Drew Chadwick Dishes on ‘Sweetest Thing,’ Upcoming EP + More
Chatting with Drew Chadwick is like catching up with an old friend. The musician is warm, genuine and seriously inspirational -- whether he's discussing his music, his song inspirations or his philosophies. Everything Drew does comes straight from his heart, which is exactly why we couldn't wait to talk to him about his first single, "Sweetest Thing," his upcoming EP and so much more.
For all of the goodies from our discussion with Drew — including info about his new sound, tidbits about the pop star who helped inspire his single, and if Emblem3 will ever reunite — check out our exclusive interview below.
And remember, Drew Chadwick fans, be sure to keep it locked on PopCrush all this week for even more awesome Drew content! He is taking over our Twitter account on Thursday, March 26, at 4 PM ET/1 PM PT — and we're premiering Drew's single, "Sweetest Thing," on Friday, March 27. (It'll be available on iTunes the next day!) And listen up: You can pre-order "Sweetest Thing" on Drew's website, True Chadwick, for 25% off if you buy it before March 28. You'll also get a 10% discount on any merch purchased before that date as well. Pretty sweet deal!
We're so excited to premiere your new single "Sweetest Thing"! What can you tell us about it?
I'm really excited, too! The story behind it is actually kind of interesting [laughs]. I was on tour with Selena Gomez in 2013 and I had never really met a celebrity like that before, and I was enchanted by her presence. I basically had a crush on her. Since I didn't have a lot of time to talk to her and we mostly saw each other in the hallways in the arenas, I was like, "You know what? I'm a good writer. Maybe I should write her a poem or something, that'd be cool." 'Cause I figured, "Hey, if she's like me, then she'll respect good poetry, and then if she's not, then it's not meant to be anyway." ... So I wrote her this poem, and looking back now, I get red in the cheek area when I read it because it's kind of embarrassing [laughs]. The first line in the poem evolved into the first lyrics of "Sweetest Thing," which was written literally a couple of days after I wrote the poem for her.
My only rule for my songs is that they have to open my heart.
What I like about “Sweetest Thing” is that the idea behind it is that it is relevant to the eternal dance between the masculine and feminine energy, on Earth and all the way out throughout the cosmos. That’s what I’m going to show in the music video. It is really cool and it’s beautiful that we have that duality between masculine and feminine. It’s attraction that keeps things moving forward. It’s probably the most beautiful thing that exists here in this crazy experience.
What was Selena's reaction when you gave her the poem?
She was really sweet. I mean, I was just like, "I got something for you," and I slipped it to her. And her mom was standing right there and saw the whole thing [laughs]. But yeah, obviously it didn't work out [laughs]… But hey, I got a good song out of it! Who knows, maybe she'll hear it and she'll be like, "Oh my God. That was the poem he wrote two years ago." Either that or she completely forgot, I don't know.
What can you tell us about the lyric video?
It's actually in the process of being produced right now and it's really dope. I'm very happy! I have my [hometown] friend Isaac — he is a really skilled adventurist, videographer and photographer. He's basically gone around Washington State, my stomping grounds. He takes the best pictures of everything — [the] photography of all of these spots where I used to hike and it's really cool. He gave us all of this material we just put it together. My friend David Mudd, who is a guy on my team right now, he's an animation dude, so he's piecing it all together. I saw some clips of it yesterday and it was lookin' really snazzy. I'm excited about it.
We know you're working on your EP. What can you tell us about it?
Oh my word. Well, I am producing my EP with David Schuler, who is a pretty successful producer, he's been nominated for Grammys a couple of different times. He's a great producer. I have a ton of songs — I have two, almost three albums' worth of material. And it's just like, "How do we get this out in the right way?" He's kind of helped me hone things into a whole other level, find a sound that's realistic and that works for me… and now it's just choosing what songs to put on the EP. There are so many. I have this color system where I try to attach a color to each song. If this makes any sense, I find a color that fits the vibe of that song, and that all of those colors blend together and create a really nice color… that's kind of my system for choosing which songs go on the EP.
I'm just as excited to release the next song as I am to release this one. To me, they're all precious babies. I think they're all amazing in their own way. There are romantic songs, there are spiritually conscious songs, songs for activists … all different. You're just gonna have to hear what I've been working for on this EP wholeheartedly, non-stop for the past year or so. I've had the opportunity to devote that much time to doing what I love. I don't think people will be disappointed -- I think they're going to really appreciate it.
It's definitely a possibility that [Emblem3] could [reunite] down the line. In a year, two years, whatever. We'll see![/pullquotes]
How would you describe your overall sound?
I would say it's somewhere like a mix between acoustic rock, R&B and soul.
How is your solo music different from when you were with Emblem3?
Well, it depends on which time period we're talking about with Emblem3, because before we did Nothing to Lose, we had this album called Songs From the Couch. I wrote all of those songs and I had all of the creative freedom that I want. And after that we did Nothing to Lose and the label hired all of these other writers. So [my current sound] is a little more similar to the original sound. Yeah, it's mostly heart-centered I guess. That's the best way I could describe it in comparison to the other one. I LOVE these songs. They came from my heart. The songs from Nothing to Lose didn't come from the heart because I didn't write them. And that's what I do: I write.
Have Wes and Keaton heard any of your solo material?
Yeah, actually we met up three weeks ago, and I showed them. We were talking about seeing if we wanted to get back together or not. I showed them some of my new songs. They were really stoked. We were thinking about getting back together, but then … I don't know, honestly, I think we all felt there were too many other things happening. We all have completely different visions of what we want to do with our lives. The [visions[ don't actually compliment each other, they clash. We decided to … just stay friends and keep supporting each other's stuff, but work on our own projects, at least for the time being.
