Drew Green just signed with Sony Music Nashville and Villa 40, releasing his debut single “Little More Be Alright” on Friday (June 12). Green is only the second artist to ink a record deal as part of an exclusive, long-term, joint-venture agreement between Sony Music Nashville and the new imprint Villa 40, co-founded by music industry executives Joe Fisher and Brad Margolis.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better team,” Green says of his Villa 40/Sony Music Nashville family. “It’s been a long journey, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Over my five years songwriting, I realized it’s all about hard work, and I’m so excited to be surrounded by a group that believes that and believes in me.”
As a McMinnville , Tennessee, native, Drew Green grew up just beyond earshot of Nashville’s storied country music industry. When he landed a gig as the singer for Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge house band, he began making trips to write and perform in the city. From there, he went on to become one of Music Row’s most prolific songwriters, signing a publishing agreement in November 2018 with Grammy-winning Brett James’ Cornman Music, a co-venture with Warner/Chappell Nashville. James is also Green’s manager.
In 2019, Florida Georgia Line cut “Colorado,” which Green co-penned with Hunter Phelps and Michael Hardy (HARDY), for their No. 1 album, Can’t Say I Ain’t Country. Now, with a collection of more original songs than most artists can ever claim, the singer is poised to launch an equally fruitful artist career.
Check out our full interview with the the up and coming country star below:
Can you tell us a bit of your musical background and what made you want to become a country artist?
I grew up on a tree farm and listened to country music constantly. I love other genres of music also but country has always been the roots to my musical background.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Some of my biggest musical influences are Alan Jackson, Sammy Kershaw and Craig David
For those who are just now discovering you and your music, how would you describe your sound to new fans?
I grew up on country and hip hop so you can definitely hear the blend of both in my music. Lyrically it’s country and musically both country with hip hop elements.
What went through your mind when you first got signed to Villa 40/Sony Music Nashville?
When I found out that Sony was interested in me, to be honest it was a surprise. I’d only had a publishing deal for a year and had complete focus on songwriting. Then a few days later Villa40 was on the line and it all happened pretty fast. Just very thankful for the opportunity and my amazing team I get to work with.
Your debut single “Little More Be Alright” comes out on Friday (June 12), can you tell us a bit about the song and who you wrote it with?
I wrote my debut single “Little More Be Alright” with my producer Mark Trussell. A few months before I was on the phone with a buddy from my hometown McMinnville and we were discussing land and he mentioned how he’d love a little more but also didn’t know if he needed it and it stuck with me. Me and Mark started it and it just happened very naturally and by the end of it we knew we had something very special.
You released a song called “Just Talkin’” in 2018, could you tell us a bit about that song as we really enjoy the sound of the song.
“Just Talkin” was one of the first songs I wrote that felt like me and was also progressive to me. I co-wrote that song with Russel Sutton.
In this forthcoming debut single you mention your dad. Could you tell us how you dad has helped influence your career or assist in the process?
My dad influenced my career more so than probably anyone. He taught me the most important lesson that got me here and that’s work ethic. Growing up on a tree farm was hard work at an early age and at the time just like any kid I did just about anything I could to get out of work. But the apple didn’t fall far from the tree I guess.
You’ve been a songwriter for quite a while now, nearly 5 years, how do you think being an artist will differ from being the guy who writes the songs?
I’ve been building this for a long time so the hardest part to me is choosing songs. I’ve co-wrote every day for five years and there are so many songs I want to cut and release. I also cut my teeth in a honkytonk for four years at night singing covers so I’m stoked to be entertaining again and actually playing my songs!
In 2019, Florida Georgia Line cut “Colorado,” a song that you co-wrote with Hunter Phelps and HARDY. How did it feel to have a song you wrote cut by such a popular duo and be used on their album, Can’t Say I Ain’t Country?
I remember the first time I heard Florida Georgia Line I was a fan and knew they would be massive. I’m also a fan of their work ethic and the fact that they write so much but still cut outside songs and that speaks a lot about them. When I heard they were cutting our song I remember joking with my wife everyday for a month. I’d say “hey babe guess what? I gotta FGL cut” and then dance around, haha.
In 2020, it is said that you have submitted over 120 songs to Warner/Chappell Nashville and Cornman Music. Do you think you will now record any of those songs since you are pursuing to be a singer yourself?
Out of the 120 demos I turned in I plan on cutting a handful yes. We’ve cut six sides already and three of the six were of those 120. I’d love to cut a lot more of them; however, I continue to write and write and as I find my sound more and more I get better at writing for me so we will see.
You earned the slot as the singer for Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge’s house band, Could you tell us about that experience and how it came about?
I went to college at Tennessee Tech and my sophomore or junior year I was at a bar and someone asked to hear live music. So I played a few songs and the guy who asked happened to be the owner of Tootsie’s. He offered me a gig at his bar and so did the owner of the bar I was playing at. I got thrown into some early gigs at Tootsie’s and learned the songs and did that for 6 months then decided to finish college. Well 3 years later I randomly called them up and they gave me a gig back and I worked my way up to the 10-close slot where I met Hunter Phelps. We shared the same band and he heard a song I wrote for my wedding and he came to my house the next day. I was addicted to co-writing after that
Not only are you a singer/songwriter, you are a husband and dad as well. How do you balance your time as a singer/songwriter and being a dad and husband as well at home?
It is very challenging being a songwriter / now artist / husband and father. I wouldn’t have these opportunities if I didn’t work and grind like I have the past six years. And all that I credit to my wife. She is a nurse practitioner and provided for me while I was on the up. When my writing brain is on and working good it’s really hard to turn off so sometimes I’ll work for 2-3 days straight pretty much. Then chill and help her and hang with Levi my son. It’s not normal by any means but it works for us.
Anything else you’d like to tell fans that we maybe didn’t mention and where they can find you online?
You can follow me @drewgreenmusic for socials and please visit drewgreen.com and join the newsletter and hopefully I’ll be on the road sooner than later. I can’t wait to show you guys what we’ve been working on throughout the remainder of this year as well.