A Moment With Andreas

Andreas 'Unhinged'

Following the release of Andreas' single, 'Unhinged', UbuntuFM's Ikenna Okeh reaches out to the Congolese-born singer-songwriter in this exclusive interview for a moment of discussion centered around 'Unhinged', his EP coming soon and his creative activities in Cape Town.  

Good to have you here on the UbuntuFM platform, Andreas.

Thank you for having me!

You have such vocals with a touching melodious ring to it and your fluency and accent are quite impressive considering that the official language of Congo is French. How did you come to have achieved such ease of the English language?

Thank you! 

My fluidity with the English language and accent slowly but surely happened over the past 13 years of living in English speaking countries; first Ghana, then America, and now South Africa.

On the international scene, Congo appears to be associated with an image of never-ending conflict. How does the music scene fare in spite of all this unproductive publicity?

Music always thrives despite any circumstance; it will always be the international language with melodies that will nostalgically affect every single one of us differently.

It breaks my heart every time I see my country going through conflicts, but one thing Congolese have always thrived on is music. Our local music has always been a major influencer in all genres of music internationally and it has been like that for generations!

At the end of the day, I intend to go back to my roots musically, at some point in my career.

To answer your question I would say, thank God for our amazing music. Without it, I don't even know how my people would get by with everything that goes on in the country.

At the end of the day, I intend to go back to my roots musically, at some point in my career

How has your growing-up experiences influenced your choice to pursue music? Why the preference for your chosen genre?

My upbringing has definitely influenced my career choice. I come from a musical family. Starting with my grandfather Tabu Ley Rochereau who is an iconic legend in the music scene; locally in my country and internationally. The old man penned my country’s independence song back in 1960, I mean … it doesn’t get any greater than that in anybody’s book. I grew up watching him rehearse for hours, sometimes for days, and he wouldn’t stop until he literally mastered it. Experiencing greatness first-hand like I did growing up, I didn’t see myself doing anything else in this world but just that!

I don’t think I will be bound to a specific genre in music … I want to do it all at some point in my career, and when the time is right. My current genre was simply influenced by what I was listening to at the time really (laughs) there’s nothing symbolic nor special there if you ask me.

Let's talk about 'Unhinged', your single that caught our attention. Without a doubt, it's one tasteful offering of music, more for its vocal quality as for its instrumental accompaniment. What's the inspiration behind the song?

Thank you! 

‘Unhinged’ came about after one night a friend came to unload all his frustrations and whatever he was going through at the time on me. I tend to be the guy everybody comes to when they’re in need of a shoulder to cry on among my friends. It’s always been that way no matter where in the world I am.

I didn’t plan it; all I know is, right after I got home that night, I picked up my guitar and boom! Twenty-plus minutes later, there was ‘Unhinged’ … and during the whole process of me recording my debut EP, ‘Pariah’, I thought it will fit right in there with the EP’s theme. And here it is!

We, as artists, have zero power when it comes to making people like our songs, to be honest. As a listener, you’d either love it or hate it. All we can do really is create and never let outcomes of what we put out there impair our creativity in any way, shape, or form.

How has the creative process for the song been? Were there moments along the way when the success of the song felt threatened?

The song was produced by Howard Edward aka heproducedit and the whole creative process was pretty smooth actually. It just flowed like water really. I came up with the melody myself with my guitar, and I knew exactly how I wanted it to sound like, and heproducedit made it happen.

We, as artists, have zero power when it comes to making people like our songs, to be honest. As a listener, you’d either love it or hate it. All we can do really is create and never let outcomes of what we put out there impair our creativity in any way, shape, or form.

But did I doubt its success? Absolutely! Hahahaha I am a perfectionist and I over-analyze all that I do, but there will never be success nor growth if I allow my insecurities to win over me. So at some point, I had to start releasing music in order to pursue a career in the music industry, and here I am.

What expectations do you have for 'Unhinged'? So far, how's your expectation been met in terms of public acceptance?

I expect it to keep on doing well. The public reception has been as expected; some love it and some others don’t. But we keep it moving, don’t we? (laughs)

We gather it's a track off your upcoming EP. What's to be expected of the album and what’s the release schedule for your EP?

Correct! It’s a track off of my yet to be released debut EP, ‘Pariah’. It will feature five songs, four in English and one in French.

I haven’t decided on when to release it yet. But when the time is right it will eventually be released. So stay tuned! 

I don’t think I will be bound to a specific genre in music … I want to do it all at some point in my career, and when the time is right

Coming from Congo and living in South Africa, how's the creative climate of South Africa treating you?

Cape Town is definitely helping in keeping my creative juices going. It’s filled with history, diversity, and breath-taking views everywhere you look! So I will have to be absolutely out of my mind not to be inspired, period. So I would say that the creative climate is definitely potent and that I have not complaints. 

In addition to your EP release, what are your fans to expect from you in the coming days? Do you have plans for shows, tours, collaborations?

Fans! Oh wow! I haven’t thought that far yet, to be honest. I’m constantly working to the point that sometimes I forget to stop, take a deep breath, and just appreciate how much grounds I’ve covered and what/who I have in my life. 

In the coming days, I would say “expect many surprises” … I can’t really disclose a lot until it is time to make the announcements. So, shows, tours, and collaborations will be things to stay tuned for … sorry (laughs).

'Unhinged' is featured on UbuntuFM HipHop Radio. Our listening audience is getting to hear from you, most likely for the first time. Surely you have a word for them before we wrap up this interview.

Sure!

Hey family, thank you for having great taste by tuning in. My name is Andreas, I’m a singer, songwriter and you are about to listen to my latest single, ‘Unhinged’. Enjoy!

In the coming days, I would say “expect many surprises” … I can’t really disclose a lot until it is time to make the announcements. So, shows, tours, and collaborations will be things to stay tuned for

Thank you, Andreas. It's been a remarkable moment with you. We hope to hear more from you in the coming days.

Absolutely! And the pleasure has definitely been mine! And you sure will hear from me again. Thank you so much!

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