Drew Bates was born in Columbia, SC to Andy, a cabinet designer; and Jan, an equestrienne. Instead of paying attention in school, he was often found pretending, creating and inventing, thus placed into the ALERT Talented and Gifted program. He was immersed into art, history, music, language and the art of storytelling. The works of Walt Disney, Marvel, Looney Tunes, George Lucas, and H.R. Giger increased his passion for adventures and stories.

Initially attending the University of South Carolina as a Bio/Pre-Med. major, commercial entertainment was in the background calling, so Drew changed his major after discovering the University of South Carolina Theatre Department. It was the perfect place to lay down a solid foundation for a career in entertainment, complete with graduate acting, directing, scenic and costume design programs. He got his start appearing in several student and main stage theatrical productions: Shakespeare, Eugene O'Neill, Tom Stoppard and Sam Shepard plays were his first steps onto proscenium stages, and arena theatres. He also traveled to Charlotte, NC and in Wilmington, NC to audition for major features and national commercials at Screen Gems Studios.

In 2001, Drew relocated to Los Angeles where he appeared in features, commercials and voice-over projects. He trained with acting coach Gregory Berger-Sobeck, as well, at the Margie Haber Acting Studio. After earning membership into the Screen Actors’ Guild (SAG), he began auditioning for voice-over on animation and video gaming projects. He later began learning voice over technique from Patrick Howard Fraley. In 2006, Drew formed UniquePublications LLC to utilize the skills of freelance artists, and produce unique animated concepts for Children's & Family Entertainment.