Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Connecticut’s Drew Sweat. Together we discussed their influences, being genre-less, their album “The World is on Fire”, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have Drew Sweat join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing today?
I’m doing great, tried but great. I’m grateful to you mustard for giving me this opportunity and allowing me on your platform.
2. What was your relationship with Music growing up?
Music was always bumping in the house. I’m Filipino so we’ve always been big karaoke people and I really think I got my gifts from hearing my mom sing aaliyah songs all the time. As I grew up I was always introduced to new music and always sought out more music didn’t matter what it was as long as it felt good.
3. Mustard wonders if there is a song or album that had an significant impact on you? Could you share more?
Blonde and Because the Internet have been such a big impact on me as an artist. Besides gravitating to their central themes, they both really taught how I make that transition from vision to execution then to final product.
4. Your music is genre-less. Who (or) what influences you?
For some reason I tend to admire jacks of all trades more than anyone else. I’ve always had an appreciation for artists who have their hand in a lot of their work. That being said, artists like Tyler the Creator, Donald Glover, Travis Scott, Frank Ocean and as of late Baby Keem have all been major influences on me.
5. You spoke with “Healing Our Motherlands” and told that them the rolling out process of your album “The World is On Fire” is your favorite aspect. How does the roll out process trigger your creativity? What has been your favorite piece of content to roll out to support the album?
A lot of independent artists tend to dread the promotion aspect of their music. I did too until learned that promotion doesn’t have to be black and white, it’s just another aspect of creativity. So building worlds surrounding the music has allowed me to really enjoy rollouts and promotion. Something as simple as a 10 second video to accompany a song can go a long way, so audiences can see what that artist sees when they are making the music.
As for my favorite piece it’s gotta be the short promo trailers I did for “The World is on Fire”. I tried not to be too overbearing with it but at the same time getting the message across with “Hey I got something beautiful I can’t wait for you guys to hear it”. I wanted to create that space between the audience and the music where questions are asked and plenty of things can be interpreted.
6. What is your creative process?
It used to be straight forward where a melody would go to a beat and then a beat would lead to lyrics which in turn would lead to a song, But with this project I was all over the place. I’d be writing lyrics, adding instruments, fixing chord progressions, and record and mix all at the same time. I loved the chaos though because it was controlled by me.
7. “Be true to yourself and your purpose and let everything gravitate to you.” Could you elaborate more on this quote? Would you say there is a lack of authenticity within the music industry?
Just don’t be afraid to be yourself. People end up lying to themselves because sometimes the environment they are in forces them to be something they truly aren’t meant to be; and then they end up trapped in this shell they’re not supposed to be in they’re whole lives. The industry today lacks a lot of authenticity, it’s like people spin a wheel that’ll always land on something that’s gonna cater to the masses. That doesn’t breed innovation that just encourages people to chase trends which is the meta now sadly.
8. In 2020 you released “I Don’t Mind.” Was this single inspired by your relationship that also inspired “The World is on Fire?” What are some things you don’t mind doing for your fellow humans?
I found myself in a completely different situation with a completely different person when I made “The World is on Fire” I was such a kid back when I made “I Don’t Mind” haha I wish that Drew can see me now. I don’t mind stickin my hand out, helping any way to the best of my ability, but sometimes people don’t want help and just wanna stay on the ground.
9. Before releasing “The World is on Fire” you released your EP “Something Short of Reality.” Could you share more about the process of putting this EP together?
They were really just a bunch of demos I came up with during the winter, they were all low pressure tracks that I had fun making. I was really just trying to get better as an overall artist and flexing my right brain to get it stronger.
10. Reality is an interesting concept. Some humans thrive in a virtual space. How would you define your reality?
What a heavy question lol. I like to define it by appreciating what is in front of me. I used to be attached to things that I didn’t have and learned the hard way that that thinking only leads to a miserable life. People nowadays look at the likes, the clout, the cars and chains that no one truly owns; shit man your thoughts aren’t even yours they’re just a stream of consciousness until you make ‘em tangible. Focus on appreciating what you have in front of you and all of a sudden you’re the wealthiest person in the world. You create your own reality.
11. Relationships are a common theme throughout your music. What do you seek most in a human relationship?
Simply put, human connection. The ability to have chemistry with another human being on another level is one of the greatest feelings ever. Having someone there for you that can do things with you that no one else can. That exclusivity and intimacy is a whole other level of human connection. Time is the most valuable currency, and having someone to spend it with is one of the greatest gifts.
12. You hail from Mustard’s old stomping grounds of Connecticut. How would you describe the music scene and community in Connecticut?
To be quite honest I live in the middle of nowhere in Connecticut so growing up I was never able to experience the music scene much. It wasn’t until I started going to local shows in new haven that I realized that the music scene here is so talented and beautiful. There’s so much brewing in this pot it’s about to explode and I’m hoping to be apart of it.
13. “The World is on Fire” is a genre-less and bittersweet telling of a brief romance you had. Could you share more about what went into crafting this album?
The album took 2 months to finish top to bottom. For those two months all I would do was come back from long shifts at work and the gym, go straight to my bedroom and just create. My close friends never heard from me and my family never saw me leave my room. Before I started it I was in the worst state of writers block I’ve ever had in my life. I felt like my vision was taken away. Then a bunch of sad stuff happened and I drew lessons from it and then next thing you know I made something I can be proud of.
14. How can humans help extinguish the flames that have the world on fire?
Me personally, you don’t. Just let the fire burn it all down and then build yourself a new. Much like a phoenix if you will. I guess that relates to yourself; but in the grand scheme of things, build your communities, create new ones. Start new embers and spread a new fire and control it.
15. A human gets invited to see you perform. How would you describe your live shows?
Chill, fun, intimate. I love getting to know people at shows.
16. What is next for Drew Sweat?
Increasing the reach of my project, it’s something I’m proud of and deserves the most respect from me so I’m gonna focus on pushing that for a bit. Besides that I’m just gonna live, my lust for life is at an all time high, adjacent to my creative battery. Just gonna keep walking cuz that’s all we can do.
17. Where can readers listen to your music?
Pretty much everywhere, all major streaming platforms. And anyone can always reach out to me on my socials, I love meaningful conversation.