A Conversation with Country Rocker Drew Six

Drew Six photo

Drew Six is an incredible singer-songwriter that always delivers astonishing songs. (Photo courtesy of Drew Six)

By: Jacob Elyachar

Country rocker Drew Six had a busy 2012!

He performed across the Kansas City metropolitan area and released his new benefit single, “We Choose Livin.” Drew continued to captivate crowds through his strong vocals, impressive showmanship and inspirational song lyrics.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Drew about a variety of subjects including his music, songwriting and YouTube video series: Drew TV.

Jacob Elyachar: How did you get interested in music?

Drew Six: Music has been a part of me for as long as I can remember.  I feel that I am fortunate because I always knew what I wanted to do for as long as I can remember.   My folks have recordings of me singing before I was talking and thankfully, I had a family that supported and encouraged me to go whether direction they wanted me to pursue.

JE: When did you get interested in songwriting?

DS: I remember making demo recordings when I was 12-years-old.  I would make tapes and put a fake manager’s name on them and mail them out to the labels.   As I headed into junior high, I was trying to figure out how you make it big in the music industry.      Part of the reason why I did it was to try and write a song to woo a girl or I had something to say that was not said the same way that I heard a song on the radio.

Very early on, when I decided that I wanted to make it in the music business, I knew that I had to write really great songs that would bring attention to me as an artist.    Songs always come first (to the performance and the look), and I am to a point now where I am totally open to work with other writers and to do other songs that fit me as an artist.  If the songs are not that great, then you do not have a chance.

JE: Recently, you released your latest single: “We Choose Livin’.” Could you please share with my readers the story behind the song?

DS: The cool thing about “We Choose Livin’” is that I do not always have a precise goal for what I am going for in a song, but in this case I did.   Deb Weibrecht, the Executive Director of Variety-the Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City, had mentioned to me, more than once, that they were interested in doing this variety show where local celebrities show their talents.    She only approached me to sing a duet with Danielle, who has cerebral palsy and is a very inspirational girl.

I was very flattered that they would ask me to do it.   The first question that Variety asked was “What song do you have in mind?”  Thankfully, they gave me creative freedom and I told them that I wanted to write something special and that fits the occasion.   It was really a big challenge to write this song because I wanted to approach the subject in a dignified way that listeners can make the song their own.  I wanted to talk about how the song effected the organization, the kids, the parents and the people like me that are just in awe of the work that is being done.   As it turned out, “We Choose Livin” fit all of those things.

The song also bridged common ground for Danielle and I.   I actually talked to her and I asked her: “What are the most important things that you want to be in the song?”  In addition to that, I also read testimonials and talked to the parents of the charity as well and that’s how the song happened.

JE: What are some of the songs that you are the most proud of?

DS: At this point, I am most proud of that song because it’s the new single.  We recorded it in Nashville and it came out great.   The vision I had of that song from the beginning to the end came to fruition and it’s not always that way (Laughs).  The recording is miles above anything that I have done so far in my opinion and it is a very sincere song.   I am also proud of all of my songs that I perform regularly and I am most proud of them when people make it their own and it means something towards someone else.

JE: You have attracted the attention of a diverse group of artists that includes Maroon 5, Lee Ann Womack, the Backstreet Boys and Liz Phair.  How does it feel to have the attention of multiple artists from different genres of music?

DS:  The cool thing about that is when you are an emerging artist and you do not have a record deal yet and you want to get in front of these people, you take those gigs when they come your way.     What I am proud of is the versatility to get in front of these certain crowds.   A crowd that is seeing the Backstreet Boys is way different than a crowd to see Jim Brickman, who is a piano guy.

Some artists maybe not want to appeal to that broad of an audience, but I do, and I love it.  It’s cool and I think that great songs are great songs and great performances are great performances.   My personal strength is performing and I love to get in front of any of those audiences and sometimes I am literally winning them over but that is a welcomed challenge.    I am a fan first, so I like seeing all of these different acts and being part of the whole production experience and 90-percent of the time that I am opening up for a major act, you will see me on the side of the stage or down in the front watching them.

