At 17, Irish-Filipino singer-songwriter AndreaH has achieved more than most people her age.
Not only has she successfully carved out a burgeoning solo career for herself, the rising pop star has also supported The Script on tour and is currently opening for Sam Smith on the Southeast Asian dates of his The Thrill of It All Tour – and she’s only getting started. Armed with a guitar in hand and a genuine voice that resonates well beyond her years, AndreaH represents the new generation of young hopefuls who are set to dominate the future music scene. Fresh off the heels of her latest single ‘You’, we speak to the 17-year-old about her musical journey thus far, her experience touring with Sam Smith and more.
Hi Andrea, congrats on the release of your new single ‘You’! What’s the inspiration behind the track?
Well, many people think it’s about me and the guy I’m in love with, but this song is actually about my best friend and her boyfriend. I was really fascinated by this whole idea of love and being in love so I decided to write about it. ‘You’ has two meanings – one is about my best friend’s relationship with her boyfriend, and the second meaning is how I think being in love is like and what I think it’ll be like for me in the future.
You’ve mentioned that each song you’ve written comes with a backstory. Which is the hardest to write for, and which do you find closest to your heart?
I think the hardest song to write is also the closest to my heart, which is ‘Best Friend’. It’s a song dedicated to my best friend when she was leaving – she was the closest person I’ve ever had as a friend in my life and she really brought out the best in me. On her last day, I sang the song to her and we both started crying. Although it’s a happy song, it just makes me miss her more and more each day.
How would you describe your brand of music to a first-time listener of AndreaH?
Singer-songwriter vibes, and that everything is pure from the heart. For a teenage girl, hopefully my music is something they can relate to.
You’re currently opening for Sam Smith – and that’s a huge deal! How’s the experience like touring with him?
I feel honoured and privileged to get to open for the amazingly talented Sam Smith. Honestly, it’s an incredible experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. The feeling you get on stage is indescribable – not to mention that Sam is such a nice guy; he made me feel so welcomed which also made performing a lot easier.
If you’ve ever had the chance to collaborate with any artiste, who would it be and why?
There are so many artistes I’d love to collaborate with! But if I had to choose one, I’d say James Bay. His voice is so raw and unique, and he gives off such distinct singer-songwriter vibes — which is definitely something I aim to give off in my music. He also explores different sounds ad instruments in his new album, which shows just how versatile he is and his development as a musician.
Stepping into the music industry at the young age of 17 isn’t an easy feat. What are some of the challenges you’ve had to face as an emerging artiste?
I think the biggest challenge was not letting anyone change who you are and shape you into what they want you to be. It’s definitely hard to put your foot down as a 17-year-old, especially to people in the industry who are a lot older and wiser. However, I did learn – and fast – so I feel much stronger and happier now as I’m going down the route I know is best for me.
How’s it like juggling school, touring and performing all at once, especially since you’re at the time when your music career is starting to take off?
It’s definitely challenging. I’m doing a very difficult high school diploma, and the school suggests that you spend lots of time working rather than doing extra-curriculars as the workload is very demanding. But I made sure that I finished all my work way in advance before I went on tour. I don’t procrastinate at all, which is something that took me a while to achieve. By completing my work early, it allowed me to focus on my passion, which is music. I believe that opportunities come and go, so you have to grab them whilst you can. I’d never give up on this opportunity so I made sure I stayed on top with academics to prevent it from stressing me out.
Who would you say are your biggest supporters throughout your journey?
My friends and family. They are the ones who tell me to keep going when I want to give up, and they are the ones who have my back when times are tough. They want the best for me all the time, and they make sure to get rid of anything that is in my way of reaching my goals. Whether it’s giving me a long pep talk or sending me all the work I missed in class, they encourage me to be the best version of myself.
What’s a piece of advice you’d like to give young, aspiring singers who wish to pursue a career in music just like you?
Don’t let anyone be the judge of you and your music. If you’re happy with yourself as a musician and what you’ve created, that is all that matters. Also, definitely work hard and show your passion for music; hard work allows you to get things done and passion makes sure that everything you do in music is to your best ability.
Lastly, what are your upcoming plans in 2019?
I graduate in May next year, so I hope that I can possibly tour as soon as I finish school. I’m also planning on releasing an EP around June and I’ll make sure to keep everyone posted! To those who’s been following me on this journey, thank you for all the love and support. I wouldn’t be able to do what I love doing without you all.