The actor - also known by his music alias Plan B - has written and directed the drama set in East London starring Four Lions actor Riz Ahmed and Red Road's Natalie Press.
Talking about his move from music to film, he told The Playlist: "My music's my first love, and I feel, out of everything I do, it's what I'm a master at, whereas filmmaking, obviously I'm still learning. But I saw it as a logical progression, because I've always tried to tell stories within my music."
Drew named several directors as major influences on his first movie, including Quentin Tarantino and Shane Meadows.
"When I made the short film, I remembered Pusher by Nicolas Winding Refn," he recalled. "I just liked the way it was shot. It was a short film, I only had four grand, I couldn't afford Steadicam or anything.
"So there was a big reference, and there was even one shot I called the Pusher shot. And when I shot the feature, I wanted it to have the same sort of character that the short film had."
"Shane Meadows too," he added. "After I shot my short film, I realised it was the parts that we improvised, not the ones I wrote, that was where the magic happened.
"So I wanted to find out more about Shane Meadows, 'cause I knew he did that, and watched the bonus footage on the This Is England DVD, and reading about his process. They worked from a treatment, and improv-ed dialogue before they shot the film. So the references were Nicolas Winding Refn, and the man, Shane Meadows.
"And Quentin Tarantino, how he can make something mundane, two people talking complete f**king s**t, but make it interesting. You can go to a pub and sit at the bar, with some really charismatic f**king joker, and listen to him just talk."
He added that he already has plans for a second directorial outing titled Trigger, which he described as a possible "masterpiece".
"I'm always planning the next thing," he said. "For me, this was never a one-off. I had another film I wrote, before Ill Manors. It could be my masterpiece. It's called Trigger - it's a working title.
"It's the first thing I ever wrote, I wrote it when I was 20. I don't know if it's going to be the next one, but when I make it, it could be a masterpiece. The story is f**king great."
Drew will next appear in the remake of The Sweeney alongside Ray Winstone, a role which he had not expected to land.
"We finished that just before Christmas," he explained. "It was really good fun. I never really saw myself as an actor. I know I can act, but I'd never described myself as an actor. If something came up that I thought I'd enjoy doing, I'd do it, but I never saw myself... there's certain roles I never saw myself doing. And after doing The Sweeney, I thought, 'Maybe I am capable of doing that'."
> The Sweeney has inspired casting, says Steven Mackintosh
Watch Ben Drew chat to Digital Spy about Ill Manors below: