He does not care for fame. All he wants is his guitar and a place to play music. Drew Erwin might be just 21 years old but the singer from Memphis has a sensibility of a mature artist who understands the value of his art.
For some artist, the magic of music comes from the instruments but Erwin locates it in lyrics. His admiration for art leans towards the words he scribbles down to showcase his experiences and emotions.
On 25th August, Erwin released his new EP titled “Covers in a Bar”. Be it “Tennessee and Me” or “Wide Open”, the tracks carry melancholy melodies telling stories of growing up and getting out. While talking about his EP, the singer said,
With this set of songs, I wanted to strip away the idea of making it some big production.Getting the guitar and vocal tracks live on the floor is what really sets the vibe and allowed me to capture the intimacy I was chasing.
Tennessee & Me was the main track to be released from the EP. Explaining the meaning behind the song, Erwin said,
“The song is really just about not letting love hold you back from seeing all that this world has to offer. If whoever you’re with truly loves you, they should want to be right there with you experiencing it first hand. I love my hometown and the people in it, but I never want that to keep me from going new places.”
We got a chance to catch up with the singer to talk about his musical inspiration, new singles and much more. Check out the complete interview below:
We would like to know about your musical journey. How did it begin and how has it been so far?
I would consider my musical journey to have seriously begun in late 2014. I was enrolled at The University of Mississippi and just really unhappy. I transferred to the University of Memphis and began to study Music in the Spring of 2015. Being around talented, like-minded people really inspired me to get myself together and take music seriously. Since then, It’s been non-stop gigging and shows. I usually play twice a week in town while juggling school and producing music for other people. It’s pretty hectic but I love it.
What does music mean to you?
It means more than I can put into words. My world revolves around it. Music is therapeutic. It keeps me sane. Writing gives me a way to express the things I keep bottled up.
Who is your musical inspiration and why?
My musical inspiration as of lately is really Jason Isbell. The way he writes songs is incredible.
Congratulations on the release of your new EP. The title “Covers in a Bar” is quite intriguing. Can you please tell us a bit about it?
I play a lot of gigs in Memphis. Music is how I pay my bills, and I work for a tip jar a lot. I love the fact that I call music my job, but sometimes playing in bars is discouraging when you write the kind of music that I write. People don’t want an intimate sad song when they’re out on a Friday night. They want stuff that they know and enjoy. I titled the EP ‘Covers in A Bar’ because it seemed fitting. These gigs are 3-4 hours of me playing solo acoustic, and a lot of that is cover songs. I made sure the production of the record was live and mainly acoustic because that’s how my world has been the past few years. The title track tells the story pretty well I think.
What is your favorite track off the EP and why?
I was really satisfied when I wrote the song ‘Sadie,’. That song is sort of a letter to my high school sweetheart. We ended things on weird terms and still don’t speak today. Kind of just my way of reaching out and saying “Hey… that was 4 years ago, we can be civil now.”
Your music is pure guitar based and it seems to contain deep contemplation. This seems quite evident in your songs “Tennessee & Me” and “Wide Open”. How did the choice of such sound come about?
Back to the whole concept of doing things live and trying to be as raw as possible. It’s more emotional when you grab it in one take. These songs mean a lot to me and I wanted to capture those emotions with a performance instead of a production.
Today, when people prefer heavy beats and loud music, it is quite difficult to draw their attention towards lyrical music. James Bay is one of the few singers from mainstream industry who have been able to achieve this major feat. How do you feel about it?
To me, lyrics are everything. I’d rather hear a well-told story and have something to chew on than crazy chord changes or a cool beat. I listen to music for the words 85% of the time. That’s what gets to me. But everyone is different. That’s the great thing about music. I think if a song has great lyrical content you can always add some production/change the tempo and make it “mainstream”. Citing James Bay specifically, when he released ‘Let it Go,’ the radio edit was nothing like the record. Sampled drums and almost a hip hop beat underneath it. I almost never listen to the radio though, so I don’t feel like I worry too much anymore about whether or not I’m writing “mainstream”. If people can relate to the stories I’m telling is what I’m really into at the moment.
Would you like to share with us your plans for rest of 2017? That is, what can fans expect from Drew Erwin in the near future?
The rest of 2017 is looking like my Fall semester at the University of Memphis with playing as much as possible on the weekends. Right now most of it is local, but I’m working on a full-length record, and will also release two singles within the next few months. My plan is to just keep making music and trying to improve. I’m on a journey of self-discovery and my plans always seem to be changing. Music always remains constant though.
Erwin’s EP is out. You can check it out below:
Did you like it? Share your views about the EP via tweet @Fuzzable.