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Life & Work with Drew Hale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Drew Hale. 

Hi Drew, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I’ve been involved with music as long as I can remember. I was a worship leader at a large church in my hometown of El Paso, Texas for most of my teens/20’s until moved to Michigan in 2008 to take a music director position at a small church in Traverse City. 

I have always been a songwriter. I began writing at 11 or 12 years old and started a rock band where we used my songs to record a couple of eps and a full-length album in Nashville back in ‘03. I’ve always loved the art of storytelling, and to me, country music was about the best medium for telling stories! I grew up on Cory Morrow and Pat Green, and songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, and I gleaned so much about the art of telling stories from them and guys like James Taylor and Harry Chapin. There’s just something about songs that speak to the human experience and the day-to-day struggles of life and love and purpose that speak deeply to me, so I do my best to make that my focus as a songwriter. Writing songs that matter. Songs that speak to the core of what each of us experience daily. Sometimes even things that we experience, and feel like we’re alone in our struggles. The simple understanding that we’re not alone is one of the most powerful healing tools I’ve ever witnessed. And that’s what I try to embody when I write. 

As far as my career goes, things took a big turn back in 2014 when my wife pushed me to enter a competition called the ‘Texaco Country Showdown’. I had always loved country music, but never really played it much. That competition set me on a path towards being a country artist, and in January of 2016, I won the National round of the competition. I got to play The Ryman, and walked away with $100,000 and the title of ‘Best New Act In Country Music’. From there, I recorded my first full-length solo album as a country artist and headed out on the road where I’ve been ever since. 

I’m excited to announce that my second full-length album ‘Without A Net’ is dropping January 11th, and will be available digitally everywhere! 

Find us in Nashville playing Wildhorse Saloon and The Sutler regularly! 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Like any road worth traveling, I have had some major bumps along the way. 

My first tour was back in 2016, and we spent 21 days on the road through Texas and the southwest. In that 21-day span, our van broke down 4 separate times, and me, my band, my wife, and my 3 boys found ourselves crammed together in the back of a towing truck for what amounted to almost 125 miles of tows. Needless to say, we got really close on that trip. Both literally and figuratively. 

In the years to come we lost a guitarist and a couple of drummers, recorded an EP, then had it shelved for almost 2 years. Gained management, lost management. Had our social media accounts hacked and taken over by other people…and not the least of things was Covid. I’m grateful for the creativity of our partner venues up here in the north, and the generosity of our fans who tuned in to our livestreams bought our singles and our merch and tipped us really really well during that time. Otherwise, we may not have made it. 

Like any artist who does this for a living, it’s certainly not been a glamorous road, and we have paid a solid amount of dues. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. When music is in your blood, it’s not a matter of wanting to do it. You HAVE TO do it. There’s not another option. It’s who you are. So, you get creative, you dig in, and you work until you see something happen. Then you do it again, and again, and again. 

It’s been a road traversed by single steps. Sometimes half steps. But we are always pushing forward. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My main passion/skill is songwriting. I write for myself and other artists and have even taken a couple of projects on as a producer this year. 

Aside from writing, I sing and play guitar, piano, bass, drums, and anything else that will land me the gig. I’m a jack of all trades, and always looking to learn something new! This allows me to pick up lots of remote studio work, and I love the studio. It’s another excellent creative outlet, and it’s a big part of how made it through quarantine. I’m always working on something new, either for myself or someone else. I like to always have something in the queue to record. 

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I’m a HUGE golf nut. If I’m not working on music, I’m probably on a golf course or driving range somewhere. It’s been a great way to remain active and given me a creative outlet that isn’t music or photography (which is another side hustle for me.) 

I’m also a HUGE advocate for mental health as well as foster care/adoption. My wife and I adopted all 3 of our boys from foster care, and we do a good bit of public speaking to raise awareness. I even got to give a TedTalk about our family’s adoption story back in 2015. It’s a huge part of who we are as a family. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jameson Innis
Engler Creative Works
David Mund

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