From Heartbreaks to Heartthrobs

Francis Kilinski
Published on: 3rd March 2015
"Everything I've ever done in my whole life was never just for myself, it was always for someone else," mentions Mr. Hill. Andrew Hill is a man of unique prestige whose accomplishments are vast in his 31 years on this earth. Aside from these accomplishments, Andrew has lived through many different personas. These days, "Drue" or "Drueski" is his preferred nickname, and Drue says he's happier than he's ever been before. But like all good things, Drue's journey took time. It took a certain type of realization and change of heart to see where he was going.

Andrew was born in Virginia, and shortly after his birth his family moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Growing up, Drue's grandfather sexually and physically assaulted him until he was about 8 years old. The attacks stopped when he found the courage to tell his other family members. From that point on, Andrew lived a more comfortable, normal life as a child and adolescent boy. He was surrounded by a tight-knit, loving family, and while they weren't the wealthiest, Andrew never complained.

"My life changed when I went into the military at 20 years of age," says Drue. After being out of high school for two years and not attending college, the army was not his only option, but it was an option he didn't mind pursuing for a few meaningful reasons. "Everything I've ever done in my whole life was never just for myself, it was always for someone else," claims Drue. When Andrew's little brother enlisted for the army, he decided to go with him because he didn't want him to go alone. "This was right after 9/11, I said 'I don't want you to go by yourself, anything could pop off,' so I went with him. It's something I never expected to do, but it was for his sake and my mom's sake," Drue remarked, trying to ease his mother's worries.
From Heartbreaks to Heartthrobs
Drue didn't think that him leaving with his brother likely worried his mother more, but it was in his best interest that he should go too. Andrew going to Iraq began the shifting of his personalities. He knew already that the hard-headed drill sargeants and strict disciplinary ways of the army would change him, but Andrew says he lost who he was at a very specific point in the service. "The day I lost myself and who 'Andrew' was, and became a different person (Drue) was the day I thought my brother died in the convoy. They didn't tell me anything. All they said was 'Your brother's convoy's been hit,' and I bugged out," recollects Drue.

From then on, Drue, not Andrew, dealt with experiences of similar magnitude while being in the army that took a toll on his mental stability. Drue says, "I went through my 20's just trying to make it--trying to sweep stuff under a rug... that was right there and I was trying to suppress it. But there was no suppressing it." Drue was a father during his time in the military, and his fatherhood was arguably the only thing keeping him alive. "It got so bad at one point that I had put a 22 in my mouth and nearly pulled the trigger," remarks Drue.

Drue was able to push through his tenure in the military and return home to his family after several years in the service. Now Drue was looking to make something of his life, but it took some serious soul searching. Drue says, "I always had a love for music. For a while I was signed to an independent label. I was in choir too. But I lost the focus of what I really loved to do. I stopped doing music for years. For 13 years I never read music, never picked up an article, nothing. I just stayed away from it. And I lost all my passion."

Drue's revelation came in the form of heartbreak in the Summer of 2013. "It was a girl, actually, who broke my heart. Ripped it out. And after that I told myself, 'Alright, something's gotta give, life's gotta change now." mentions Drue. Retracing his steps, Drue remembered that his first love was music, and so began his drastic turn-around. He applied at the City College of New York in NYC, hoping the city would bless him with an opportunity to make his dream a reality.
Before he knew it, Drue found himself in an ideal situation. He started an internship in Fall 2014 at Columbia records, where he used his profound networking ability to make connections in the industry and build his resume. In October 2014, Drue became the manager for up-and-coming punk-pop band 'Say it! Say it!' which helped him realize even more than what he wanted to do. "I have this vision that I want everyone around me to succeed; I want everyone to get on and live their dreams like I am right now, because I'm so happy where I am," shares Drue. 

Drueski certainly stuck to his mindset of putting others before himself, and his effort for 'Say it! Say it!' has been remarkable, booking them shows and increasing their fanbase. In 2015, Drue is looking to start his own hip-hop record label '5 Star Records' signing indenpendent artists and producers. From heartbreaks to managing teenage heartthrobs, Drueski Hill has begun another internship, and believes 2015 is his year.
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