Q&A: Soul 101 With Drew Vision

The Standard sat down with Drew Vision to chat about his upcoming evening in The Standard Grill. Standard Soul x Drew Vision: Presents NYC Voices is an night of music pulled from the New York soul scene. In our convo, Drew talked soul essentials, growing up in NYC and how his work in the fashion world informs his music + style.
We can’t wait for Feb. 27. Tell our readers a little bit about what to expect at The Standard Grill that night. You’re bringing a whole set of musical friends to share the evening with us: How’d you build the lineup? What makes a really great collaborator? 

Yes, I have to say its the coolest thing ever to perform with your friends and bring a melting pot of talent all toxgether. It was hard to build the lineup but it came down to being specific about the experience we want to curate. With it being "NYC Voices," I felt that the artists each had to have a story to tell. I know from experience that being an artist in NYC will mold you into being strong and impactful because that's the only way you can make it here.


In your own music, how do you define the word “soul?” 

I love this question because In my music over the years, I can literally hear more and more soul coming present after each album. This is because your soul becomes rich through experience. Both good and bad experiences build us so when it's time to speak to people you have something to say that's deeper than something you've read in a textbook. The experience you have will allow you to speak from your soul. 


If you curated a playlist called Soul 101, what tracks and artists would be in the mix?

Alex Isley! I'd have to have several of her songs in there. She's been one of my favorite soul singers for years now. Also, Nick Hakim’s "Cold" and “Sleep.” Can't forget some Drew Vision songs, maybe "Deep Water" and "Sanctify."


You’re NYC born and raised—what’s your earliest musical memory that feels distinctly New York?


This would have to be when I was about 6 or 7 years old, I was at my grandmother's house in Queens and my Aunt Ellen was coming to visit and she pulled up to the house with her BMW convertible rooftop down, blasting Mary J. Blige’s "Real Love" haha I thought she was so cool and I’ve loved Mary J.'s music to this very day she’s one artist to me that represents NYC to the core.

At The Standard, we’re still recovering from fashion week(s), and you’ve had a successful modeling career. How do you think of the intersection between fashion and music?


I think fashion and music go hand in hand! They are both forms of art and self-expression. And with all we have to deal with in the world, expressing ourselves through art is almost like a form of medicine. Personally, for me, modeling has funded my music career so I’m grateful for it haha.


Do you have any advice for artists who are struggling to keep the dream alive?


Yes, I would tell them not to run from the pain. You are going to go through so many ups and downs but we hold ourselves back when we try to resist the inevitable. Instead, we have to go with it and know that the adversities will always be there no matter how successful you become so it's more about how u handle everything.


What are you currently working on?

Currently I'm building my brand as an all-around entertainer. I've been a singer all my life so now I'm focused on incorporating all my skills into my artistry. Hosting this night at The Standard is special to me because I won't only be singing; I'll be controlling the atmosphere to make sure everyone leaves feeling emotionally nourished. I believe that things like this will one day lead me to becoming the next Mario Lopez.

Get your table for Standard Soul x Drew Vision: Presents NYC Voices right here


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