Drew Baldridge Finds His Voice With ‘Rebound’
Drew Baldridge moved to Nashville from Patoka, Ill., at the age of 19 and immediately dove into performing on Lower Broadway at honky tonks like Tootsie's and Rippy's. In 2013, he garnered his first publishing deal and just last year released a full-length album. Now 25, the singer is on the road supporting that album, Dirt On Us, where on a nightly basis fans get to witness his upbeat, dance-filled show.
The country singer describes his sound as "funktry" -- a blend of funk and soul music mixed with country -- and this is heard throughout the 13-track release with horn accompaniment and a distinct Big Brass sound.
Baldridge's current single, "Rebound," shows a different side to the singer. He says after he wrote the more somber song, about a man asserting that he won't be a girl's rebound, he knew he had something special.
"Everybody's been through this situation before," Baldridge tells Taste of Country. "I've had so many people reach out to me on Facebook and say, 'Your song 'Rebound' has really touched me and made me realize my worth in a relationship.' I think, as an artist, that's what you always dream of having, is a voice, and a voice for your music."
As Baldridge explains, "Rebound" tells the listener not to be second, stressing that everybody deserves to be somebody's first choice in a relationship.
"A guy reached out to me and said, 'Man, I've been in a toxic relationship and as soon as I heard your song it made me realize I was just her rebound. I am leaving this relationship, I'm going to find somebody that deserves my love.' That's what I want to do. This is why I got into music."
Baldridge says the idea for "Rebound" came to him while playing a basketball game. He had been thinking about the word rebound and was surprised to learn a song hadn't been written from the perspective of a guy refusing to be someone's rebound.
"At that moment, I was doing that to somebody and I realized it, and I was like, 'Oh my gosh! I cannot be doing this.' I was very vulnerable coming into the write with Emily [Weisband], and I told her the situation," he recalls. "We wrote the song in under an hour. I had part of the chorus and then the very first line, 'Oh, how convenient / You think I'm here for you / Got a history of lenience, of letting you do what you do.' That came out in seconds. I always say, if something happens easily it's meant to happen."
Country fans were introduced to Baldridge by his energetic first single, "Dance With Ya," and now they're getting a feel for his more serious side with "Rebound," both featured on Dirt On Us. Baldridge co-wrote the majority of the album and says he often writes about everyday life situations and is always on the lookout for what people are saying, whether in conversation or when watching a movie. Sometimes, even Facebook can help him with a song idea.
"A guy made a Facebook post that said, 'No matter how old I get, all my toys will have wheels.' I went and wrote the song the next day about growing up all my toys had wheels, but no matter how old I get I'm still going to ride four wheelers and trucks and motorcycles," he recalls. "It's just having your songwriter's cap on and being in the everyday world, and making sure that you're writing real-life stuff. I think that's what country music fans like, and that's what they relate to the most."
Baldridge has begun writing for his second record and says he has already noticed that his songwriting has grown throughout the process. In the meantime, he's on the road putting on the best live shows he can for fans. It's a promise he made to himself long before he had a record deal and one that he honors night after night.
"When people leave a show, they don't remember the last dance move you've done, they don't remember the last chord you hit, but they remember how they felt in that moment. When people leave my shows, I want them to remember how they felt, and I want them to feel inspired," he says.
Drew Baldridge's single, "Rebound," is out now.
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