Shelley explains why changing his name was “symbolic to the changes I made in my musical direction”

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Shelley, the artist formerly known as DRAM, sat down with Complex to talk about his recent name change and his album, Shelley FKA DRAM.

Shelley is the artist’s government name. He says the change “was symbolic to the changes that I made in my musical direction, as well as my lifestyle in general.”

Shelley gained international success under the stage name Big Baby DRAM with hits like “Cha Cha,” “Broccoli” and more. He believes the name DRAM came with a “certain stigma” and limited his versatility as an artist.

“I felt like a wide range of styles and sounds were being overshadowed by the few records of mine that were extremely popular,” he explains. “As grateful as I am for the success of those records, I still thought many people judged the totality of my art based on those records alone.”

Shelley was also shocked by the positive responses he received over his recent album, Shelley FKA DRAM, which ranked at #3 on Complex’s “Best Albums of 2021 (So Far)” list. The 10-track blessing features appearances from R&B vocalists Summer Walker, Erykah Badu, H.E.R., and WATT.

“I’m both surprised and ecstatic from the overall responses from my fans as well as my peers,” Shelley tells Complex. “It seems as though this musical path that I’m on is exactly what my day ones have been waiting for from me.”

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