Albertan country musician Drew Gregory is excited to be performing at the Chestermere Water Festival on July 28 on the Peake pavilion stage.
Gregory has played at the Water Festival twice prior but hasn’t had to opportunity to play for the last few years due to scheduling conflicts and event cancellations because of poor weather.
“We’re pretty excited to be back, I got a good feeling about this year.
“The two years that we did to it we had a blast we played right up to the fireworks, our last song was ending as the fireworks were starting over the lake and it was just a beautiful night the both times we did it,” Gregory added, “We’re very excited to get asked back, it’s a good crowd.”
Since releasing a new album Gregory has been kept busy working on his farm during the week and touring across the country on the weekends.
Gregory added it’s a nice change of pace to play a show closer to home, so he can spend time with his family.
Although steadily progressing through the country music industry is difficult, Gregory wouldn’t have it any other way, his latest album titled a “Good place to start” reached the number one spot on the iTunes chart.
“My name was before Dierks Bentley, so I was pretty happy with that,” he said.
Gregory reminisced about where his passion of music first began, from constantly listening to music on the radio in the house and in the vehicle with his parents, music had always been a large part of his life.
“I was over at a friend’s house all the time and they had a guitar that was never being used that sat in the corner. I picked it up and was screwing around with it when I was over there and they said, ‘Well why don’t you get your own guitar?’ I finally decided to get one and I couldn’t put it down,” he said.
“I loved it, I never had to be told to practice or take lessons it was something that was just in me to do.”
When Gregory got older his high school days were spent playing guitar at parties or camp fires, but it wasn’t until he was finished college that he went to Nashville for the first time, which jumped started his career.
“That’s where the business side of things kicked off and I started doing some song writing and recorded my first album,” he said.
However, getting his country music career started wasn’t as easy as just writing songs, he had to learn not only about the production side of the industry he was entering, but also the business and branding side.
“The business side of things for me is where I struggle, but I got an amazing team now and they’ve helped me a lot,” he said.
“Every artist wants to be the artist, they want to do their thing and sing their songs and not worry too much about the other stuff,” Gregory said.
“It all comes with [the industry], I realized the more we do on the business side the more connections we make which helps our goals of getting on the stage more often and getting the bigger better stages.”
Gregory added, he has to make sure not to forget about the business side when all he wants to do is get in front of a microphone and sing songs.
However, managing Gregory’s business is not the only difficult aspect to his American-dream job, he said, it’s tough producing art without letting the business side of the industry interfere too much.
“I even have my songs that are more geared towards radio and a certain thing that everybody else wants,” he said.
“I’ve always admired the artist that does their own thing and sticks with it so long that people start to gravitate towards it.
“I try to do my thing as an artist. I want to be true to myself and have people still enjoy it,” Gregory said.
Although managing his business can be difficult and stressful, being able to perform songs he has written and make connections with his fans is the reason Gregory puts his soul on the line in his music.
“Whether it be playing party music, where everybody is getting rowdy or playing on a song writers stage and singing more intimate songs with an acoustic guitar and everybody is hanging onto every word, those are the times you get the real connection,” Gregory said.
“You can get the fun wild connection where you see everybody having a blast or you can get people crying in the audience when you’re singing a sad song,” he added.
“We want to get further and further across Canada, we’ve been prairie based just because of the cost to get across this country. Social media is great but there’s nothing like getting to meet people face-to-face,” Gregory added, “That’s why we keep putting out albums and keeping touring.
“I always said the performance isn’t what we get paid for. What we get paid for is driving to a new town, rehearsing, and purchasing new gear.
“When it comes to performing I’d be on stage all night, it’s what I love to do.
“I just want to have a real fun show and try to put a smile on people’s faces every day,” Gregory said.