Drew Schiff is a singer and songwriter who just released a new single titled “Ride the Wave” which is a song about finding ways to battling life’s storms. Drew, who grew up in Hungary, has certainly seen many storms. He was forced to leave his home after his parents divorced and his mother strongly objected to Drew’s sexual fluidity which subsequently led to severe arguments. Upon moving to America, Drew forged strong ties within the LGBTQ+ community despite having cut ties with most of his blood relatives.

As Drew found success as a musical artist, he relied on the LGBTQ+ community for support and decided to donate the proceeds from “Ride the Wave” to the Stonewall Community Foundation.

“Ride the Wave” is Drew’s third single to be released. His work has been aired on the radio, and is available on Spotify, and iTunes among other platforms. Drew recently discussed his success and budding musical career via an exclusive interview.

Lyrics, inspiration, and the music industry

Meagan Meehan (MM): What came first for “Ride the Wave," the beat or lyrics?

Drew Schiff (DS): This was actually a group effort. My friends were on a surfing trip and had this beat with an idea about basically getting sexy on the beach. I really liked the beat and when they came back from their trip we started exploring it. I liked the metaphor of ‘riding the waves’ because it inspired me to go deeper with the lyric.

MM: How did you get your start in the music industry?

DS: As I was about to graduate from college (Harvard), I asked a friend for advice on what I should do next. He gave me some books that he said shaped him when he was my age. Most books were about success and how to monetize your skill-set, but some were more esoteric, about how to find your inner self.

One of the books suggested to me that making music would make me happy so I tried and made a demo…

MM: What inspires your music?

DS: Life. At times I start off by a feeling I want to portray or an emotional journey I want to take people on. There are times when I just really wanna do a specific type of beat that I’m feeling at the moment.

Culture shocks and the Stonewall Foundation

MM: You grew up in Hungary and now live in America, so what are some of the biggest culture shocks you have experienced?

DS: That’s a really good question! Firstly, I’d say that Americans are definitely louder! They’re also more open about their feelings. I finally got the real meaning of small-talk when I arrived in America and it suddenly felt like everybody started talking to me everywhere I went. In Europe, people need more space and being too friendly too soon can be seen as rather unfriendly. Something else I’d mention would be the jokes. European jokes are definitely harsher than in America! Sarcasm, satire and surrealism are not common forms of expression over here.

I’ve learned that the hard way! Americans also do a much better job at cultural assimilation. They are so welcoming.

MM: What made you decide to give all the proceeds of your latest song to the Stonewall Foundation?

DS: I was kicked out of my home in my late teens because my mother didn’t approve of me falling for a guy. The LGBTQ+ community became a corner stone for me. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the very first LGBTQ+ march, the Stonewall Riots. It happened in the city I call home now, New York City. I just got to thinking how the people in this beautiful city appreciate me more than my own mother. People in NYC don’t simply accept and tolerate you. They lift you up! You are respected and celebrated for your individuality.

The donation is just my small way to show my gratitude to this city and the LGBTQ+ community.

MM: What other releases, concerts, and events are you planning for 2019?

DS: I jumped on this quite late but there are talks of me performing at a really cool stage for World Pride!! Besides that, I am working on many new tracks and planning and plotting world domination!