The Frontrunnaz (songwriting and production team)

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

The Frontrunnaz is an American songwriting-production duo founded by husband and wife, Christopher and Diondria Thornton, currently based in Houston, Texas.

Diondria specializes in songwriting, lead and background vocals, demos and vocal arrangement.

Chris specializes in music production, songwriting, vocal production, lead and background vocals and is a seasoned recording and mixing engineer.

Early life[edit]

Chris started his music career at 20 years old while enlisted in the military, when he signed his first record deal with R&B group R’Rendition. After experiencing the ins and outs of the industry, Chris found himself more intrigued with the production aspect of music[1]. With influences from legends in the industry, he was able to recognize he had the ability to create a company just as impactful as the ones before him.

Diondria Thornton (born Thomas) was born in Houston, TX and raised in Fullerton, CA. Always interested in performing, Dria began her artistic endeavors at Huntington Beach Academy for The Performing Arts (APA) in Huntington Beach, Ca[1]. After graduating High School she attended the University of Houston with a major in Psychology and joined a local Houston girls group. Later on, she pursued her solo career writing and producing her own songs. She began performing live and singing national anthems for USTA/WTA tennis matches and NFL football games.

The name "Frontrunnaz" came to be because of Chris' love of Florida music and its producers as well as his admiration for Khaled. At the time, Khaled had recently signed a production team called The Runners, and since he admired them, he wanted to be even better than them. "The Frontrunnaz" came to mean being better than any competition[2], as a reminder of what they're working towards as a team.

The Frontrunnaz[edit]

In 2003, Chris met Diondria (Dria) on the social media platform Myspace. Chris was looking for an artist to produce[2]. After meeting, Chris and Dria developed a working music relationship. In 2008, Chris relocated to Dallas, TX. At the time, Diondria lived in Houston and they teamed up to solidify their business relationship.

That year they created “The Frontrunnaz” and Frontrunnaz Entertainment (an independent record label). Under the label, Chris and Diondria started with local Dallas artists and after moving back to the Bay Area, collaborated with local Bay Area artists and continued to pursue Dria’s solo music. In 2009, they got married.

The writing and production team has built a strong music presence in the industry[1][2]. As The Frontrunnaz, their big career placement was with Logic and they haven't stopped working ever since.

2011-2013: The beginnings, Livio Harris and S1[edit]

The Frontrunnaz started their careers writing and vocally lacing tracks for some major producers in the industry. Their first ever industry placement was “Proud” a custom licensed song used for an African American doll company called “Kenya”.

In 2012, Livio Harris introduced The Frontrunnaz to Grammy Nominated and multi-platinum producer S1 (Symbolyc One). They began working with S1, writing and submitting demos for Kanye West, Lecrae, Eminem, Lupe Fiasco, Fergie and more.

After a drawn out bidding war, Livio signed them to Notting Dale Songs in 2013. Their first commercial placement was “Dirt” by Mobb Deep on the “Infamous Mobb Deep[3]” album, Prodigy and Havoc’s last recorded album before Prodigy’s unfortunate death. This collaboration was possible due to their working relationship with S1 and Grammy award winning and multi-platinum producer !llmind.

2014-2015: Collaboration with Logic and Dria’s solo career[edit]

In 2014, after being invited to an impromptu recording session with rapper Logic[4], S1 and Mphazes, they ended up co-writing on “Till the end” and providing vocals (background and lead), vocal production and arrangement for four other songs on the debut, platinum selling album “Under Pressure”[3].  As the relationship and success with Logic progressed, The Frontrunnaz were hired to compose, sing, produce and arrange lead and background vocals on Logic's first three albums.

In the same year, Dria started her solo career when she was featured in Ray J's single "ATM" feat Dria and The Migos[5]. The single featured her for the first time under the artistic name of "Dria", and was later used for licensing for the show “Love and Hip Hop Hollywood”. ATM was initially written by The Frontrunnaz team as a song for Miley Cyrus or Rihanna. Ray J's management team heard Dria's vocals and decided to keep her on the song as a feature[5]. Dria's voice is featured on the Pre-Chorus and the Chorus[6].

