About DrewStar: Andrew "DrewStar" Messam is a Producer, Music Composer, Event Specialist, and Activist. A serial entrepreneur, Andrew Messam founded and still runs the DMV-based entertainment production company, DrewStar Productions LLC. He is also the creator of the popular “High School Cypher.” In addition to producing some of the most popular DMV hip hop artists and songs, Andrew has been recognized as a champion of the community due to his signature emphasis on positive lyrics, and dedication to community empowerment. As result of his work, Andrew has received acclaim from local officials ranging from DC City Council to the Maryland House of Delegates.
DrewStar was born in Maryland on April 8, 1991 into an artistic and musical family. His father, Alphonso Messam, is the CEO of the respected independent record label, Black Liberty Records. Alphonso’s widespread talents, from sound engineering to speaker manufacturing, would continuously influence DrewStar throughout his entire development. From a very early age, Messam and his brothers would gain attention in the music industry, performing in go-go bands like K.I.B and Black Liberty Sensation. The vivacious mixing of instruments characterizing the go-go sound is largely what has inspired Messam to pursue beatmaking and multi-instrumental music composition.
In 2012, at the age of just 20, along with brothers Ramone aka “MoneOnDaBeat” and Jerome aka “DisgoFeva” DrewStar, Andrew began work as a music and video Producer for their family-owned creative company, Kno Effort. Today, DrewStar has done production work, videography, screenwriting, and directing on projects with DMV artists such as Shy Glizzy, Fat Trell, Lightshow, Dirty Swipey, Mike D’Angelo, Garvy, Pinky Killacorn, Willtharapper, Simba, and a host of others.
Late 2013, DrewStar launched the High School Cypher. First set in Montgomery County, Maryland this phenomenon features a hip hop cypher between the top young rap talent, where participants are required to spew positive lyrics atop original DrewStar beats. The project was such a sensation, that DrewStar brought it across the DMV, featuring talent from over 30 DMV high schools. Each High School Cypher production has gone viral, attracting at least 200K views online, in addition to gracing local radio throughout the entirety of the academic year. In fact, as a result of their participation in the High School Cypher, several of DrewStar’s artists have gone on to achieve Internet fame. As The Washington Post would report, “High school ‘cypher’ video makes celebrities of Pr. George’s students.” High School Cypher gained further attention when shouted out by hip hop superstar and Montgomery County, Maryland native Wale.
In addition to his success in entertainment, DrewStar is a dedicated community servant. Messam began his community work as a mentor with the ‘Youth Empowerment Program’ at Howard University. At their core, all DrewStar projects aim to cast education in a more positive and fashionable light, and increase school attendance and graduation rates in Maryland and DC. In 2016, High School Cypher was recognized on the floor of House of Delegates by Prince George’s County Delegate Angela Angel for “publishing music that upholds the value of education and showcases the talent of positive young rap artists across Prince George's County.”
Messam is currently working to take his High School Cypher initiative nationwide to give other youth the opportunity to showcase their talents.