 

Drew Six continues to entertain crowds with his impeccable showmanship and superb vocal talent.  (Photo courtesy of Drew Six)

Drew Six continues to entertain crowds with his impeccable showmanship and superb vocal talent. (Photo courtesy of Drew Six)

JE: A major act that you worked with in the past was country singer Trace Atkins.  He handpicked you to perform at a private showcase that was featured in USA Today. What was that experience like?

DS: It was a little bit nerve-wracking because it was a really small group of people that he handpicked to come do this deal.   We were at the Hard Rock Café in Nashville, which I have seen major acts and songwriters there that I am fans of.   Trace was the coolest dude ever!   He was kind of what you would expect, he was a big teddy bear!  One of the things that I admire about him is his business side and his longevity.  Trace is always doing something new and is always hosting new shows.  I think he has great management and a lot of it has to do with him.   It was a lot of fun and country artists don’t get any bigger than him, literally.

 

JE: I interview lots of alumni from shows like “America’s Got Talent,” “X Factor” and “The Voice.” How come we have not seen you audition for those types of shows? Do you have a desire to do those shows? Why or why not?

DS: The stars have not aligned for me to do the right show and it is not because of me.  I have auditioned for several of those shows but I missed the opportunity because I am in Nashville when they are auditioning here (in Kansas City) or whatever the location might be.

I was almost on Mark Burnett’s Rock Star: INXS and I was a week out to be on the show.   I thought it was a done deal and it did not literally happen days before and Chris Daughtry was one of the people that also did not get on the show.  I did not know who he was before he ended up on American Idol.     I think those shows are a great tool and I would certainly go on one of those shows.  I am not opposed to audition for those shows.   Maybe it will happen soon. (Laughs)

JE: One tool that a lot of your fans get a great kick out of is your Drew TV, your YouTube channel.  So how did you decide on that idea?

DS:  I came up with the concept of Drew TV when all of the reality television shows were happening and I decided that if no one was going to call me for mine, I would create it myself.  (Laughs)

I wanted it to be more of a Reality T.V. show.  It is extremely time consuming. Most of it, I have to film myself or I have to ask someone in the crowd to film it using a flip cam.    At the very least, it is a cool thing to have later on to show that I was either playing in an empty room or to a full house and now its documented.  We have kind of gotten away from the storyline as I am doing more acoustic performances and you learn from this experience too.

When I first started filming Drew TV, it was way too long.   People’s attention span on YouTube are so short but, like many of my ideas, it came out as a necessity and it was one more way to reach my fans and gain new fans.  Drew TV is a way for fans to get to know me as a person because ultimately, as an artist, it is what you are going for.

JE: If you had the opportunity to meet with aspiring singer-songwriters.  What advice would you share with them?

DS: A lot of people would give you the funny answer of “Don’t Do It” because it is a hard road.  But I think that the people that are not cut out for it will not do it because you are going to have people tell you “No!” and stifle you throughout your entire career.    You really have to love it, first of all, and you have to find yourself as an artist, which I am still doing, quite frankly.  I am better than I use to be but it is really being true to yourself.   You cannot chase your tail and try to be the new flavor of the month because then it has already happened if you are trying to be someone else.

If you are a songwriter, you are constantly trying to get better, it is a craft.  That also counts for being a performer.  You get out there and you learn and that is why I have a problem with Reality T.V.  Some of these contestants are awesome at auditions and awesome at backtrack singing, but they have no experience singing whether to two people to get a room going or singing to 500 people that could care less about you.  But you learn that from either writing songs or performing at clubs.

For more information about Drew, visit his website: http://drewsix.com/

Comments

  1. Great questions, and even better seeing the answers! You rock, Drew! To anyone who hasn’t seen him live–your missing out!

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