Monday, March 21, 2016

Drew Drialo: Making Moves and Shaping the Future of Detroit Music

Detroit is special for one reason, the people.  A city is just cement, bricks and stone, it is the people who live, work and play in that city that give it its personality and life. So, lately, I have been reaching out to all of the people who make this city come to life. The movers and the shakers that work behind the scenes to bring the bands to town, pack the parties, and bring art and culture to Detroit.

Drew Drialo is one of those movers who has been making things happen around Detroit for a few years now. From promoting shows and parties to connecting artist, bands, and venues, he has been playing a big part behind the scenes over the last few years. He got his foot in the door by interning for a promotional company and quickly found himself emerged in one of the coolest new movements in town, called Assemble. He has a unique inside perspective on how Detroit has changed over the last few years.

He is currently helping Assemble expand their brand while working with Detroit born artist JMSN to help promote the release of his next album. Put it this way, if something cool is happening in music in Detroit, Drew most likely has something to do with it. He is a hustler who never stops working, he embodies passion and drive. So, I asked him to chat with me and answer a few questions about who he is, what he is does and where he wants to go. Check it out and make sure to keep up with this kid, he always knows what the next hip thing will be because he usually is right there making it happen!

HID- How did you become involved in the Detroit Music scene?
Drew- "I started collecting cassettes (and CDs) from Detroit area artists, local print, etcetera. around age 11. Once computers got much cheaper and I discovered the world of the Internet, I got heavily involved with a few local Detroit rap websites. I was like 15 at that point. From there, I just immersed myself in the culture and kept building. Mostly, I was deeply inspired by Big Proof and his vision for Detroit."

HID- What does music mean to you?
Drew- "There’s always the cliches, but music can be an escape or a way out. Music has always levitated me to a better place. The proper song selection - reflecting whatever mood you’re in, can shift everything. Music is a universal language..."

HID- How old were you when you saw your first live band? Who was it, where was it, and who took you?
Drew- "The first live show I ever went to was in 2003 -- age 14. I got dropped off at the State Theatre (now The Fillmore) for BTNH and Tech N9ne. It was also the first time I ever crowd surfed, ha."

HID-What is a concert promoter’s job?
Drew- "I think there's a lot of concert promoters, publicists, etc. who will push anything with money involved. I strive to only stand behind things I wholeheartedly believe in. Going hard with promotion is easy because I’m pushing things that I believe in. If I have to work press & media, throw up 500 posters around town and distribute 50,000 flyers -- I’ll do it. I really just want to be involved with dope parties and live shows while keeping my name most credible."

HID-What is the biggest party/show/ event you have put together? Tell us about it?
Drew- "It was exciting to help organize the official Eminem and Rihanna "Monster Tour" after party at The Fillmore - Detroit. But the most meaningful to me is the Flint Eastwood “Small Victories” album release party last November. There were a lot of people involved in making it happen but super s/o to Assemble -- Garret Koehler, Seth Anderson, Nicole Churchill, Burst Sound & Lighting, all the performers, Fusion Shows and all of the close-to 900 people who came out to celebrate a huge victory for Jax."

HID-Tell us a little about Assemble? How did you become involved and what role do you have within the CHURCH?
Drew- "Assemble Sound is basically a hub for Detroit music, run by artists out of an 1872 historic church. There’s a special energy around the space and I am beyond excited for things to unfold publicly. I got involved through my friendship with Garret Koehler. I had volunteered at multiple events he organized in the past. Really, I just had a lot of respect for him as a person and believed in his vision early on - even before the church was an idea. Everything else aligned in time. When my internship ended at my previous, Garret opened the door for me to operate out of Assemble. I don’t
have a set role; I just hustle and help when I can. Music licensing is also one of the main components at Assemble, and Nicole Churchill handles it like a boss."

HID- What is your favorite part about living in the city?
Drew- "My favorite thing about living in the city is the people of Detroit. Even in the most overlooked neighborhoods, I am captivated by the spirit. I appreciate the authenticity of our city."

HID- Who are your favorite Detroit artists these days?
Drew- "Every track SYBLYNG / Seth Anderson touches is hot. I’m also a fan of JMSN, Flint Eastwood, Eryn Allen Kane, GOSH PITH, Supakaine, Valley Hush, Moonwalks, Nigel & The Dropout. The list could go on; there’s a lot of great music being created in Detroit right now…"

HID- Who is JMSN and what is your association with him?
Drew- "JMSN is a music God. From Detroit. I’m a fan of his work because he is particularly true to even the smallest detail in his vision - so his art is the most authentic expression of self. There’s not a lot of artists making music that give me that same feeling, or anything close. I’m currently managing the street team for his White Room Records imprint; we have 319 members from literally every part of the globe. I also produced a video (my first) for him that is going to be released real soon. His new album is beautiful, I am excited for people to hear it."

HID- Where do you see yourself in five years?
Drew- "In 5 years -- I will like to be in position to guide inner city youth who are passionate about music, and play part in opening doors true to their potential. There’s not many identifiable access points into the music industry - I would like to open more, especially for those who don’t have a music degree or immediate friends and family who are “in”. I imagine by then, I will also have a stronger reputation and hopefully enough power behind my words to break things I believe in. I’ll definitely still just be adding layers to a legacy I want to build… I have a long term vision for it."

HID- What do you think of when I say the words New Detroit?
Drew- "I think there's a sense of hope that wasn't here even 5 years ago. I can only hope that this energy currently flowing in and around downtown spreads to the neighborhoods and touches the real Detroit."

HID- Who do you look up to and why?
Drew- "I look up to people like Marc LaBelle, Joe Gall, Garret Koehler, Coach K from Atlanta, Jax Anderson (Flint Eastwood), Marty Sheedy, my friends in general: all for different reasons, but it mostly just comes down to hustle, experience and being genuinely good +and gracious+ people."

HID- What’s the purpose of life?
Drew- "Live before you die; leave more than you take..."

HID- Coke or Pepsi?
Drew- "Cokenut water."

HID- Drink of choice?
Drew- "Jameson + cream soda is great. Try it."


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