Andres Tavarez, or Kid Dre, is a 22-year-old creative and a member of the ‘Barely Legal Collective’, a music collective based in Tampa, Florida, consisting of 8 members: 4 performers, 2 managers and 2 graphic designers. He was originally born into a large military family in Naples, Italy, where his parents were stationed at the time. After moving around from Italy, Florida, Japan, Germany, back to Florida, the Dominican Republic, New York, and back to Italy, Andres finally found himself back in Florida in 2017 just in time for his senior year of high school.
Growing up, Andres was a huge fan of Tyler, The Creator, an American rapper, producer, actor, and designer. Andres states “He inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and try something new, which was music.” Andres was most inspired by the way Tyler dabbles in many fields and doesn’t focus on one thing. He also influenced Andres to do what makes him happy and disregard the way the public perceives him. “At the end of the day, I’m living my life, and these other people who have opinions on me are not living the life I live, so I’m going to do whatever makes me happy.” says Andres.
After moving back to Florida for his senior year, Andres attended Bloomingdale Senior High School, where he met Miguel, one of their performers, as well as Laith and Ramos, the two managers of Barely Legal Collective. Andres attended the same church as Charles Braggs, or Chowder Band$. Charles became a major source of inspiration for Andres and helped build his confidence with his music. Andres states “I looked up to him, even though he’s younger than me because in high school, he was doing music as a sophomore and junior. I’ve always wanted to do music, but I never had the courage to do it. But once I saw that somebody else younger than me was doing it and a lot of people hated his music, but he was still doing it, it gave me the confidence boost to take this serious.” Once Andres and Charles were acquainted, they brought in their graphic designers, Devin, and Ty, as well as Jo, their 4th performer.
As a kid, Andres never imagined himself pursuing a music career. In fact, he was raised believing he would follow the path of his parents and go into the military after high school. He even went to the University of South Florida for their ROTC program for two years, about to “sign his life away to serve this country” before deciding to drop out and pursue a career in music. He accredits his decision to his fellow performer, Charles, who inspired him to pursue his music, despite any backlash he faces from the public.
Barely Legal Collective makes music that Andres describes as “Loud, Exhilarating, Explicit and Diverse”. Originally, Andres wanted the public to view their music as something with a deeper meaning behind it. However, as time went on, he realized that if their audience enjoys what they hear then that’s more than enough. When it comes to the lyrics and concepts within songs, most everything is done within the hands of the 4 performers, Andres, Jo, Charles, and Miguel. The group prefers to outsource their beats from locals to keep diversity within their sound.
Andres has a personal passion to inspire other people to be creative without focusing on outside expectations. For example, Andres is most proud of throwing the largest underground show in Tampa, called ‘Another Barely Legal Show’. Andres states “That was our biggest show. We had around 700 people there, we sold over 1,000 tickets and made over 20,000 dollars that show. It was the biggest underground show in Tampa at the time. It was a big staple in my eyes and a lot of people started taking us seriously after that.” Even though this show was followed by their Rolling Loud Miami performance and their upcoming Rolling Loud New York performance, Andres’s heart lies within his community and with the people who have watched him grow as an artist. Everyone in the crowd of that show were also in the crowd of Barely Legal’s first show, therefore in the eyes of the group, ‘Another Barely Legal Show’ was an ode to everybody who has supported them since the very beginning.
In 5 years from now, Andres sees the group becoming a solidified name in terms of rap collectives. He states, “As much as we love Barely Legal, we see Barely Legal as the foot in the door because we all want to do different things.” Andres hopes to model and act in the years to come. He sees himself as a talented composer with a good ear for music and finds more fun in organizing and stitching together music rather than being featured. He enjoys the melodic side of music and more of a soulful sound, and as a solo artist, aims for diversity. He states, “I want to make hype music, but I also want to make music that will make you cry.”
One response to “Kid Dre Interview”
Hey Alaina! This story is really cool and inspiring, as I’m also very into making music and promoting the underground scene. I think Kid Dre’s insight is really great and it’s awesome that he was so open in this interview!