Holly, Diana, Ashley, and Melissa of Dream sit down with VIVA GLAM Magazine.
Female empowerment. We’ve sure been hearing a lot about it this year. Female empowerment means wearing as much makeup as you want, or not wearing any to stand against the status quo. It means wearing whatever you want, but it also means not flaunting your sexuality because you’re better that that. So many confusing messages are messing with the minds of today’s young women. Now they’re on their way back to school, and into the real world, and are utterly confused about what actions they should be standing behind to be considered a strong woman. Do I own my sexuality? Or do I hide it? Am I pro Kim Kardashian and Ariana Grande or do I despise them?
Back in the early 2000s, girl groups and female pop stars dominated the Top 40: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, and of course, Dream. All of these women were not only the subject of every teenage boy’s fantasy but also the idol for millions of young women across the country. These women were idolized. We all wanted to be them and be their best friend. Now, we do wish we could befriend a lot of today’s pop stars: Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, and Demi Lovato to name a few. But then there are a lot of young women who are just flat-out intimated by them for being “too sexy” or “not a woman’s woman”.
Like many other young women, I admired Dream. They were wholesome and appeared to be selling harmless messages appropriate for someone my age. They also seemed sweet and genuine, not threatening by any means. 17 years later, I meet them in person and they are exactly as I envisioned. Except now they are strong, beautiful, sexy women who command attention, not with sex but with their sense of unity and empowerment.
We talked to Dream about their new music, their experience in the industry as young teenagers, and taking back control of their message to empower women to stand together instead of against each other. If they were once one of your role models, they’re about to go right back to the top of your list.
A Conversation with the Ladies of Dream
(Holly Blake-Arnstein, Diana Ortiz, Ashley Poole, and Melissa Schuman)
All of you were really young when Dream started and became famous. Did you have any creative control over your music or persona? How did you handle that?
Holly: A lot of people didn’t realize how young we were. I would say we had some creative control in certain areas. Our personalities influenced what was chosen for us but it certainly was not us at the end of the day making choices about how things went. One thing I think that happened is that people around us would pick up on an element of someone’s personality and make that our line. For Ashley, she was “the tomboy”. That’s a part of who Ashley is but that isn’t all she is. Each of us had that experience in a certain way.
In regards to music, we were all just very excited to do music. We were working with a lot of big producers so it was their vision and we were happy to be a part of it. As we moved along, we did write “Pain” on the first album; as we worked on the second album, that was when our artistic creativity and control started to take shape and unfortunately it didn’t see the light of day. We did about 80 songs for that album.
Melissa: We produced that [second] record at 15-16 years old.