DrewsThatDude found his footing early on in music. A native of New York, he’s a classically trained pianist and prolific producer with a list of credits ranging from Chris Brown to Trey Songz to Omarion. He’s also racked up a wide range of placements including ESPN, The Source, Rinse FM and MTV Jams, among many others. His Future R&B sensibilities were displayed in his debut 2016 EP En Amor. Graduating from the Berklee College of Music, he grew into a multi-Platinum producer & earned 2 Grammy Nominations for his production on Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV & Mac Miller’s Swimming. But that barely begins to describe this beast of a man. He’s a master on the keys weaving a control over chord progression the way a skilled PG does with his handle. Which is what brings us to the highly entertaining fact that unlike a lot of basement kids belting out soul trap beat combos on Soundcloud, DrewsThatDude is a former NYC streetball legend/classically trained pianist/all around synth God that grew up putting in work. We sat down with the multi-platinum producer and got his thoughts on a variety of subjects including what he wants to accomplish in 2020.
Where were you raised and where are you living these days?
I’m from Hempstead NY but right now i’m living in Brooklyn after moving back from LA
How does it effect your creativity and what does it do for your music?
It means everything honestly, being home allows me to be centered on the things that really matter to me. Living in LA became more about the lifestyle and being able to say “i’m out here” than being functional for me. I didn’t play it right
How would you describe your style?
I have a very chill laid back production style, mainly R&B focused with a lot of psychedelic and alternative influences. There’s also a huge 80s-90s electronic influence in a lot of the stuff I make so i just feel like its a fusion of different genres and things I grew up on. Makes great music to smoke or vibe out to in my opinion.
Where did the name “Drewsthatdude” come from?
A woman who super believed in what i was doing musically would always introduce me to artists as “That Dude”. I used to just produce under my regular name but when i got out of my bad deal and wanted to focus on building my brand up and i felt like people would just recognize it more. Especially because people knew the name already from me bullshitting on twitter lol.
How did it feel getting Grammy nominated for the first time?
As it happened? I was excited, i was still in college at the time and i had a couple records here and there like Jeezys Talkin, Mac’s Face in The Crowd had came out i think the year before so he was going up for sure but i think that Wayne placement was the first real placement that made me feel like I’m doing something.
The 2nd nomination off Swimming means a little more just because of how it all came together, i was able to do something outside of production and it wasn’t attached to a lot of drama like some of my other situations.
Your best and most memorable celeb encounter moment.
Jordyn Woods once said a beat I was making was fire, then served me & my homie a glass of wine. It was very nice of her
Some big collabs you have in the work right now that your fans can look forward to?
Honestly not so much a collaboration, but I’m working on developing more products and cool things that people who are fans of my music can appreciate.I want to bring a different experience when it comes to my live shows/events and step into different fields like gaming and basketball. Other things that interest me that I feel like my voice could be heard in. Its deeper than music.
Your playlist ‘DrewsTheDude’ by DATA-X is super vibey. What producers, songwriters and/or artists do you see as your inspirations and who would you like to work with?
Inspiration wise I’m big on Ty Dolla Sign, Prince, Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, The Neptunes, Danjahandz, Herbie Hancock, Billy Preston, T-Pain, The Dream, my musical inspirations are all over the place and there are a ton more. I’d love to work with Ty Dolla Sign, KING is the greatest group in the past 15 years so I’d love to work with them too. Pierre Bourne is another artist/producer I’d love to collaborate with, he’s got the wave.
You’ve connected with a lot of big artists. Which ones were some of your favourite sessions?
Mac Miller sessions were the best just because they were never really sessions whenever we had one. It was more so just a kick it session and we’d fuck around with music in between. It was very organic and the respect level was there so it felt more like jamming with your homie in the garage than “we’re making records”. I really enjoyed my session with NAO too.
How did you first connect with Trey Songz and what was like working with him?
I cant even take credit for that, that’s all through the homie Saaj. He’s down in VA, was working with this songwriter MikexAngel at the time and at the time we all cooked up like 2 or 3 joints. The vibe on those records were super wavy and Trey ended up picking one of them and the rest is history. I still chop it up with Mike, the new records he’s been doing are on another level.
What are you listening to these days?
A lot of Pierre Bourne, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Drego & Beno, Shoreline Mafia, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Carti. I go on older artist kicks where i run their discogs back so right now i’m on a 50 Cent kick crazy.
There are a lot of kids trying to do what you’re doing right now and the level of success you have seen. What’s that one advice you would give them that you need to be successful?
I would try to develop as many skills as possible, not just musically but in all facets of creation. The way the industry and the world is trending is there are so many ways to be self sufficient and get things done on a small scale. The information is out there so i feel like having as many different skill sets under your belt are important. I wasn’t just making beats, i was mixing podcasts and sound design, all types of different things to make bread when i was still first figuring out how to get my music out there to people. Truthfully those skills get me paid more and the business is cleaner than just trying to get on an album.
What are some of your goals in 2020?
Going to release a project via HW&W/eOne titled “We Had Our Time”, a beat tape from the Vault series, and The Crushboys EP. Trying to tour more and just connect with the people that have been riding for me for years. I’m really focused on just getting my infrastructure right, everything else is a bonus!
DrewsThatDude is on major streaming services like Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud, racking up over 20 million streams to date. Follow him on Instagram and especially Twitter to keep up with his wildly informative updates.
You might also like
More from News
Please join XXL veteran journalists and contributors on May 9, 2023 — Sheena Lester, Datwon Thomas, Bonsu Thompson, Larry Hester, …
RESPECT. Exclusive! Assassination Day! Shady Records’ Slaughterhouse Counts down to The Release of Welcome to Our House. [Straight From The Crate...Originally Captured for RESPECT. …
RESPECT. sends its condolences to the entire MIGOS family and relatives of Takeoff regarding the tragedy of his murder at …