"DRAMA's music has been described as "happy sad" characterized by Rosa's poignant lyrics about love and heartbreak designed for healing and catharsis, balanced out by Shehade's production featuring "throbbing synths and R&B."
Before meeting in 2013, Shehade and Rosa had individual careers in the music industry. Born in Austin, Texas and raised on a Native American reservation in northern California, Rosa grew up touring with her parents who played in a reggae band. Rosa developed an interest in poetry while attending charter school, which she began combining with beats she wrote in her late teenage years. After attending a culinary school in Hollywood, Rosa moved to Chicago in 2010 to be with her grandmother who was battling cancer. There, she joined hip hop collective THEMPeople and released her own musical projects between 2010 and 2014.
Shehade, who was born and raised in Chicago, spent his teenage years DJing at clothing shops and record stores, and enjoying the city's house and electronic music scenes. He began making his own music in high school (which led to Bravo licensing his music), and although he eventually attended business school to study arts management, he ultimately began collaborating with other artists as a producer. Before forming Drama, Shehade worked on projects with Chance The Rapper (Acid Rap), Kanye West (G.O.O.D. Music's Cruel Summer Compilation), Chief Keef, and Vic Mensa among others. Shehade was encouraged to start releasing his own music by artist Nicolas Jaar.
Shehade and Rosa were introduced in 2013 by vocalist Jean Deaux, who at the time was collaborating with Shehade and friends with Rosa. Originally the project was informal, but eventually solidified into a fully formed duo with Shehade producing and Rosa singing and writing.