Erin McAndrew 

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What do you think makes you stand out from other artists and what makes your music stand out?

I think what makes me stand out from other artists is my brand. I am a musician, but part of my brand as a musician is also being a wine enthusiast. I play at a ton of wineries and also have a wine YouTube show called "Rockin' Through The Grapevines". It's so much fun! I also like to connect personally with my fans whether that be through direct message or email. We have a unique position as musicians nowadays with social media where we can create friendships with our fans and supporters. What makes my music stand out is that it has rock and country elements with a 90s throwback sound.

 

When did you decide that music was going to be the career you continued with for the rest of your life and what made you come to that decision?

I knew from a very young age that I wanted to pursue my music as a career. Even though I had several jobs in other industries, I always knew this would be my eventual path. In 2012, I made the bold decision that I wanted to pursue music full time. It took a few years to do that between working a day job and building my career, but I've been a full time musician now since May 2018!

Other than musicians who would you say is your biggest inspiration?

I have a few! Marie Forleo who is an entrepreneur that I highly respect, and obviously Walt Disney. Always. I am a huge Disney fanatic, but I also am so inspired by his story and the empire that he created. Whenever anyone asks me if you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, he is always my answer.

Do you believe in luck? Do you have anything that brings you luck or rituals you do before a gig etc?

I believe we can create our own luck. Most of us aren't just lucky for any reason. If you are, that's a rarity! I think that luck can come to us when we work hard towards our goals and things we are passionate about. And have the power of positivity! I don't have any fancy rituals before a gig - really just normal things like warming up my voice, my guitar, having a throat lozenge, and if I'm at a winery - usually enjoying a glass of wine. ;)

Did you enjoy music at school and were you any good?

Yes of course! Choir and musical theatre were my favorite subjects in high school and where I met some of my best friends throughout those years. I'm normally quite modest, but since you are asking - once I took voice lessons I thought I became pretty good. Unfortunately, my choir teacher didn't realize how good I was until the last few months of my senior year of high school when I blew him away with a song I sang at our spring choir recital.

Pick a song of yours and tell us the story of how it was written and what the song is about?

One of my favorite songs to play that tends to resonate with the audiences I perform in front of is "Jesse". "Jesse" is a song I wrote for a friend of mine who was going through a difficult relationship that she was having trouble getting out of. This song was me trying to help her get out of it and realize that it wasn't healthy. I think we all know someone in our lives who was in an unhealthy relationship with someone which is why I think this song goes over so well for people. It's really relatable!
 

What was the 1st performance you did in front of people and what was your first gig you did and can tell you tell us about it?

My 1st solo performance I did in front of people was a talent show my sophomore year of high school. It was the first time I had ever sung in front of an audience before. It was a packed house and I was so nervous but ready to share my voice with the world. Once I heard the cheers and felt the adrenaline, that was a turning point for me in wanting to pursue this as a career.

My first solo gig was at a coffee shop about 7 years ago. I played a one hour set and made $14 playing for tips. I was so happy because it was the first time I made money gigging in my professional career. Obviously that number has changed a lot since then, but I will never forget that moment.

What does music mean to you?

EVERYTHING. It has helped me get through the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Whether that be me writing, playing, and performing, or listening to songs, musicians, and bands I love...it really is such a universal language that can make us feel so many different emotions. Not many other things have that impact.

Take us through a day when you are writing or recording?

If I have a day where I know I am going to be writing, I always be sure to start the day off with a meditation, workout, and healthy breakfast...and make sure that I slept well the night before. I write best in the mornings, so once those things are complete I find a quiet space and just start writing. Though sometimes inspiration just hits me and I will write in the moment even though it's unplanned. Recording is something very new to me that I'm still learning a lot about so I don't have a set "schedule" for when I record yet, haha.

What would you like to achieve in the next year?

Before COVID, my answer would have been different. In the next year, I want to get back to a normal gigging schedule (which for me is generally 3x/week), as well as start doing keynote concerts when conferences resume again. I also am in the process of self-recording an EP, so I plan on releasing that in the next year as well.

What one thing could you not live without and why?

Besides music, EXERCISE!! It is a non-negotiable for me. I NEED to move my body for at least 20-30 minutes per day. And this can look like a workout, a walk, a hike, or even cleaning. It's something that has always helped to clear my mind and has a great positive impact on my mental health.

 

Take us through a rough timeline of your career so far and what would you consider to be your personal highlights and achievements?

1. 2012: Began my music career professionally

2. 2013: Worked with a few songwriters & musicians and wrote some new songs (not as a solo artist)

3. 2014: Performed my first sold out show as a solo artist

4. 2014: Performed in the NYC Marathon and played my first small venue gig

5. 2015: Began playing regular gigs

6. 2016: Released my first album "Skeleton of Life"

7. 2017: Moved to Los Angeles and began booking gigs within the first month of me living here

8. 2018: Released my EP "Stay Alive"

9. 2018: Left my dayjob to pursue Music Full Time

10. 2019: Played more gigs and more venues than I ever have, as well as tripling my annual income

 

If you had to write an advert to advertise your act and your music what would it say?

Come for the wine, stay for the show?
 

What is your favourite way to listen to music and do you ever listen to your own music?

Favorite way to listen to music is on Spotify. I can discover SO MANY new and amazing songs there. I listen to my music sometimes when it comes on my Spotify shuffle of songs.

Who would you have to play you in a film about your life and career and what would the plot of the film be?

I honestly have no idea! I've never thought about it.

If you had to change image, genre of music and just reinvent yourself, what would you do?

I've actually already done that! My first release was pop-rock, and it didn't feel as much "me" at that age, because a lot of the songs I wrote years prior. My second release is Country Rock, and feels a lot more authentic and raw to me!
 

What has been one thing you have done during your music career that you regret or wish you could go back and change?What would it be and why?

I wish I would have started earlier because I know I would be a lot further than I am now.

How has Covid 19 affected you ?

I think like most musicians, we have taken a HUGE hit. Most of my income is from gigging, so it's been interesting to navigate ways to make money as a musician as of recent and be in this state of unknown as to when it will be safe to begin gigging again.

Can you give us a rundown of all the music related things you have been upto in the past couple of month and what we can expect for the future?

I've actually had my hands full the past couple of months as I just had a baby in May! So music has been put on pause for a few months anyhow, especially with COVID going on. I have still been doing my weekly Patreon broadcasts for my community as well as my Music Career Coaching for musicians. Other than that, I've been taking a bit of time to get adjusted to my new normal of balancing my music career and life as a mom. You can definitely expect new music in the coming year as well as performances around the US once bigger events are allowed again.