Get to know AndreaH, the up-and-coming singer-songwriter who opened for 911
Hi Andrea! Tell us about yourself and how you got into music.
"I first got into music when I was eight—that was when my mum signed me up for singing and piano lessons. At that age I didn't know what I was meant to do, other than be in a room with a stranger who's telling me to press certain keys or sing la la la. My mum being a musician and all knew what she signed me up for because she thought I had potential. At the age of 14 I bought a guitar and taught myself how to play. Around the same time I started going through the typical emotional things that come about with high school—to channel these emotions, I turned to writing music."
Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
"Yes, it was a song about nature. I was on holiday surrounded by trees and the sea, and I remembered singing a tune in my head whilst I was in the car. But the first proper song I wrote was actually about the first guy I ever liked, who ended up breaking my heart because he no longer had a crush on me! Typical 13 year old stuff."
Take us through your songwriting process.
"When something happens to me in my life that makes me really emotional, it forms the basis of what the lyrics are about. I'll then strum four basic chords on the guitar to create a simple repeating pattern, followed by the melody with lyrics all at once. If the melody works but the words aren't so good, I'll write down the basic lyrics then change them as I think of things that are better. I'll usually record it on voice memos using my phone just in case I forget how the song sounds like later down the line!"
How did you latest single 'Focus' come about?
"I was going through a pretty rough time in my life. I had to balance school, my music career, friendships, coursework and a social life all at once. On top of that, I was physically changing as a girl. My mood started changing and I could tell that there was a change in my behaviour so I went to seek help from a doctor. If you know me, I'm an extrovert—I talk so fast and I talk so much! And because I had grown up in Thailand, the stereotypical person is very calm—the opposite of me. So the doctors, from meeting me, initially diagnosed me as having ADHD. I didn't know what it was, but I didn't show any symptoms of the disorder when I was younger so I was curious to know how I had it now. Anyway, later that day I went home and searched up symptoms of ADHD and turned it into a song.
"Long story short, I wrote this song to shed light on the symptoms of ADHD so people can understand what it's like to have the brain of someone with ADHD. And I also wanted to give rise to the fact that just because someone has a mental health disorder, it doesn't mean they're different. When people listen to this song, they would have no idea that it is about ADHD—and honestly that's the beauty of it. You may not have ADHD but you may feel the way I felt in the song."
Are there plans for an EP or album in the near future?
"For sure. I am planning on releasing a song every two to three months. I wasn't able to work on music during exam season before this, but I kept on writing songs so I have plenty that I can't wait to produce then release. So in a few months I can release an album or an EP!"
From The Script to Sam Smith, and now 911, you've opened for some pretty big names. What has been most memorable gig by far?
"I can't say one was more memorable than the other because they have all been amazing in their own way. What I can say is that from each performance I've improved and gained so much more confidence. Also, all of the artists I've opened for are all super kind and talented people, and the crowds going to the shows have been so supportive of my music!"
Do you have any pre-performance rituals?
"I always drink a cup of warm water mixed with honey and lemon whilst I get ready. I then do some vocal warm ups which include humming and a few lip buzzes. I also like messaging my friends who often hype me up for my performances. Then 10 minutes before I go on stage I like to be alone, and I try to find a place where I can sit quietly on my own and get in the zone."
Who are you inspired by musically?
"I have so many inspirations but my biggest one has to be my mum. She started singing at a young age and she sang in church all the time. She used to encourage me to sing karaoke and we would always do duets. However, if not my mum, it would have to be either Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran—their songwriting ability is out of this world and I hope that one day I can write and produce songs at their level."
And who are you listening to right now?
"I'm currently listening to Lewis Capaldi, James Bay and Taylor Swift. Their albums are amazing! Lewis Capaldi is currently breaking out as an artist and his first album shows the world his capability, while James Bay's and Taylor Swift's new albums show their diversity and versatility as musicians—I really admire how they can write in different styles and genres."
What else are you looking forward to in 2019?
"I'm definitely looking forward to meeting more fans, writing more music and publishing songs with cool music videos to show to the world. I'm also hoping to improve my singing, piano and guitar playing skills to write new melodies and come up with different sounds—all of this to look forward to in the coming months!"
Like what you hear? Listen to more of AndreaH's music here.