Drew’s “Hello” Goes Viral
Back in November of 2015, Drew’s father recorded her singing Adele’s hit song, “Hello”, in the back of their car. Not knowing what would happen, the family uploaded the video to Drew’s YouTube channel. Well, it immediately went viral. The video now has well over 5.5 million views after they shared it on social media. The 10-year-0ld has thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. (Literally thousands, over 7,500 people, like her Facebook page.) At just 10 years old, Drew Olivia Tillman is catching the nation and internet by storm with her powerful, mature vocals and positive, can-do attitude. When this 4th grade honor student isn’t learning about the x and y-axis in math, studying natural disasters in science, or writing stories in her literary classes, she can be found all over the Washington D.C. area singing, acting, and dancing.
10-Year-Old’s Star Continues Rising
Since then, Drew has sung the National Anthem in front of thousands of fans at sports stadiums and has even opened for a sold out concert at the historic Howard Theatre in her hometown of Washington D.C. But, she doesn’t let her nerves get the best of her: “It’s a rush of excitement that comes through my body [before I perform for that many people] and then I’m ready. I love seeing all those people there to support me, and if I get nervous or forget my words, I feel like everyone will understand because I’m only 10 – I’m not Whitney Houston,” she says.
Singing in front of thousands of people is a new experience for her. Yet, when she’s out singing live in front of a crowd, Drew says that, “I feel like my whole life has changed just a little bit. I feel like I want to do this again and again, and I just feel a lot of support.”
Family and Friends Show Great Support
Support for her manifests through her fans. But, her family also displays tremendous support. “[My family] has been the key to my success,” Drew explains, “They’ve been so supportive of me singing everywhere, being on the news, and travelling to New York and Atlanta. They even talk with my teachers to make sure I am fully caught up on all my schoolwork.”
To say that Drew’s family believing in her is an understatement. Her parents noticed her potential when she was just 2-years-old. Four years later, her mother, Tameka, encouraged Drew to start playing the piano. So, at age 6, she began taking piano lessons with her aunt. Now at age 10, Drew has never had a single voice lesson. The tones and melodies in her voice come to her easily and naturally. Combining her talents of piano and song, one of Drew’s favorite pastimes is performing both simultaneously – a feat that is difficult to many.
Michael, Meghan, Taylor, Whitney, and Adele are Favorites
While her favorite artists and musicians include Michael Jackson, Meghan Trainor, and Taylor Swift – there are two artists that Drew admires most. “I especially admire Whitney Houston and Adele because they both have great voice control and stage presence. When they sing, they can still act it out and make the audience feel the same way that they’re feeling when they sing.” The young talent enjoys paying attention to and studying artists’ stage performances.
Drew wants to use her talents and spotlight to be a role model for other children. “I want to encourage all the little girls that they can do whatever they want and be whoever they want to be,” said Tillman. “When I saw all the support and read all my Facebook and YouTube comments, there were girls [speaking] and they were saying they wanted to be actors, singers, dancers, acrobats, or whatever – I’m only 10 and if I can do it, they can do it too.”
No Shortage of Ambition or Confidence
As for the future, this young lady of multiple talents and passion wants to achieve anything that she puts her mind to – demolishing limits. “I want to be the next Whitney Houston. I’d love to be on Broadway and be a full-time actor with a business and to be a full-time singer.” She’s currently considering avenues in performance camps and acting. Drew Olivia Tillman is just excited for the opportunities that await her. For now, though, it’s “back to school.”