Drew Gasparini is a composer on the rise! The first song Drew ever wrote was a Mother’s Day gift for his mom. Since then Drew has won the John Lennon Songwriting Award (2006), played gigs all over the country sharing the stage with acts such as Jason Mraz, Third Eye Blind, and the Plain White T’s and has recorded 3 albums. He attended the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles and majored in Vocal Technique and Musicianship. In 2007, Drew composed his first musical, "Crazy, Just Like Me" (2009 San Francisco Theatre Festival, 2009 NAMT showcase, 2011 New York Musical Theatre Festival) which has gone on to open regionally across the country and soon in NYC. His other works include: his second musical, "Circles," "Above My Pay Grade," a corporate musical commissioned by Holt Learning (Book by Louis Sacco). He has also contributed to many other projects such as Broadway in South Africa for which he was commissioned to write music and lyrics for their annual gala at the Manhattan Center, and MAC Award winning, Cait Doyle’s Hot Mess In Manhattan for which he wrote "The Text Message Song."
Drew has twice been the featured composer for the New York Theater Barn, Seattle’s New Voices, Unbound Productions, Emerson University, and a featured writer for The National Alliance for Musical Theater’s (NAMT) 2009 songwriter’s showcase at New World Stages. Drew has taught master classes at Emerson University in Boston, and NYU. His music has been performed all over the country and in many famous NYC venues including sold out concerts of the "Music & Lyrics of Drew Gasparini" at Les Poison Rouge, the Laurie Beechman, and Joe's Pub.
Drew is a proud member of ASCAP, and is part of the BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop for composers and lyricists. His sheet music can be found at NewMusicalTheatre.com, a website that caters to new emerging artists who are looking for good contemporary theatre music.
Currently, Drew is pushing his musicals "Crazy, Just Like Me" and "Circles" in the right direction, and finishing work on his other projects including: A children's musical called "Pearl," a concert series called "Inappropriate Stories Told at a Bar," a new musical inspired by the stories of American serial killers, and a slew of concerts featuring his songs. As always, Drew continues to write for his solo career as well, releasing another album this year!
On Tuesday, March 27 at 9:30pm, Drew will be having his third concert at Joe's Pub in NYC (425 Lafayette Street). "Drew Gasparini: The Triple Crown" will feature brand-new material from Drew's show "Circles," and his upcoming serial killer musical, "Make Me Bad." Scheduled to appear are such Broadway and TV stars as Nicholas Christopher, Kasie Gasparini, F. Michael Haynie, Andrew Kober, Beth Leavel, Lindsay Mendez, Andy Mientus, Nadia Quinn, John Scherer, Emily Kay Shrader, Kacie Sheik, with more to be announced! Click here for tickets: $18!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a composer? My mom was a music teacher and got me into songwriting. My dad was a very "Zeppelin" induced drummer and got me into head banging. So they both have a heavy influence on me becoming a musician period. I wrote my very first song for my mom when I was 12ish as a Mother's Day gift. Then high school started and heart breaks happen and life starts moving really quickly and I found myself becoming an observer and creating worlds and characters in my songs which lead to my first musical, "Crazy, Just Like Me" which I started writing when I was 19.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I hope a good dose of farfetched-ism is appropriate for my answer. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to work with Ben Folds or Sara Bareilles. Their music is pop/rock but they have such theatrical under-tones. And that's what I'm trying to incorporate in to my theater writing. I'd also love to work with Gavin Creel one day. I'm a huge fan of his. That's one diverse motha fucka. He can do it all.
3. How did you come up with the title "Drew Gasparini: The Triple Crown" and what excites you about this upcoming concert? Well, I originally wanted to call this concert "Drew Gasparini: His Music's Okay...but just okay." My producers think that wouldn't have gone over well. I just like to poke fun at myself! But we went with Triple Crown because this will be my third time at the Pub which isn't something a ton of people can say. It's an honor and this show is happening around lot of exciting things that are happening in my life and career. In baseball they give a player who's been on top of his game for 3 seasons the triple crown. Since baseball season is upon us (go SF Giants!!!) and this 3rd show is happening after a really exciting couple of years for me, it seemed suiting for our concert. I still would've liked to call it "Drew Gasparini: He Might Wear Sweats During This Concert" or something like that...I dunno. I'm weird haha.
