There is no substitute for raw talent.

Some people can spend years learning and honing their craft while others have that rare ability to have the mysteries of life somehow imbedded in their genetic make – up.

Drew Brauer a.k.a Drewboy is fortunate enough to have been blessed to belong to the latter, and unlike many who live and breathe music from a young age, started his serious love affair with music toward the later years of High School.

“I’ve always played music since I was young,” he explained.

“Mum had a guitar at home used to play it a bit so I picked it up and taught myself probably from about Grade Ten onwards. I just started out the same way I guess everyone did by playing a bit of Smoke on the Water and progressed from there. I pretty much started writing my own stuff from around Grade 11, just as a hobby and didn’t think too much of it until about 18 months ago and that’s when I thought I would give it a crack and see if I could do it for a living.”

After growing up fours West of Brisbane in Tara, a small town of about 1500, Drew found himself working in the Far North for Ergon Energy on Thursday Island. He fell in love with Cairns during time spent here on time off and decided to relocate here about three and a half years ago.

“At that stage I was working away in the gas fields for about two years and had a few life changing things happen,” he continued, “and I came up with one of the songs on the album F.I.F.O – which stands for Fly In, Fly Out – and writing that made me realize how much I was missing out on working away so I packed it in and came back and playing music progressed into my job. I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen like that at the start, it would just be a bit of fun. I originally started just doing covers and then I would throw in a few originals in here and there and then met the band later on and things moved nicely from there.”

Drew decided the best way to stand out in a local scene riddled with talented musicians was to play as often as he can, and after securing residencies at most of Cairns’ live venues and building a solid name for himself as a solo artist, it was more by luck rather than design that the early stages of what was to become Drewboy and the Sax Addicts started to form.

“I actually met Matt (Gerdes, Saxaphone player) at a ladies 30th,” he laughed.

“I played the gig and there was a few other guys jamming and Matt was one of them and I liked it that much I invited him to play in my set and we just gelled from the start. After the set we had a few beers and a chat and I invited him to play with me at a gig the next weekend and from there I changed all my gigs from a solo to a duo.”

“I’ve known Gus (Fernandez, drums) for quite a while and once we started getting the band together we asked him to jump in and gave him a few recordings to see what he came back with and we were really happy and excited by the result. He is a mad musician and this is a great outlet for him.”

“Then we have the lovely Tanya Murphy on bass and I knew her through playing around town and we gave her copies of the music the same as Gus which came back exceptionally well and the fact she doesn’t look too bad didn’t hurt ha – ha.”

Rather than follow the conventional path of playing and touring and establishing a name before releasing an album, Drew took the gamble of his growing fan base following his venture into band territory, and as such Drewboy and the Sax Addicts have already finished their debut album less than six months after their formation.

Titled Growing Down, Drew is excited about the albums pending release.

“It’s a collection of seven songs, some back from when I first started out,” he enthused.

“One of the songs, Feel Alright, was written while I was still at school and the rest are pretty much a journey from that point on.”

When pressed about the musical direction of the album, Drew is momentarily lost for words.

“This is the hardest question in the world to answer,” he stammered.

“Maybe…. going through in the order they’ll be on the album it starts out maybe like folk/alternative/acoustic style and then it goes in to a bit of a hip hop influence then some poppy stuff and a bit of rock at the end. It’s pretty much all over the place ha- ha.”

To launch their debut album, Drewboy and the Sax Addicts are holding the E.P launch at the Union Jack Hotel on Sunday, July 3, and if Drew has his way it will be not only a celebration of music, but also one of art in general, with a packed itinerary showcasing a variety of talent.

“We’re trying to make it massive!,” he revealed.

“We want to have a Sunday Session with a difference and turn it into an indoor festival and be the biggest Sunday sesh of the year in Cairns! We’ve got everything from fire twirlers to aerial silk artists to a live tattoo show to a freestyle BMX show to Hip Hop dancers, live graffiti, a tarot reader and then we have a handful of other bands and musicians playing throughout the day. It’s going to be epic.”

Over the years Cairns has had a multitude of talented bands, who, although thriving on the local circuit, couldn’t manage to transfer that success to the National arena. Although aware of this, Drew is also confident Drewboy and the Sax Addicts can take that next step.

“I think our approach to it is a bit different,” he said.

“We’re trying to take everything professionally with the whole website and CD done properly alongside marketing. We’ve spent countless hours on the computer researching marketing and music marketing and I’ve been fortunate to have friends in the game to give me pointers and help me out. I think we all have a different background in the band too which helps. I’ve been business minded my whole life and had a professional job most of the time and Gus is the Entertainment Manager for the Jack so he knows how to promote stuff as well as the industry and Matt has been doing it for years. Everyone has their own jobs and lives and we’re all serious about the band. We definitely have fun doing it but I think we all want to push it as far as we can and see what we can do.”

Kris Peters

‘Growing Down’ will be launched at The Union Jack Hotel on July 3 with entry costing $10 which includes a copy of the E.P.

Pre purchase your tickets from June 2 to receive a V.I.P wristband on the day which gives you special bar prices throughout the day.

Doors open at 4 p.m until late.