There is something satisfying about watching an act progress. DRAMA first hit my radar at the Life is Beautiful festival, Las Vegas in 2021. They played a late afternoon set on the second stage and presented something which I had not much seen: a duo fronted by Via Rosa, a charismatic performer backed by Na’el Shehade, who was building the complex sounds live on an entire cluster of instruments and soundboards. It was different, engaging and as sometimes happens at festivals, the music coming from the stage drew an ever increasing crowd.
Fast forward to today, and there is a new release from DRAMA. They’ve created Dollar $hort, a digital album debuting their next iteration of sound. As always, their work is off the narrow path tread by so many. Instead, it carries the unique signatures of DRAMA’s craftwork. Somehow, this piece came together as a joint effort between Via and Na’el as Na’el built the first interation, then Via reworked the piece. The video above is one of their new songs, the eponymously named DRAMA – shot in Via’s Chicago.
I spoke with DRAMA about their new past year, and what is upcoming. That conversation reveals the ease with which Via and Na’el share reflections and projections. There are so many clues revealed about musicians when the opportunity to speak with them presents itself. Via and Na’el remain open, engaging and deeply committed to delivering interesting music. That’s what creatives do, they make something which never before existed.
As I first wrote in 2021, DRAMA takes their own path, and that is their differentiator. If all music sounded the same it would be meaningless. What moves audiences is the evolution of an act’s sound, and the caliber of their performance. DRAMA continues to deliver on both measures.
This band has been progressing post Covid. They played Coachella this year to a big and enthusiastic crowd and continue to build audience as they tour. The core elements of their performance remain intact, and the caliber of their sound remains complex and satisfying.
DRAMA have a few shows left this month in the United States before they embark on a pre-holiday December European tour. Dollar $hort is a good listen, but better yet is to see DRAMA live. Watch as their 2024 schedule reveals when Via and Na’el will be near, then go. Live entertainment is a very satisfying way to spend time. It’s rare to find it nearby and in the infinite loop of DRAMA, no drama.