The road from obscurity to stardom is a long one and Drew Gregory knows every step of the way as he moves forward on his musical journey.
From small town Standard, AB to Nashville; from main stage Big Valley Jamboree to being awarded the 2015 ACMA Male Artist of the Year, Drew Gregory adds another chapter to his career with the release of his new EP “I Was There”.
It was a night of accolades and milestones as the Association of Country Music in Alberta handed out the 2015 Alberta Country Music Awards at their annual award show in Red Deer. Gregory, a three-time ACMA nominee, was excited by his win. “It is such an honour” says Gregory”, to be named ACMA Male Artist of the Year!
Gregory not only won the ACMA award for Male Artist but also took home the Male Artist award at the inaugural 2016 YYC Music Awards. Drew Gregory, is not taking these wins lightly. “To win these awards in Alberta has given me an elevated desire to promote the great industry we have in Calgary and the province. This is a huge milestone in my career and many thanks to everyone who has helped me achieve it” says Gregory.
Drew Gregory took home the award for Album of the Year for his 2016 release “I Was There.” Gregory was elated by the second ACMA award in as many years. From the writing to the production and everything in between my producer Jason Barry wanted to make sure everything on this album was genuinely Drew Gregory. Award or not I was very proud of what we accomplished but it means so much to be recognized by industry peers for all the hard work we put in. A huge thanks to the amazing organization and thanks for a great night!” Jason Barry is noted for his work with Aaron Lines, Dean Brody, Terri Clark, and Charlie Major. He has been recognized as Producer of the Year for the last three years by the Country Music Association of Ontario.
The songs on the EP were written and handpicked for the project by Gregory. They were the result of numerous writing excursions and the six songs selected, which with Drew’s heartfelt delivery and Barry’s distinctive touch, reflect a portion of Drew’s life. “While writing and looking for songs for this album I was doing a lot of looking back and I think that shines through on many of these songs. It’s also the reason we used the song “I Was There” for the title track”, says Gregory.
The new EP was recorded with Drew’s live show in mind. “I truly feel like we stepped it up in every aspect on this album. The band and I have been working very hard on the live show as well. I don’t want to make music just for the sake of making another record. I truly want to feel every word in every song and project that in a live setting as well. The audience is smart enough to know when you aren’t feeling it. I can say with full confidence that this whole EP is who I am and we are very excited to share it with the world!”
Music had always been a huge influence in Drew’s life growing up. In Junior High he began honing his guitar playing skills and by High School, he was a mainstay at many local gatherings within the community. It was through this that he began penning his own songs. Inevitably this would bring him to recording; in the form an EP for his Mother’s Christmas gift in 2009.
It is from this community’s support, financial contributions from 10K20 program and winning Best Song “Country Hurricane”, in the Country 105 / Lammles Rising Star in 2010, that his debut album had the opportunity to become a reality. This was also the kick off for Drew’s first venture to Nashville. Packing some clothes and guitar, he headed to Tennessee. Coming from a town where he knew everyone to a city where he knew no one, quickly became a humbling experience.
Living in hostels, Drew rapidly gained new friends and made many industry and song writing connections. He gained a greater appreciation for the music business. At the time Drew didn’t realize that these connections would be instrumental in assisting with the recording of his debut Album “County Hurricane”; a dream come true.
Friends and family boosted the Country Hurricane album locally so much, that later in 2010, Drew recorded a party EP “My Drunk Friends”. Having a solid team beside him for the last five years, he looks back to where it all began. Drew released his debut single “Lay It All Out There” to Canadian radio in early 2012. He immediately set out on a radio tour to introduce himself. Performing acoustic shows at small venues along the way, Drew gained many new fans and friends.
That summer, Drew made his first televised appearance by garnering a semi- finalist spot with his single “Small Town Way” on CMT’s Big in a Small Town, airing nationally across Canada in August 2012. Performing his debut single “Lay It All Out There” on air, this program was watched by over 2.7 million viewers.
Drew’s sophomore album “The Way I Was Raised” was kick started with the single “Truck. Beer. Girl” dropping to radio in February 2013. Drew’s prolific penmanship shone through on six of the twelve songs with a host of respected writers penning the remaining six songs. The release of the title track “The Way I Was Raised” harvested charting numbers at Canadian radio, and the video is being played on CMT.
Despite a burgeoning career, Gregory remains firmly rooted in the community he was raised in. He remains an active member of the local Ag Society, local hockey and baseball team, and continues to assist on the family farm. With the birth of his son, Ty in 2016, Drew states “Hearing him cry for the first time gave me a whole new view of the world. He has already made me want to be the best I can possibly be at everything I do…. especially being a dad.” With new meaning to “The Way I Was Raised”, a new son, and a new EP, the future looks bright for Drew Gregory..