You’ve probably seen Andreah opening for big acts like The Script and Sam Smith, but the budding singer-songwriter is planning to go big herself this year.
Starting from a very young age by singing at a local church choir, Andreah also took up singing lessons at age 10 and wrote songs with friends by 13.
By 14 she thought herself to play the guitar and with that came her first song, “Magic” at 15.
Very soon her first release, “Best Friend”, had created waves and generated a huge fan base for her in both Singapore and the Philippines.
With her latest single, “Focus” that was released on 21 June 2019, we chatted with the artist to get to know her better.
But first! Watch the music video for “Focus” right here!
Tell us a little bit more about yourself. We hear that you started playing music at a really young age.
Yes I did! I first got into music at the age at 8 because my mum had signed me up for singing and piano lessons. At the age of 14 I bought a guitar and taught myself how to play it. Then at around 14 too I started going through the typical emotional things that come about with high school – as a result of these emotions, I wrote music, using the skills I had for the guitar and the piano.
Congratulations on the new release. ‘Focus’ is sounding really good. Tell us a little bit more about that. The inspiration behind and everything.
Thank you so much! So 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. Anyways, later that day I went home and searched up symptoms of ADHD and turned it into a song. I then saw a second opinion who said I didn’t have ADHD but was more hormonal at the time. Long story short, I wrote this song to demonstrate 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.
How was it like in the studio? Did you have producers on board with you or was it purely you and the guitar, your lyrics, your vibe to the entire song. How was the process of writing like?
It was awesome! Recording in the studio is a feeling I will never get tired of – its so exciting yet calming at the same time. And yes I did have a producer – I initially played him Focus on the guitar, and sort of told him what vibe I wanted and what instruments should be incorporated into the song, then a few weeks later he produced it!
When you wrote, ‘Focus’, were you writing for yourself or were you writing for somebody else? You know how some songwriters write songs for people as a way to express their ideas?
I wrote focus for myself as it was about me and what I was going through and how I felt at the time. I often write songs for others – for example, the first songs I’ve released “Best Friend” and “You” were about my friend. I wrote “Best friend” when my best friend (hence the name) left to another country due to her parents job. Instead of buying her a gift, I wrote her a song instead, so we could both reminisce on the memories we made over the 4 years of our friendship. “you” is also about this same friend but it’s a comment of the relationship she had with her boyfriend. As I’d never been in love, I asked her what it was like, and turned it into a song.
We love the vibe of the music video for, ‘Focus’. Looks great. You’ve done covers and cover videos. How’s that different to shooting a proper music video? What do you enjoy most and what is most nerve-wrecking thing about it?
It feels completely different because the ideas for the video sort of link to the meaning of the song. I wanted a chill vibe for focus to contrast what the lyrics actually meant. Also, it feels great filming for my own song because I’m showing the world my creation and I don’t need to find creative ways to show a version of a song I’m covering. The thing I loved most about filming the video was that the videographers I worked with were awesome and knew my vibe – nothing too over the top; something simple that reflects my work. The most nerve-wrecking thing would be having people watch me as I filmed. Since I filmed on the beach (in a public place), I would have a lot of people staring at me.
You opened for The Script and you were on stage with Sam Smith. How did that happen? How did it feel singing/performing on the same stage as your idols?
Well the way I opened for The Script was pretty cool. When they came to Asia around 4 years ago I had the privilege of meeting them. During our conversation, I said to Mark that one day I would love to open for them and sing with them, as it was my dream. 4 years later I had produced some demo’s and sent them off to them – Mark kept his word and let me open for them in Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore. With Sam Smith, because I had already opened for The Script, people already sort of knew who I was. I submitted my songs to Sam’s manager and they loved the vibe (as it was sort of similar to his). Opening for people I highly respect as musicians was an incredible moment; one that I will never forget. I felt like I was dreaming and that at any moment someone would wake me up. I was nervous but excited at the same time, and having the connection I had with people whilst I was on stage was unreal.
Let’s do a little throwback here. When you wrote your first song, what was it called and what was the inspiration? Considering that life in this era is way different from how things used to be, were your lyrics ‘fun, childish’ sounding or did it have a more mature take to it?
The first song I wrote was actually pretty funny. I was 12 and I was on holiday surrounded by trees and the beach – it was a song about nature. I remembered singing a tune in my head whilst I was in the car, with the lyric of “I grew up with flowers in my hair and sand on the beach”. It was very cute-sy and I don’t really remember why I wrote it but I was just enjoying nature and my holiday so much – sadly, I didn’t finish the song; that lyric is the only one I can remember! The first proper song I wrote however was 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 things. I was pretty mature at 13 I would say (especially to be writing about boys).
Your music is very acoustic driven at the moment. Would you think that you’d like to retain this sound or would you do the whole T-Swift thing where you start off all singer-songwriter-ish and then just throw a curve ball by switching it up entirely?
Honestly it depends on my vibe really. I’m loving the acoustic sounds at the moment as I am a new artist so I hope that people can hear the tone of my voice, rather than the instruments. Also, especially because my lyrics sort of tell a story, I want them to stand out more than the instruments. However, as I get older, I’m sure my style will change and develop so I may move away from the acoustic sounds – only time will tell!
Now that you’re taking a gap year to really take this whole music thing head on, what are your plans? What is the goal? Conquering the world, yeah sure that’s everyone’s goal but what IS your goal right now? Looking at the way things are going for your career.
I’m definitely going to work on writing and producing more music. On top of that, I’m hoping to perform more and develop my social media so that more people know who I am. I’m also hoping to collaborate with other artists so that I can build relationships with other fellow musicians in the industry. Within my music, I hope to explore topics regarding mental health and to destigmatize it, to help people get through any tough times in their life that they may be experiencing.
Last question. What do you think are the cheat codes to what you do? If somebody your age were to embark on a career choice such as yours, what do you think it takes to jump on this crazy journey?
Things in the music industry definitely take time. Id say build up your resume by releasing as many songs as you can, and try to build your social media as it is the fans that listen to your music and support you – so definitely build strong relationships with them. I’d also say to know who you are as an individual – the music industry could try and change and shape people into being artists they want, rather than who you want to be. Find your sound and your style, and stay true to yourself – people in the industry respect that more because you know what you want and where you want to be.