After recently following up his highly-praised 2022 debut EP 'Quarter Life Crisis' with his much-loved comeback outing 'Holy' earlier this year, Denver-based artist Ronan Andrews is back once again to offer up his vibrant new effort 'Way To Your Heart'.
Channelling a fresh and uplifting homage to the power-ballad sound of the 80s with a modern twist, 'Way To Your Heart' makes for an incredibly fun and upbeat listen. With its bright and euphoric energy, soaring atmosphere, and killer hooks layered throughout, he is certainly looking to get us up and out of ours seats with this one.
So with the new single out now, we sat down with him to find out more about his background and what has inspired him most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Piano was the first instrument I fell in love with. I was six years old at the time, and my brother had received a small Casio keyboard as a birthday gift. He never played it much, so I thought I’d give it a go. I was immediately playing on it every day, trying out the different sounds and drum beats. My parents enrolled me in piano lessons shortly after where I was able to play on a bigger keyboard with weighted keys. The whole feel of a piano and all the different sounds I could utilise on a keyboard made me fall in love with the instrument real fast. My parents also played great artists like Queen, Billy Joel, Nora Jones and Elton John when I was younger. All of whom are fantastic pianists, and really gave me an insight as to what songwriters could do with the piano.
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
As I mentioned in the previous question, my parents played artists like Queen, Billy Joel, Nora Jones and Elton John. Which are all artists I really enjoyed listening to, but got more of an affinity for as I got older. Funny enough, my favourite band as a kid was Journey. My dad had a greatest hits CD and I took that thing everywhere with me with the portable CD player I owned as a kid. My dad’s favourite band was Rush, so I have tons of memories associated with listening to them. Likewise, my mom loved artists like Cheryl Crow, Carole King, John Mayer and Luther Vandeross.
What was the first album you remember owning?
Over the years, I’ve collected lots of CD’s and Vinyls from family members and friends. The first album I can remember buying on my own was in the clearance section of a secondhand store. I was in high school at the time and my car only had a CD player because it was so old. I was perusing the used CD aisle and stumbled upon ‘The Soundtrack from the Movie 8 Mile’. It had Eminems face on the cover, and I had remembered how much I loved watching the movie growing up. The soundtrack introduced me to artists like Wu Tang Clan, The Pharcyde, NOTORIOUS B.I.G, Method Man and Outkast.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
Oof, this is such a hard question. I guess a weird shout, but I am obsessed with the song ‘Right Down the Line’ by Gerry Raferty. That song is so f***ing good, everything about it is so tasteful. In my opinion it’s a 10/10. The way it transitions from section to section coupled with the melody and instrumentation is chef’s kiss.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
I don’t really have a particular ritual I use when writing music. The inspiration just comes to me when I’m in the mood to write. I would like to be better about writing and finishing songs on a more consistent basis, but sometimes it’s really hard for me to get into the mood to write. It’s moments when I have lots of emotions and need to work through things that the writing process comes to me more easily.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
Another great question, my listening habits definitely ebb and flow throughout the year. Since summer is fast approaching, my mood turns to more upbeat happy music. A couple artists I’ve been playing a lot recently have been Channel Tres, Sublime, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Pearl & the Oysters and Cautious Clay. A very vast array of different musicians, but each of them are just hitting the spot right now.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Right now, I would absolutely kill to open a show up for Silk Sonic. Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak are easily in my top 10 favourite artists. When I heard they were collabing on an album a couple years ago, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Not to mention, the album they released was fantastic, and performing on the same stage as two world class performers would be an absolute dream.
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
For me, the songwriting process feels like the most rewarding part. When my entire vision for a song becomes a reality, I feel so accomplished in that moment. All the hard work and time that goes into composing/arranging a song makes finishing it all the more satisfying. Performing songs that I wrote and getting a positive reaction from the crowd is an unbelievable feeling as well. It makes me feel like music was what I was meant to do.
And what is the most frustrating part?
The most frustrating part these days is all the work I have to do to keep up my brand on social media. There’s so much emphasis on artists' social media presence, and the number of followers they have, or their amount of monthly listeners. Sometimes it can feel very overwhelming, and something that I didn’t sign up for when I decided to be a musician. There’s so much noise these days, basically anyone can be a musician. It feels very hard at times to break out from the rest and showcase my art. As frustrating as this can be sometimes, it’s something I’ve accepted and know that it’s part of the journey. The flip side to this is that anyone has a platform to be creative and express themselves, for this I’m very grateful.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
The best piece of music advice I received thus far is from Victor Wooten's book ‘The Music Lesson’. The book is chock full of amazing music philosophy. It really helped me let go of my ego with music, and reminded me why I fell in love with music in the first place. A quote I love from the book: “I listened to Music in the past but only in a one-sided way. I only listened to what I wanted to hear, not what the music had to say. It was as if I only wanted to hear my own opinion,” - Victor Wooten. When I read this, I thought about all the ways I do this in my own life. Not just with music, but everyday interactions I have with friends/family/ strangers. Being an active listener, and keeping myself present is something I’m always trying to work on.
Ronan Andrews' new single 'Way To Your Heart' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.