Do you think there will be an Emblem3 reunion in the future?
I don't see why not! It's definitely a possibility that something like that could happen down the line. In a year, two years, whatever. We'll see!
I read a recent interview where you talked about starting your own record label.
Oh yeah, that was an idea. I actually got everything set up for it. True Works is a company I started. I'm not necessarily opposed to going with a major label if I could get a deal that is in alignment with me creatively and everything I want to do. But at the same time, I guess it would be in the future. Right now, my focus is building this music project. It is my life. It's more than just a project, it's my life. Everything else is just obsolete at this point except for getting this music out there, getting this thing rolling. Getting back on tour and getting songs released. Getting engaged with my fans. I just can't wait to get it all out there.
I’m about being as sincere as possible.
What is your favorite lyric you've ever written?
Oh my God! [laughs] Wow, that is like the craziest question I've ever had. I really don't know if that's possible… this is blowing my mind! Favorite lyric that I've ever written? It's impossible for me to choose. I just can't. There are so many different songs and there are so many different messages. I'm sorry [laughs]. I don't even know where I would begin with that.
What about the most meaningful song you've written?
[laughs] Again, it's hard to say. I can't even choose. The ones that are heart-centered -- they're all from the heart. You can't pick favorites when it comes to things that are at your heart -- [they're] at the very core of your being because they're all the same. They all have the same energy and the same meaning to them at the heart of it.
Speaking of things that come from your heart, it's clear that your inspirational blog posts are so genuine. How does your outlook on life influence your music?
My outlook on life is directly translated through my music. That's what being an artist actually is. It's interesting, in Tibetan culture, they don't even have a word for artist. It's just who you are. What you create is a reflection, if it's true. My only rule for my songs is that they have to open my heart. It's this process of opening my heart through meditation. My outlook on life is directly reflected through my songs, through my blog, through writing, it's all the same thing. It's all heart-centered.
Would you ever set any of your blog posts to music?
I have actually … done that already. I wrote a blog called "We Are the One” and then I ended up writing a part of the song and then it all came full circle. The song’s called “We Are the One” and that’s one of my most treasured songs. All of my writing, all of my blogs, even ideas, like things that I had in my head that I forget about, they always resurface in songs. I just have this internal archive of all of the lyrics and ideas that are inspiring to me and then they all somehow surface into songs. That’s why I have so many. This is about to be crazy. It’s insane because I have so many songs and I feel like they’re so good and I don’t mean this in a prideful way whatsoever. I feel like a lot of people can connect to this. It’s well written and it took a long time to do. I have to figure out how to release it in the right way, and, you know what, I think it’s all just going to flow together.
What do you want your fans to take away from your music?
I just hope that people get inspired. It will redirect them to focus on their intelligence of their hearts, which is actually who you are. It’s hard to explain, but there’s two kinds of ways that you can be and kind of bounce back and forth. Most people spend their life thinking that they are their mind or that they are their thoughts. It’s hard to explain, but my kind of goal, I guess, would be to redirect their identification back to their hearts, rather than through to their thoughts and egos. This is beyond all religion and it’s just spirituality in general. It’s like opening your heart and inspiring them to let themselves evolve to their fullest potential.
My goal is to redirect fans back to their hearts, rather than to their thoughts and egos.
What has been the most rewarding part of going solo?
I was just thinking about this, actually. It was really cool because I got to experience the whole kind of "pop life" thing and all that stuff and get really emerged and pull back and just go into this. Basically, it’s been almost a year now of this solitude, self-reflection, studying, research on numerous different subjects and learning as much as I possibly can about what’s going on in the world and what’s going on inside me and really understanding science as a kind of life and not in the way of being. It was amazing. Most people don’t have that opportunity. They have jobs, they have stuff going on. I was able to kind of walk away from everything and just focus literally on what I loved and wanted to do, which was to know myself to the fullest extent and find out what I was here to do and then take that and learn as much stuff about the world as I possibly can and then take who I am, and what I know how to do, and find a way to use it in a way that can benefit the world.
… This all goes back into "We the Change," which is a whole other thing people are going to hear about after this project is launched. "We the Change" is ... basically a social networking system that can connect, like an app, activists, which really will be my fans, with organizations nearby them … [And] companies endorse people with products to go help out charitable organizations. It also brings people together on a scale that hasn’t really been done so far. It really utilizes the networking capabilities of the digital age and having iPhones, apps and this whole new portal that opened in the last couple years. I think it can be a huge factor for global healing and I think it’ll be really fun, too, and give a lot of people purpose.
What is the story behind your Twitter handle "True Chadwick"?
Well, I mean, I started True Works, which was before I changed the name to True Chadwick. My old Twitter thing was @ChadwickE3, for Emblem3, so I needed to change it. @DrewChadwick was taken, so I was like “Oh, I’ll just take this one." True Works is kind of like Drew — and my family coat of arms, interestingly enough, says “Honor is charity,” so it’s like that’s everything that matters to me. It’s just being real, staying true to that, and so it kind of aligned with everything I’m about. ... I think it’s kind of cool and it’s really what I’m about, being as sincere as possible.
Anything else you'd like our readers to know?
I want them to know first that I’m having a pre-sale for the single starting March 25 on my website. It's going to be 25 percent off and also my merch is 10 percent off all the way up until the 28th. ["Sweetest Thing"] will be available on iTunes on the 28th! And I also wanted to let them know how grateful I am that we’re doing this collab with you! This is my first single and I have so many other songs about so many other things. I feel really good about the song and I like it a lot. But I’m really excited to release further music in the future. This is just the beginning and their support to me is the greatest gift I could ever ask for.