We had the good fortune of connecting with Dria Thornton and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dria, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When it comes to me being a music artist and running my own music brand, I used to be super fearful! I had about 3 different fears I battled with, so 4 years ago I decided to conquer the main fear, which was my fear of the ocean. I just off a jet ski miles out in the middle of the ocean. That symbolized so much for me. It mainly showed me that the ocean represented the unknown for me and that fear of the unknown translated into other areas of my life including music. I didn’t know what my music career was supposed to look like, I didn’t know what my fan base looked like or anything and I am still figuring that out! But I wanted success and because I didn’t have a clear vision of what that was for myself; which is tough for any visionary. I had to adjust my need for having to know what it looks like all the way to the end, It was unrealistic. I know music is my gift and that vulnerably sharing it with people through writing and performance is what I am here to do. So everyday when I am working on my brand through social media, show bookings or shooting videos or photos, I know that I have to take risks no matter what my fear is of the unknown results. As an artist, fear of no one showing up to your shows, or no one streaming your music really puts a hinderance on your business and your confidence and because I don’t always know how the fruits of my labor will show up on the other side I just have to make the business decision to go for it and readjust if I need to, I always say if taking the risk results in something negative, you learn from it and move forward because its education. And if you get no result by not taking the risk at all then what sense does that make?

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My name is Dria Thornton and I am a music artist, songwriter and a female owned business in Houston. I represent Freedom, Love and Music in everything that I do. Through my music I am an advocate for freedom and the liberation to speak about your life and speak your truth, I am an advocate for songwriters and other creatives with the Recording Academy, Texas Chapter, in which I speak to Congressmen and women on behalf of creatives to protect our rights and our work. Everything I do, I do with Love. Love is universally felt all over the world and so is music. Which is why I do music. Most of the world loves music and is one of the few things that everyone shares in common.

I started my career by hopping on a plane and flying to San Francisco to work with my current business partner and husband, Chris Thornton. That trip led me to end up working with one of the most disciplined and hardest working people that I have ever met. Together we created a writing and production team called The Frontrunnaz. As The Frontrunnaz, I am blessed to have contributed songwriting and/or power vocals on gold, platinum and multiplatinum hits by Logic (“Black Spiderman” “Buried Alive,” “Like Whoa” “Til The End,” and the Grammy-nominated “1-800.”), as well as Young Thug’s “Wyclef Jean.” I have also been featured on Logic’s “Stainless”, Meek Mill’s “Shine”, Rick Ross’ “Money Dance” and others – with more than 12 million records sold. Being a part of the Song of the Year Grammy nominated anti-suicide anthem “1-800” by Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid counts as a career high point for me, Just doing that song, just what the song meant and the rawness that Logic gave it. Being able to be a part of something like that, that impacts so many people, that to me was phenomenal. I can’t even believe that I was even a part of something like that.

My most recent and newest accomplishments include a licensed song for the Peacock Networks newest show, “Bel-Air” (season 1, episode 5), Background vocals on 2 songs from Houston’s very own, Kiotti Brown’s new album “Grown Man Music”, Writing and vocals on local hip hop artist, JMars who is featured on rapper Logic’s upcoming release “Vinyl Days”. I also have an upcoming show on June 10 at VgnBae Studios with Phil Wade and Billy Sorrells.

As I was growing up, I knew I wanted to be a songwriter and a singer and my journey has not been easy at all. Something I have realized is that creatives can get in their own way. I did. We can literally stop our own progress in our career by not taking risks or chances and not being willing to put in the work. I was afraid for so long of just becoming more successful with music. That for me meant more time, more work, more people in my personal business, more travel, less sleep, more work, work, work. But over the years I learned that work and consistency is what very well makes you stand out! My fear of success was attached to a false fear of not being able to handle everything that comes with it. Watching one of my best friends, tennis champ, Serena Williams who is like the epitome of success and hard work actually made me scared and motivated at the same time.

For the last 5 years I have been building my artist brand outside of my songwriting and it has been quite the journey. I am learning so much of what it takes to really be an independent artist and every challenge I encounter is attached to an amazing discovery of knowledge and closer to me having a space for future female independent artists to make money and have ownership in something.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
1) We would start off one morning downtown riding bikes and along Buffalo Bayou on Houston BCycle (because duh I am an ambassador) so I can show her how beautiful it is,

2) Breakfast at Urban Eats near the Heights is a must, it’s one my favorite places in Houston.

3) I have to take her to The Black Store in 3rd ward so we can support that amazing black beauty supply in Houston!

4) Then I would take her to Dinner once or twice at Pappadeaux because who doesn’t love Pappadeaux?

5) We are definitely going to a concert at Miller Outdoor Theatre with snacks and drinks!

6) We are taking a ride down to Galveston for the breeze

7) I’m renting a boat and Jet Skiing on Conroe Lake

8) We are Definitely eating at Steak 48

9) We are definitely hanging at wherever DJ Kiotti is spinning cuz its a Party!

10) We gotta go to The Post

11) I would plan a private performance at House of Blues Foundation Room or Vgnbae

12) We would drink lots of SelvaRey (cuz they sponsor me)

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to Shoutout my amazing artist community and support group Artistology, run by a beautiful soul by the name of Tammy McCrary! This has been my mental wellness family for almost 2 years and it is a collection of creatives who support each other in our creative journeys. Everyone in this community has played a major part in the way that I navigate through my industry and the continued success I have in conquering my goals and building my spiritual wellbeing. If you are a creative from any part of the world who needs confidential support and just an amazing loving community to help you through your journey check out www.artistology.com

Website: driathornton.com

Instagram: dria_thornton

Twitter: dria_thornton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/driathornton/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/DriaThornton/videos

Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6MDssQ4ZaMqsMTkF9EZFiG

Image Credits
Isabel Rea

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.