gelato, the accompanying video sees Dee Aura and his friends bringing the song to life in their local neighborhood, shot in Harlem on Malcolm X Blvd.

To date, Dee Aura has performed at major festivals such as Governor’s Ball and Rolling Loud. He’s also worked with music icons such as Young Nudy, Skepta, VLONE, Slimesito and more. In fact, Drake even gave Dee Aura a cosign on his song “Give Back,” which sampled Drake’s verse on “Aston Martin Music.”

AllHipHop spoke with Dee Aura virtually to discuss his background, what sets him apart, “Forensics,” studio essentials, his Hoodluv series, love for G Herbo and more.

AllHipHop: For those who don’t know, who is Dee Aura?

Dee Aura: I’m an 03 legend. I’m one of the faces of sample drill. I’m Big Barlito, big 13.

AllHipHop: What does 13 mean?

Dee Aura: That’s my exit, where I’m from.

AllHipHop: What was it like growing up in Long Island?

Dee Aura: It was alright. It was cool. It was really much different from anywhere else in New York, because I was more so in the beginning part of it. Not really deep in Long Island. Long Island goes very far.

AllHipHop: When did you fall in love with music?

Dee Aura: As long as I remember. Since I was about six, seven years old, I always loved music.

AllHipHop: Do you remember the first artist you fell in love with?

Dee Aura: I believe it was Juelz Santana or Fabolous. One of those two.

AllHipHop: When did you realize you could do music for a living?

Dee Aura: When I first started seeing people sell my own released music. Once I’ve seen that people are making money off my music, this is before I started making money on my own music. I got it on Apple and stuff like that, then people started paying me for features. I started seeing I can make this a long-term thing. Depending if I keep going hard with it, and that’s what I’m doing.

AllHipHop: How does your childhood or upbringing play a role in your music?

Dee Aura: Everywhere I went, it’s music always around me. Music always playing. My family loves music. All my friends around me, they were into the same thing. So it was always music everywhere I went.

AllHipHop: How is your sound different from the other drill artists?

Dee Aura: Sh*t, I don’t like to label myself as a drill artist because I’m really able to do a lot of different sh*t. I’m very versatile with my craft. I sound very different in that way, because I can stretch out and do a lot of different [stuff]. I could do whatever somebody wants me to do.

AllHipHop: How’d you get your name?

Dee Aura: Aura, I got that from my big cousin. Because I used to always look up to him and he’s into fashion. I’ll always look after him for sh*t like that. He went away for some time when I started rapping. I was already using that name, as my Facebook name. So that’s how it came about, I kept it from my Facebook name. [laughs]

AllHipHop: You just dropped “Forensics,” what inspired this one?

Dee Aura: That’s with Gelato, NYC. That’s the videographer who shot it. He had just started the Corner Store series and that’s the fourth one he did. “Forensics” is a song part of my Fast Life EPthat came about because I feel like I’m always being watched. Anything I do, I compare it to forensics, how they watch me when they’re doing their job. That’s how I felt. That’s how I came up with the song. I was really vibing to it in the studio. Those words came to my head and I felt it was perfect for it.

AllHipHop: Why did you name your EP Fast Life? What do you want fans to take away from it?

Dee Aura: That was something I’ve been working on for a while. I had that under my sleeve for years, I’ve been waiting for the right time to really make it a project. I already made a song called “Fast Life.” My life is fast, the way I live. I move too fast for certain sh*t. A lot of sh*t. That’s just the way I live, it’s fast.

AllHipHop: What is it you want fans to take away from your story?

Dee Aura: My work ethic, and to never give up. Don’t let nobody shoot down your dreams. Always feel that you’re able to do what you feel is possible.

AllHipHop: How’s the independent grind?

Dee Aura: It’s a road. It’s definitely a road. It’s a rollercoaster, you got your ups and downs. But it’s always best to own your s### and be able to do what you want, knowing nobody can stop you. That’s the best part about it.

AllHipHop: Three things you need in the studio at all times?

Dee Aura: I need my good beats. That means I need my email, that’s one. I need that email always, because forgetting my password sometimes. I’ll lose emails that have good beats. A good beat and I’ll have a good session. Two, I need my party pack. I need my good weed, good little drink. And I’m good. Three, I just need to feel good. That’s all I know, I need to feel good every time I’m making music. I need that feeling, that’s the third thing. That feeling every time.

AllHipHop: Talk about your Valentine’s Day EP. Did you make that for the ladies obviously?

Dee Aura: Yeah facts, that’s for the lovers right there. Also because I have a little genre myself I call “hood luv,” that people be really liking from me a lot. When I switch up and go to the samples or the R&B type of style, with the rapping. I did that as a quick little “hood luv” EP for them, for the people that really be wanting that for me. They want me to drop Hoodluv3 from the Hoodluv series, so I gave that to them for now.

AllHipHop: Talk about Drake cosigning you on “GIve Back.”

Dee Aura: That mainly just felt like s### is more possible with music. I found out about Drake growing up when I was 10 years old on a burned cd. He’s a legend to me so that felt very good to grab his attention again. I was reaching out to him through a friend, Endthechromewars.  catching his attention through Evil Gianni the producer, he just dropped Heaven’s Gate Volume 1. I have two tracks on there, Shottas and Crowd Surf. I wanted to get him on the Give Back remix. I ended up getting on OVO radio a few times through Give Back and Hoodluv.

AllHipHop: You’ve opened for both Young Nudy and Skepta. How’d that happen?

Dee Aura: Young Nudy, that was when I was with Shawny Binladen and Cash Cobain. We did that years ago. That was one of the first shows we had done together. I believe management has set that up that one. But Skepta, that was through my brother A$VP illz. He had linked us up in New York. We had recorded a song called “Street Sweeper.” with Skepta.  It’s not out yet, it’s unreleased. We were vibing out from there, we had a lifelong connection. He came back to New York, told me to pull up the day of. I didn’t even know that Governor’s Ball was even going on. He told me to pull up. Pulled up, we did the song. The song wasn’t even out, everybody was wildin’ to it. It sounds like everybody was singing the damn lyrics to the sh*t. That was a beautiful experience right there. Shout out Skepta, shout out A$AP Illz.

AllHipHop: What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Dee Aura: I like to make music. I like to be in the studio. Even when it’s not a job, it is a job. Because I also want to get into making beats. I already had started before, but I want to get more dedicated to it.

AllHipHop: Who would you like to collaborate with?

Dee Aura: G Herbo. I listen to him a lot. I f### with his music a lot.

AllHipHop: What’s your favorite G herbo song?

Dee Aura: I like “Who Run It” freestyle. I like Pistol P. I like “Write Your Name,” “Malcolm X,” Heaven or Hell.” It’s a lot. I like everything. I can sit here and run through a lot.

AllHipHop: Anything else you’re excited for?

Dee Aura: I’m about drop a lot of singles, get ready for those. Those are going to be some big singles. There might be some big features I might be dropping too, look out for those. I’m going to be consistent all year round: music, everything. You gon’ see me doing a lot.

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