You can call me Dreya, Dexa, or Dex, whatever you prefer. I go by Dreya with the majority of my friends these days, though. I grew up in a few different small towns in Oklahoma and now reside in Portland, Oregon. I like she/her or they/them pronouns, but I'm not really pressed about people using he/him as long as I can tell they're trying to be respectful and actually making an effort to refer to me how I ask. I don't take it too seriously. Just don't be a jerk and all's well. :)

The things I'm most passionate about involve art, media, tech, and the places they converge. Generally speaking, it's probably safe to assume I like whatever dweeb and weeb stuff that comes to mind. I like video games, cartoons, manga, anime, watching videos on sites like YouTube or Twitch, livestreaming, hanging out with friends both IRL and/or URL, and making electronic music.

Art in general is important to me because it can take us somewhere outside ourselves, removing us from the suffering inherent to the mortal coil, if only for a brief moment. It can also be a more inward-facing process, enriching you and teaching you about yourself and the world in ways you might otherwise struggle to or never even concieve. In these ways, at least to me, art is about as close to something truly divine that we as humans can experience during our time here. I implore everyone to give it a try. No matter how small or silly or bad you might think your work is, you will still have made something, and that's a feat that many people are reluctant to even attempt.

I think the deciding factor in me becoming so obsessed with computer sounds was getting Pokémon Blue at 4 y/o and promptly falling in love with it and its soundtrack. Not even just its composition, but the timbre/tone of it. I remember feeling similarly enamored with most game music going forward, namely the music of the games on the Sega Smash Pack compliations (which have some surprisingly cool backstory) and the Doom95 shareware (initially with FM synths rather than MIDI sounds), which I also played at age 4, sitting in the back of the pharmacy my parents worked at on their boss's computer (thanks Mom & Dad). Thanks to one of their co-worker's kids, I also played my fair share of Super Mario World and Link to the Past on SNES, which I didn't actually own one of until my late teens. Despite it having been out long before, I didn't get a Nintendo 64, my first home game console, until later in my childhood, sometime in elementary school.

I first took piano lessons at 6 y/o and did those for a few years before getting frustrated and disinterested, dropping it like a rock. I eventually went on to try trumpet, guitar, and drums, the last of which I'm probably the best at, though that's not really saying much. I'm quite a lot better at composition/sequencing than performing. Is piano roll an instrument? ;P

Maybe it's the ADHD, repercussions of bad habits, or just inconsistent practice, but regardless of the reason, performance skills and music theory just don't feel like they stick in my brain, at least not in the conscious sort of way they seem to for most people; I kinda just do what sounds right to me. I still sorta feel a bit down on myself about it sometimes, but thinking back to this interview with Yoko Shimomura, a composer on many great games like Street Fighter II, Super Mario RPG, Secret of Mana, and Kingdom Hearts, helps ease my mind. Reading about someone as skilled as her both working and feeling similarly is/was a source of great comfort and reassurance.

After making a handful of mashups in a cracked copy of Virtual DJ, it clicked for me that I might actually have a shot at making the types of music I'd always been so interested in. I acquired my first digital audio workstation at age 12, a cracked copy of FL Studio 8, and found the exploratory nature of it far more gratifying than playing any single traditional instrument. It's way less about what your body can do and far more reliant on what you've got in your head. Please don't take this as being dismissive of them, but I feel instrument lessons only ever taught me how to PLAY music; I don't think I ever truly learned how to MAKE it until I dove headfirst into digital audio. I'm glad I did because I've been having a blast with it ever since!