As a McMinnville, Tennessee, native, Drew Green grew up just beyond earshot of Nashville’s storied country music industry.
Now, after years of thriving as one of Music Row’s most prolific songwriters, the singer is poised for an equally fruitful artist career. With his debut track, "Little More Be Alright," Green counts the blessings of his well-earned success. Lyrically, it’s a prayer of sorts — he gives thanks for what he has, while acknowledging that there’s always room for more when it comes to time spent with loved ones.The sentiment hits home for Green, a family man whose work as a songwriter has notched high positions on four Billboard and Country Aircheck/Mediabase charts.
He’s had to dedicate long hours, years at a time to honing his craft, but in the end, he wouldn’t have it any other way.“I’ve realized over my years of songwriting,” he says, “that it’s not just about luck. For me, it’s about working hard and staying passionate. Sometimes I feel like I really couldn’t live without writing songs.”Like many country artists, Green pulls inspiration from his small-town formative years. The son of a tree farm owner back in McMinnville, he thought briefly about going into the family business. While he did assist at his father’s company from time to time, his interest veered more toward music. He remembers sitting on a tractor and listening to Sammy Kershaw, Alan Jackson, and Dr. Dre in equal measure.
After penning a few songs in high school and a brief stint in his friends’ cover band, he mostly gave up performing until a happenstance encounter one night of his sophomore year at Tennessee Tech University. During a trivia night at a bar he frequented, patrons were invited to play songs as an interlude. He “dabbled” through a short set of covers, putting country treatment on tunes by Matchbox 20 and Goo Goo Dolls with his rich baritone and commanding stage presence. As he returned to his seat, a listener approached him.“He turned out to be the owner of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville,” Green recalls. “He said, my son’s going to call you tomorrow morning.’ I was thinking, ‘yeah, right,’ but sure enough, my phone rang.”That night, he performed at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and, in a twist of fate, landed a part-time job as a house band singer.
The gig reignited Green’s passion for playing music live, but it also demanded an hours-long commute from his home in Cookeville, Tennessee, to Nashville and back. The young singer powered through for six months, driven by his lifelong love of country music.After graduating college, he moved to Lebanon, Tennessee with his wife. As part of setting his roots and starting a family, he took a job at a bank.
Two years later, he was offered a senior position, and, seeing it as a crossroad, he turned it down in a last-ditch effort to pursue songwriting.“I’m still good friends with my old boss [at the bank],” Green says. “It was just one of those things where I said, ‘If I don’t do this, I’m going to regret it for the rest of my life. So my wife and I decided I was going to give it five years for any music success worth talking about.”He immediately got to work, co-writing songs and reclaiming his previous job at Tootsie’s Nashville.
At the five-year mark, and with a child on the way, he beat the clock when Florida Georgia Line recorded a song he penned with Hunter Phelps and Michael Hardy for their fourth studio album, Can’t Say I Ain’t Country. The track, “Colorado,” helped land him his first publishing deal, a contract with Warner/Chappell Nashville and Grammy-winning songwriter Brett James’ company, Cornman Music, which he inked in November 2018. In 2020, he submitted over 120 songs to the publisher.
Drew Green continued to occasionally try his own songs on for size, singing them for demos and work-tapes. Now, with a collection of more original songs than most artists can ever claim, the singer is taking center stage.“I don’t think I’ve ever said, ‘today, I’m going to write a song for me,’” Green says. “Because I started off as a songwriter. But every once in a while, if I feel like I can represent myself as an artist with a new idea, I’ll shoot for it. After that, I just do me, man.”It’s worked so far. For the first time, however, with a collection of masterfully-crafted songs in the pipeline, he doesn’t have to worry about landing the next big country hits as a songwriter. He’ll be singing them.