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Having displayed his talents as a finalist on the farewell season of American Idol, Drew Angus has kept the dream alive after his time on the show came to an end. While some may give up and go back to working a typical day job, Drew has continued leaping over hurdles to make sure his dream of becoming a legend in the music realm is realized. Having already landed slots at SXSW and NXNE, and displayed his musical talents on Saturday Night Live alongside the SNL band, Drew is on the path to greatness.

While some may think going after a career in music is all fun and games, it’s no walk in the park. Taking the leap and pursuing a full time music career takes determination and unbreakable willpower, and Drew knows this first hand.

Photo via Facebook

“It’s literally full time – you’re running your own business. You book the gigs, you play the gigs, you don’t get paid unless you play the gigs, and sometimes the venue tries to not pay you. I haven’t had the opportunity to be creative at all over the last couple of months. There’s the constant fear of ‘Oh shit, can I pay my rent this month?’ I haven’t written a song in months, but I’ve played so many cover gigs at bars, restaurants, weddings, parties, and events that my head is spinning. My weekends are Monday and Tuesday for the most part…and here I am, Tuesday afternoon, working. The work life balance is so hard to manage still after several years of doing this. Ok, there’s my stream of consciousness for the day. Ha! The hope is to scale the biz so that I don’t have to necessarily be playing the gig to get paid. You get burned out after playing 3-4 hours a night 3-6 nights a week and then it becomes to much of a J-O-B. But hey, I get to play music every day.”

When it comes to his own interesting journey thus far, Drew has learned that keeping a positive mindset can go a very long way.

“My journey is a zig-zag. Some months the journey is a blur and others it’s laser focused. I’ve played so many strange gigs I could write a book. I hustle hard and try to make the best of every situation. I’ve had tons of awesome successes along the way and triple the little failures. In the end, I’m a firm believer that at its root, failure is a catalyst for success. The journey is ongoing.”

Photo by Skyler Jenkins

Having gone through highs and lows, Drew has gathered more and more knowledge about being a musician, and he has no problem sharing advice with others who are aspiring to pursue a full time music career.

“First of all, if you want this lifestyle, you have to commit 100%. In this business, no matter how good or bad you are you will hear the word “No” more times than most people care to stomach. Learn to love the word “No.” It will become your motivator, your crutch and lots of other feelings along the way.”

“If you want to get over stage fright, go play every single gig you can find. Take audience criticism with a grain of salt. Not everyone will enjoy what you do. Listen though…sometimes people have things to say that can help you grow and get better. Want to get better? Go support the community, go watch other artists do their thing and take notes. Go watch major touring acts and take notes. How do they set up their set list? What kinds of things do they say between songs? How do they set the mood? Tell their story? Make the audience feel? Learn from the artists doing exactly what you want to be doing…and then go do it yourself.”

Whether you’re someone who, as described above, deals with stage fright or you’re someone who may get easily discouraged, Drew’s sentiments should give you that extra boost of motivation to reach for the stars. Seeing at how far he’s come in his journey, I’d definitely say his opinion is worth valuing.

Photo by Skyler Jenkins

In case you haven’t noticed, Drew’s determination, good energy, and constant desire to grow as a musician haven’t been in vain. The Westport, CT native’s outstanding EP Hold Onto Something is a sonic manifestation of his hard work. From the second the opening track “Smokescreen” starts to the second the last track “Wrecking Ball” ends, you’ll find yourself being hypnotized by the amazing instrumentals, vocals, and overall vibe of the EP. While Drew does demonstrate his incomparable talents to listeners with the project, this is only a preview of what he’s capable of as an artist and the best has yet to come.