Drew Scott is an artist of many talents. Having produced for Dawn Richard, Zendaya, Teyana Taylor and Fantasia, it’s clear he knows his way around music. After working behind the scenes for a while, Scott’s deciding to showcase his talents as the main act.
The 2x Grammy nominated producer/singer-songwriter debuted his project Places I’ve Ever Been in 2013. A year later in 2014, he released his Vol. II and is back for another release. Detour was produced, written and mixed by Scott and is the final installment of his three-series release.
“I have a love/hate relationship with this industry so I got away and fell in love with it again on an island,” says Drew Scott. “I saw the sunrise and set on yachts, boats and ships on an ocean as far as the eye could see. I had no access to the outside world. It was me and music. I got to date her, know her and fall in love with her all over again despite our shortcomings. That’s what I wanted to portray in this project.”
Defined as alternative r&b, Drew Scott’s music has a vibe that keeps up with the new direction of the beloved genre. His songs are tales of love lost and found with a dash of hope to discover what one’s heart is truly yearning for. We chopped it up with Drew Scott to get to know the multi-talented man behind the music.
How did you get started?
I’ve been playing the piano since I was five. My grandmother put me into classical piano lessons at age seven. I hated it but stuck with it because I got to spend more time with her. Growing up in Sacramento, CA we didn’t have any notable producers, writers or artists come from where I’m from so I didn’t know anyone who was in the music industry. It wasn’t until I got to high school that I even knew there was such a thing as the “music business.”
When did you realize it was more than just a hobby or a passion?
I moved to LA to pursue a career in music and attend college. In 2011, a good friend of mine asked me to work on this gospel project for a group called Trinitee 5:7. They were the Destiny’s Child of gospel, signed to Beyoncé‘s dad’s label, MusicWorld. I sent over a batch of records and they ended up picking a record I wrote called “Some Kind of Amazing.” It was my first official placement and the album ended up being Grammy nominated in 2012. That was confirmation for me that I was on the right path.
How do you describe your sound/ what you do to people you haven’t heard before?
It’s alternative R&B on acid. It’s a little Ryan Leslie meets John Legend in 2020 if they were signed to A$AP Mob.
Who are your influences? What is some advice that has stuck with you?
Artistically it’s Babyface, just because I love how he’s known for his own music yet also for the music he has produced/written for other artists with a hint of A$AP Mob with the drippy chopped and screwed effects. Vocally, I’m influenced by Usher and Mario. Production wise Timbaland is king but I also love unconventional producers like Clams Casino, Flume and Blood Orange. The most important advice I ever received was from Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. They told me, “…getting a #1 with an established artists isn’t the challenge, they’ve done the hard part for you. Breaking an artist that the world gives a shit about, now that’s what separates the beatmakers from producers.”
What do you hope people take away from your music?
I want them to go on a journey. It’s destination music. If I sing about sex in Paris, I want you to feel like you’re in Paris with me. Even if you’ve never been, you’ll feel like you have.
How long have you been doing what you do?
Professionally, I’ve been working in the industry for seven years.
Is there an early memory you’d like to share about getting into your craft?
I was signed to this A&R from Interscope as a producer back in 2009. We worked out of this shitty studio with Da Internz and a couple other producers in LA but everyone was coming through there to work. Bruno Mars was an unknown songwriter and Frank Ocean was still Lonny Bereal. Everyone was hungry and determined to be the greatest at their craft and every single producer, writer and artist out of there are doing amazing things in the industry.
How has social media influenced your music and reach?
Social media and this whole digital era have broken the rules for artists. We’ve seen artists like Bryson Tiller get signed off of Soundcloud, YouTube and Vine. The walls that once kept fans and artists on two opposite sides have been knocked down. You now have access to reach anyone, anywhere in the world and that’s powerful. I’ve seen videos of people in Brazil and Russia dancing to my song “Cutie.” It blows my mind how my music is reaching people halfway around the world.