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Watch Never Shout Never's Live at Rolling Stone Set

Christofer Drew rocks "Harmony," "Coffee and Cigarettes" in the RS studio

April 30, 2010 1:19 PM ET

Christofer Drew, who records under the name Never Shout Never, is this year's breakout emo-pop star: the 19-year-old Missouri native draws scores of shrieking girls to his shows and his debut album, What Is Love?, debuted at Number 24 on the Top 200. But Drew's influences reach far beyond "screamo electronica," as he calls it: he's more likely to throw on some old-school Buddy Holly records than a Fall Out Boy album. "I don't want to be limited to a certain sound," he tells Rolling Stone. "That'll make you a sad person in the long run."

Drew dropped by the RS offices earlier this week to play acoustic versions of two new tracks, "Harmony" and "Coffee and Cigarettes." He'll spend most of the summer on the road with the Warped Tour, and he's already plotting out his follow-up record, which he hopes to put out in August. "It'll be called Harmony," he says. "And it'll be more Woody Guthrie-influenced. This is me just experimenting with a new type of music. I want everything to be a new style."

As for his rabid female fanbase, Drew says he's still getting used to all the attention. "They know the words to the songs," he says. "I don't even have to sing them live. I can step away from the mike and just let them sing 'em. It's really weird. I'm the weirdest, smelliest dude you'll ever meet but for some reason these girls like it."

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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