In 2015, Logic invited the The Frontrunnaz to Maui to work on “The Incredible True Story”. After 8 days of collaboration, they contributed to 8 songs on the album including one co-write and a featured artist spot for Dria on "Stainless"[6].

Logic’s “The Incredible True Story” (2015) debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 in the US and sold 135,000 album-equivalent units and 118,000 copies in its first week[7]. The album debuted at number 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, surpassing Under Pressure, which opened at number 2[8][9].

Also in 2015, The Frontrunnaz produced and released their first mixtape "Ready, Set, Go ft. Dria, Keme Davis and Dutchess”[10]. In September, they co-produced the soundtrack along with Drake for Serena Williams’ Signature Statement Fall Collection for the HSN with KIA STYLE360[11].

2016: Young Thug, Lecrae and Dove nomination.[edit]

The Frontrunnaz joined forces with S1 and Lecrae as he released the single “Illuminate” in February 2016[12]. The Frontrunnaz wrote the hook and Dria performed the chorus and background vocals. “Illuminate” was released as an exclusive pre-download for the fans that pre-ordered Lecrae's new book, Unashamed, released on May of the same year.

They also co-wrote “Can’t Do You” from Lecrae’s “Church Clothes 3” mixtape. “Can’t Do You” was nominated for a 2016 Dove Award for Best “Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year” in which The Frontrunnaz received nomination for their contribution to the record.

In August 2016,  Young Thug  released a new album, "No, my name is Jeffery”. Chris and Dria co-wrote the song “Wyclef Jean” with producer Supah Mario and S1.

That same year DJ Monn collaborated with The Frontrunnaz to co-write the John Waite-inspired song "Not Missin U"[13][14].

Through their long time working relationship with Denaun Porter, Chris and Dria co-wrote the song “Anywhere” by rapper Tech N9ne ft. Marsha Ambrosius. The song was released on his album “The Storm”.

By the end of 2016, The Frontrunnaz joined Logic again for his third album, “Everybody”, where they were co-writers on the song “Confess” and contributed background, lead vocals, vocal production and arrangement to five records including the 3x platinum, Grammy nominated, 1-800-273-8255 by Logic ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid. The album was released in May of 2016 and has been certified RIAA Gold and Platinum[15]. Logic performed the song live at the 2017 Grammy Awards.

2017-Today: New projects[edit]

After meeting at an iStandard’s event and developing a working relationship writing and providing vocals for Lil Wayne's producer Streetrunner, in 2017, The Frontrunnaz co-wrote and Dria's background vocals were featured on "Shine" by Meek Mill and "Lamborghini Doors" by Rick Ross.

With the"voices ft. The Frontrunnaz" vocal kit; Producer Jake One embedded Dria's vocals in a track to create "Money Dance" ft. The Dream[16]. Using the same vocal kit, producer Supah Mario created "Wyclef Jean" for Young Thug.

Also in 2017 and under the Frontrunnaz Entertainment label, Dria released her first single “Brand New” from her debut album “When I Grow Up”[6]. The song itself was co-produced by Chris, Charity Work, Kris Karz, Mark Byrd and the legendary Craig King.

In February 2018, they were featured as co-writers on a song called "WHO" by Japanese artist Kumi Koda on her album “AND”.  That same year, Frontrunnaz Entertainment released three more singles by Dria and signed a new artist named “Jumpman”[17], with whom they released a 3 song EP titled “The World Outside My Window”[18].

At the beginning of 2019, Serena Williams asked The Frontrunnaz to score custom music for her “S” Brand marketing on Instagram[19]. The Frontrunnaz are currently serving as the in house music producers for the “S” brand[20].

Frontrunnaz Entertainment has plans to release new music videos for all of Dria’s singles and another EP on Jumpman in the third quarter of 2019.

