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Local man may be on his way to musical success

 

Drew Judy with Producer Clay Hampton (left) and Musical Producer and Audio Engineer Chad Carlson.

 

Drew Judy and his Producer, Clay Hampton, both think that the Walterboro native may be on to big things within the country music industry.

Drew, who graduated from Colleton County High School in May, recently returned from a professional recording session in Nashville, Tennessee.

Two songs will be released through itunes on September 30. “Facebook, itunes, and twitter have really changed the music scene,” Hampton said. “After the September 30 release, we’re shooting for an opening tour with somebody really large at the first of next year. You can’t be a good producer without a good artist, and we’re putting him out there and we’re seeing things happening.”

Drew started singing at about the same time he started talking. “All of my mom’s family sings, and we would sing at church,” he said. At five years old, Drew learned to play Shania Twain’s ‘You’re still the one’ on the guitar. “My aunt was teaching us at the time and she knew the song. My grandfather on my mom’s side bought me a guitar at Christmas when I was six, and I’ve been playing ever since.”

Drew said he didn’t play as much for a few years as a pre-teen because he had found he enjoyed playing video games. “I slacked off, and was not as diligent at playing for a couple of years due to playing video games, but I picked it back up at 11 and have been playing ever since.”

While attending classes at Colleton County High School before his graduation in May, Drew was involved with a band that was called both “Last days of summer” and then “Walter Brothers.” The name Walter Brothers played of the name of Walterboro, Drew said. He added that the band played at local restaurants such as the Main Street Grill, parties, and other functions.

But the band didn’t last. Towards the end of Drew’s senior year, he said the members realized that everyone would be going in different directions after graduation, such as going off to different colleges, and the members just drifted apart.

Drew began writing songs at 13 years old. Two years ago, he wrote two songs, the first one called ‘Carolina Day.’ “It’s a song about the way many people feel about South Carolina… the weather is good, the people are friendly, and we have some beautiful beaches. It’s about the beautiful feeling people get when they visit our state.”

The second song Drew wrote he tagged as ‘Her Name is Love.’ “The song isn’t directed at anyone specifically, it’s just about the feeling you get when you get to like and become attached to someone.”

Drew’s demo included five songs, including the above two, and was done at Charleston Sound. Soon after this, he tried out for the television talent show, American Idol. Drew got through the first round, but was not accepted to go past the second. “They said I had a good voice, but was really not what they were looking for at the time. I got depressed, but I realized that is really isn’t about talent, it’s more about the ratings. And I didn’t let it continue to get me down. And my advice to anyone else would be no to let things like that disturb you.”

Hampton, now Drew’s producer, who is also his dad’s cousin’s husband, had heard Drew sing with his family at a few gatherings. “I heard Drew sing and saw that he had everything that was needed to sing professionally. I thought that Drew could do this on his own, without the help of a television show, and become successful. I know that success depends on either luck or money, and we’re hoping for help from the Lord to accomplish this.”

Hampton sent Drew’s demo to a friend of his, Chad Carlson, a Grammy Award winning musical producer and audio engineer in Nashville. In 2010, Carlson won two Grammies for “Album of the Year” and “Country Album of the Year for Taylor Swift’s “Fearless,” accepting the award in her company. Carlson also works with artists Teri Clark, Trisha Yearwood, and Chris Isaak.

“He (Carlson) listened to it and gave it the go,” Hampton said. So Drew, his family members, his girlfriend, and Hampton headed to Nashville to do the demo. “Chad, who works with Taylor Smith, was excited about the project. He really believes in Drew.” The session was conducted within what Drew described as “one of the finest studios in the world.”

After the demo had been completed, Drew and the rest of the people who accompanied him to Nashville stopped to eat at a restaurant called The Melting Pot. “I was in the restaurant, and saw someone coming down a set of stairs. And it looked like Taylor Swift. I said to myself ‘Nah, it couldn’t be.’ Then she opened the door, and it was really her.”

He continued, “My mom asked me to talk with her, and I said no. She walked by and I said ‘Taylor.’ She turned around, and I told her that I had recorded with Chad earlier in the day, and added that I couldn’t just let her walk by. She said thank you, and wished me luck with my music. That was a perfect way to end my day. I never expected this, and it was a very good experience. I even shook her hand. It was the best day I’ve ever had.”

But Drew realizes that his chances at getting a recording contract are not that great. “In Nashville, I saw a lot of people playing in bars and restaurants. It kind of makes you think, because there are a lot of musicians out there.”

Drew wanted everyone who helped to make his trip to Nashville possible to know that he really appreciates all of the donations. “We did a lot of fundraising and a lot of people helped out financially and cheered me on. Without this support, I don’t think I would have gotten this far.” To hear Drew’s music on and after September 30, go online to drewdurham.com.