Interview – Drew Gregory

By: Jenna Melanson

Drew Gregory is a name that you have probably heard, and if not, you will. This country artist grew up in Alberta and then eventually packed up and headed to Nashville to pursue music.

He has release his sophomore album, “The Way I Was Raised”, which you can buy on iTunes here:

I had the chance to ask Drew a few questions via an email interview, so keep reading to find out more about this talented country artist.

When did you first decide that you wanted to pursue music as a career?

DG:I decided to take a trip to Nashville in the winter of 2009. I had saved up some money working on both the farm and in the Alberta oil patch and thought I would see what happened throwing myself in with the best of the best in the music business. I think it was during that trip my eyes were opened. It was definitely after that trip I remember thinking that I could never again NOT be pursuing  a career in music.

Coming from a small farming town, what obstacles did you meet when paving the path to success?

DG: Leaving the first time was hard. I love my town, my family, and my friends and hope I never lose that love. I wouldn’t say I was a born drifter. It comes with the territory and I’ve grown to love the road but it is always hard to leave home and always great driving back in to it after being gone for a long time!

You recorded your first album, “Country Hurricane” in Nashville, explain that experience to us.

DG:That album was recorded during only my second trip to Nashville. It really allowed me to see how the whole town works. From the business side of things to the musical side of things it was all such a great learning experience!

Up until now in your career, what has been the highlight?

DG: First times are always cool to me. The first time I heard myself on the radio you could not wipe the grin off my face. Same when I saw my new video on CMT for the first time. That and the connections I’ve made. Both with fans, fellow artists and so many people in the business. Friends I would never have had, had I not decided to pursue this career!

If you were to recommend only one song for a new listener, which song would you choose? Why?

DG: I think I would have to say ‘The Way I Was Raised.” I think the song just fits who I am so well and people can hopefully get a good sense of who I am by listening!

When writing songs, what is your writing process like?

DG: When going in to co-writes I like to have an idea and a bit of melody started. I find if that hook isn’t there then it can take most of a writing session just to come up with an idea. When writing alone it’s somewhat the same. I find its important to have that good hook to work off to start!

Who are your major musical influences?

DG:I’ve always been quite influenced by a lot of the southern rockers. We listened to a lot of old vinyl records growing up. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshal Tucker, Steve Earl, Bob Seger. I’d say a lot of that sneaks in to my songs. For a new artist I like what Eric Church is doing. Always pushing limits and singing what I think are believable songs. He’s definitely not a cookie cutter artist and I like that.

You recently release a video for your single, The Way I Was Raised, how has the response been?

DG:The response has been unbelievable. The video producer Troy Niemans did a great job of creating a lot of moments that went with the song and I think people have really connected with that. I’ve had a lot of people comment that they got emotional while watching it and I think that means we did a great job of combining a great meaningful song with a great meaningful video!

I am a big fan of “The Way I Was Raised”, where did the inspiration for this song come from?

DG:Thank you! Unfortunately I did not write this one. But I remember thinking the first time I heard it “This is me, this is a song I wish I’d written” I think the inspiration for releasing it as a single came from my own engagement which happened earlier this summer!

Is there anyone you would like to have the chance to work with in the future?

DG:As for Canadians I would love to work with Deric Ruttan. I think he is a great songwriter and I have ran in to him on a few occasions and he definitely seems like a pretty fun guy!

What can the fans expect from  you next?

DG: We’ve already started writing for the next project. I believe the improvement from our first album to the second was substantial and we are going to work very hard to make sure the 3rd album blows away the second. I always want to grow musically.

I’d like to include some fun questions for your fans to get to know you better, so here goes:

What was the first song you ever performed live?

DG: Mary Had A Little Lamb on my guitar in front of my parents and sister. haha

If you were to put together a tour, which bands/ artists would you include?

DG:Bob Seger, Myself, Bryan Adams, Deric Ruttan and Eminem. Think that would work?

On your down time, what could we find you doing?

DG:Farming, and of coarse hanging out with family and friends. I try to get in some hockey in the winter and softball in the summer too. What can I say I’m Canadian!

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so of course we want to know who your favourite Canadian band/ musician is?

DG: I think Paul Brandt is an amazing talent. I’ve seen him on several occasions and am always blown away. Definitely a Canadian icon of mine for sure. Always been a big Bryan Adams fan too!

And last but not least, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

DG: Just that we are going to do everything we can to keep bringing them the best product we’re possibly able to bring. On the stage and on their ipods. I believe its the best way to thank them for their support. Love you all!!

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