Notable works[edit]

Besides songwriting and producing, The Frontrunnaz has been featured as performing artist and vocals in several music productions.

Vocals[edit]

Dria’s vocals have been featured in different tracks throughout the years. While writing for Lil Wayne grammy nominated and multi-platinum producer Streetrunner, Dria's background vocals were featured on "Shine" by Meek Mill and "Lamborghini Doors" by Rick Ross.

The Frontrunnaz’s vocals were also featured in from a vocal kit with S1 called "Voices" ft. The Frontrunnaz[16]. Using that kit, producer Jake One embedded Dria's vocals in the track to create "Money Dance" ft. The Dream. The same kit was used by producer Supah Mario created "Wyclef Jean" for Young Thug.

As a solo singer, Dria has either been featured or provided vocals for artists like Rick Ross, Logic, Mobb Deep, Young Thug, Meek Mill, Lecrae, and others.

Performing artist[edit]

The Frontrunnaz’s first feature as artist was on the Seamus Haji's Remix of "After Midnight"[21]. In 2014, The Frontrunnaz collaborated with Super Producer, S1 and created a vocal collection for producers called “Voices” ft The Frontrunnaz[16][22].

TV/Film and Digital Music Licensing[edit]

The Frontrunnaz created the official campaign music for the doll “Kenya”, Their music has been featured on “Love and Hip Hop Hollywood”, The Westbrooks”, “Ballers”, You’re the Worst”, Bad Girls Club and Thailand Film, Zero Tolerance[23].

They curated a playlist in collaboration with Drake for Serena Williams HSN Collection Fashion Show, during 2015 NY Fashion Week[11].

Currently, The Frontrunnaz are scoring custom music for Serena Williams’, “S” Brand[19], which marks the beginning of future endeavors in Digital Content Music Licensing through their company “Timpoo Music”.

Personal Life[edit]

Chris was born in Ft. Hood, TX and Diondria in Houston, TX. As kids, they both spent a greater part of their lives in California. They got married in November 2009. They have 3 children: Brian, Jordan and Deshae. Brian is a 9 year old creative who has been featured on Logic’s album “The Incredible True Story” on the song “Innermission”[24]. He is learning Camera Operation and Creative Direction and is prepping for a gaming youtube channel of his own. Jordan is a Hip Hop artist, also known as “Jumpman”. He is signed to Frontrunnaz Entertainment. Deshae is in school for Childhood Education and is an aspiring Broadway artist.

Discography[edit]

  • "The Frontrunnaz Presents Ready, Set, Go ft. Dria, Keme Davis and Dutchess"[10]
  • Symbolyc One (S1) Kits: Voices Vocal Collection ft. The Frontrunnaz[16]
  • “When I Grow Up” by Dria (2019) (executive production, lead vocals, background vocals, vocal arrangements, composer)
  • “Who” by Koda Kumi (2018)[25]
  • “1-800” by Logic (2017) ft Alessia Cara & Khalid (background vocals, vocal arrangements)[26]
  • “Confess” by Logic (2017) ft Killer Mike (composer, background vocals, vocal arrangement, vocal production)[27]
  • “Black Spiderman” by Logic (2017) (background vocals)
  • “Anziety” by Logic (background vocals, vocal arrangement)[28]
  • “Serena” by Serena Williams (musical scoring, composer)[20]
  • “Anywhere” by Tech N9ne (2016) ft Marsha Ambrosius (producer, composer, vocal arrangement)[25]
  • "Wyclef Jean" by Young Thug (2016)
  • “Shine” by Meek Mill (2016) (composer, additional vocals)
  • "Blessed Up" by Meek Mill in DC4 (2016) (composer)[29]
  • “Lamborghini Doors” by Rick Ross ft Meek Mill and Anthony Hamilton (composer, background vocals)[25]
  • "Like Whoa" by Logic in The Incredible True Story (2015) (composer, background vocals)[30]
  • "Never Been" by Logic in The Incredible True Story (2015)
  • “Stainless” by Logic (2015)
  • “We OK” by Redrama (produced / co-wrote) (2015)[31]
  • "Till The End" by Logic in Under Pressure (2014): Lead & Additional Vocals[32]
  • “Dirt” by Mobb Deep (2014)[33]