4. You have an amazing line of performers from Beth Level to Andrew Kober and Kacie Sheik to Lindsay Mendez and Emily Kay Shrader. How did you decide who you wanted to perform? The reason composers have concerts...at least the reason composers SHOULD have concerts is because they are between writing musicals and they are working on other projects therefore have NEW material to present in order to get the community excited for what they have coming down the pike. The songs that I plan on showcasing at the pub are very much catered to some of these performers voices. Like Beth Leavel who is a legend in my eyes, I'm writing a song specifically for her and Nadia Quinn to sing because they are both so funny. It's about a furniture store that I can't mention here but it rhymes with FLY-KEA. And Lindsay Mendez is a muse, Kober is one of the best people to work with and so I just get honored when they agree to do it. I get MORE honored when they ASK me to be in the show. It's amazing to me. I also love finding new comers with promise and giving them the exposure a talented person deserves at Joe's Pub. This line-up is so eclectic and really can't wait to see what people think of these singers singing the new material!
5. This is your third time having a concert at Joe's Pub. What is it about Joe's Pub that makes you want perform there so much? To me, Joe's Pub is essentially the Madison Square Garden for Musical Theater Concerts. This place means something to me because it's where I think composers are promoted to. Venues like the Duplex and the Beechman and the Triad and things like that are great venues, but once you've done them you're ready for more. Joe's is that. The Pub gives theater folk an excuse to rock out in a concert setting. I love writing music and I love writing musicals. Since my background is as a gigging singer/songwriter I like knowing that I've made it to the MSG of my world.
6. What is your favorite part of the creative process in writing music? Where is your favorite place to write? I really enjoy the seed planting. For instance I love having a smidgen of an idea, writing that little idea down on a piece of paper. Putting that paper in front of me at the piano and obsessing about it until the rest of the song fleshes itself out. The song could take weeks to finish, but the idea is such a satisfying little accomplishment. In terms of location, I love writing wherever there is a lot of big windows with natural light. My parents house in California is great. Whenever I go visit, I am like a songwriting factory.
7. You have shared the stage with some of the biggest acts in music such as Jason Mraz, Third Eye Blind, and the Plain White T’s. How did you come to work with them? What was this experience like for you? Just gigging in LA, and San Diego and the Bay Area you meet people, and they hook you up with really neat opportunities. The experience was amazing. It's great to play with such heavy hitters. Cool moments for me for sure.
8. You have a few musicals in the works, some of which have had full productions and others which are in development. What do you like about composing music for the stage as opposed to an album? Usually when writing a record I'm writing for myself, and though the album might have dynamics throughout, the songs are mostly written for me to sing with my views and my happiness and my woes. When writing a musical I LOVE making a new world. Voicing songs for characters who are nothing like me. It feels more like a job when writing for the stage which is really satisfying to me. There's research to be done, and it really helps me grow as musician and lyricist when writing that way. But then again there ain't NOTHIN' wrong with just a good old nonsensical pop song. I love just writing a good pop song for no good reason from time to time.
9. What have you learned about yourself from being a composer? Well, the musical I wrote ("Crazy, Just Like Me") is really funny and full of heart and family friendly. But getting into new projects and trying to expand on my capabilities as a writer I have found that I am one dark mo-fo. And I get obsessed. Songs that cover topics such as getting embarrassed during sex because you farted mid-coitus and songs about being in love with a serial killer have been where my heads been sitting lately. I like that because it's seems new to me but it also seems to be really new for most listeners. Nothing's too weird for me. I like exploring the dark and the strange and the sometimes I meander back to the land of light hearted and funny.
10. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I ever received was from my friend John Johnson. He said that in this business it's best to have a short memory. Like any writer I get really attached to my work, but I make sure that I'm always writing something with the next project on deck so that if it doesn't happen the way I want it to, I'm on to the next thing. This is a fast moving business.
11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I had a dream that I was having a threesome with Tina Fey and Sara Bareilles. That dream did NOT suck. I wouldn't mind having that dream again and again.
12. Favorite way to spend your day off? What the fuck is a day off?
13. Favorite way to stay in shape? I go to the gym from time to time. On days when I am inside literally the whole day working, I do a shit load of push ups just so I feel better about myself.
14. Boxers or Briefs? I like a good boxer-brief.
15. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I would to have the power of becoming a giant. This 5'9 shit just isn't cutting anymore.