After working with a plethora of singers and songwriters in the gospel music realm, producer / artist J. Drew is ready to step out into his own.
You may know of the producer turned recording artist from his work with other artists like his sister Kierra Sheard, J. Moss or good friend Jazmine Sullivan. You may recognize him from BET’s The Sheards, where he stood out from his family members as the rebellious son.
Well now the son of Bishop J. Drew Sheard and gospel legend Karen Clark-Sheard is signed to Pharrell Williams’ label Star Trak and he’s taking a stab at his own solo career in the world of secular music.
Concrete Loop had a chance to chat it up with the Detroit-native to talk about his musical style, whether he ever feels any pressure to become a bishop like his father and what he has planned for the future:
ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN J. DREW – THE SINGER AND J. DREW – THE PRODUCER:
When I’m in my producer mode, I’m more so in my creative mood. I’m trying to figure out different sounds and different ways to capture the people’s attention through music.
The artist is kind of similar but still focused on figuring out what I can do on stage to get the message across, but it’s probably a little more fun. I think I enjoy the artist side a little bit more than the production side.
ON HOW HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH PHARRELL CAME ABOUT:
I’m really close with one of his band members and he was playing one of my tracks on the [tour] bus with Pharrell. He heard it and was like, ‘Who is this kid?’ Then Pharrell said bring him to the next show. And when he came to do a show in Detroit, they took me backstage. I met him. I gave him a CD and told him to check it out. Then a couple months later, they hit me up like Pharrell wants to sign you as the first producer to sign to Star Trak. So that’s how everything fell through.
ON WHETHER HE FEELS PRESSURED TO BECOME A BISHOP:
I don’t feel any pressure at all. My parents they still have my back no matter what. They’re like, ‘We support what you do.’ I can honestly say that now matter how the show makes it seem, I’ve never been put in a situation to where I felt pressured to do something I didn’t want to do. My parents have always been like, ‘Be safe. But if you go too far’ – he [my father] said that one the first episode – ‘we’re going to have to reel you back in.’
J. Drew is currently filming a new music video for his latest single, “Strip,” featuring another artist by the name of Rocko, which may drop any day now.
Peep the full interview up top! You can download J. Drew’s FREE EP Never Coming Back over on LiveMixtapes.com.