Nominations[edit]


2016 Dove Awards Best Rap Song of the Year[34] “Can’t Do You” Lecrae Nominated

Certifications[edit]

ft. Logic

  • RIAA-Certified GOLD Albums  “Under Pressure” & “The Incredibly True Story”[15]
  • RIAA-certified GOLD Single “Til The End”[26]
  • RIAA-certified PLATINUM  “Everybody”[15]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Beats Grind & Life Podcast: Episode 080 The Frontrunnaz – Beats Grind and Life". Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Interview: The Frontrunnaz". GRUNGECAKE. Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Frontrunnaz | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  4. Zisook, Brian "Z". "Logic Defends Drake, Says "Everyone Uses Writers"". DJBooth. Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "New Music: Ray J feat. Dria & Migos - ATM". ThisisRnB.com - New R&B Music, Artists, Playlists, Lyrics. 2014-08-05. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "DriaMusic (Official Page)#SCFIRST". SoundCloud. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  7. "Logic's 'Incredible True Story' Crowns Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  8. "Logic: 'Do Something For Yourself'". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  9. Editors, H. H. L. "Check Out The 15 Best Selling Hip Hop Albums Of The Year". www.hiphoplately.com. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "The Frontrunnaz Present: Ready, Set, Go! Mixtape by Ft. Dria, Keme Davis, Dutchess and Torsha Lynn Hosted by Hosted By Nappy Boy's Slick305". www.datpiff.com. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Celebuzz". Celebuzz. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  12. "Music: Lecrae - Illuminate ft. Dria". Rapzilla. 2016-04-08. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  13. "Not Missin U (feat. Dria) (Extended Mix) by Monn on Beatport". www.beatport.com. Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  14. "Monn Feat. Dria - Not Missin U". crssbeat. 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 S1 (2019-07-27). "Voices ft. The Frontrunnaz, Vocal collection". S1 Kits.
  17. Frontrunnaz, The (2018-12-11). "JumpMan – Follow Me https://itshiphopmusic.com/jumpman-follow-me/ … via @its HIP HOP music (one of the best Indie Hip Hop Blogs)". @thefrontrunnaz. Retrieved 2019-07-28. External link in |title= (help)
  18. artistrack (2018-12-10). "JumpMan - Follow Me - its HIP HOP music (one of the best Indie Hip Hop Blogs)". its HIP HOP music (one of the best Indie Hip Hop Blogs). Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Serena on Instagram: "Serena is back in the #SBrandCloset showing you her favorite looks from our collection ✨ and we're kinda obsessed with what she picked out!…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Serena on Instagram: "This week Serena and @ValVogt are jumping back into the S Brand Closet with Hair Stylist Angela Meadows (@angelameadowssalon), who needs a…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  21. MrSimplisticBunny (2013-10-06), Seamus Haji & JunkDNA & Olic feat. The Frontrunnaz - After Midnight (Aurora Lights), retrieved 2019-07-28
  22. ""VOICES" The S1 Vocal Collection Review". Maschine Masters. 2014-06-04. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  23. "Who We Are". RAP PLUG. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  24. Logic (Ft. Lucy Rose) – Innermission, retrieved 2019-07-28
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 "Diondria Thornton". Discogs (in 日本語). Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  26. 26.0 26.1 "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  27. "Everybody - Logic | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  28. "Everybody - Logic | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  29. "DC4 - Meek Mill | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  30. The Incredible True Story by Logic, retrieved 2019-07-28
  31. Redrama – #WeOk!, retrieved 2019-07-28
  32. Logic – Till the End, retrieved 2019-07-28
  33. "Diondria Thornton | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  34. "Dove Awards 2016 Nominees".


This article "The Frontrunnaz (songwriting and production team)" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:The Frontrunnaz (songwriting and production team). Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.