His Spotify has over a million monthly listeners. His YouTube account has over 13 million views. His songs have featured in such acclaimed dramas as “Grey’s Anatomy”, “90210”, “The Vampire Diaries”, “Pretty Little Liars” and much more. It’s safe to say that American singer/songwriter Andrew Belle, has made it in the breakneck world that is the music industry. But just how did Andrew prevail where so many before him have failed? I spoke with him over Skype to find out.
Andrew has humble roots as an artist. When asked by his teacher to write a poem for school, it was in the meticulous attention to detail he found himself giving the assignment, that he realised he wanted to write music. In many ways, he had to morph himself into the artist he his is today. With little to no musical training bar a percussion course and an elective he took in college, I found out Andrew not only had to learn to play/write music on his own, but also find his voice. It wasn’t until college, that Andrew started to search for his singing voice, one with a similar weight to Chris Martin and a similar mood to that of Snow Patrol. Only when Andrew experimented singing in a lower tone, spent time drawing inspiration from other artists, and broke away from his former position of bass guitarist in his college band, and practice like crazy, did he arrive at the finished product we see today.
“My experience was: I got into the music industry, not really because I was a performer, but because I really enjoyed the writing process and I wanted to write songs but no one ever taught me how to do that. A lot of people I talk to are kind of in the same camp, they really like creating music and they want to do it for a living but they don’t really know where to start, they don’t really know how to develop their talent so I usually tell people to do what I did. Find anywhere that will allow you to perform and do that for a couple of years. I did that two to five times a week in different bars and coffee shops just playing, over and over, mainly doing covers because I hadn’t written a whole lot yet. Playing other people’s music that I really liked helped me find my own sound. No one ever taught me how to sing so I really learned how to sing by playing the likes of Coldplay and John Mayer.”
His second tip; find your range. It was only in this experimental period that he found that he was better suited to a mid-range, bass register which he embraced by often covering Coldplay in his early days. Andrew has also turned down proposals to feature on The US Voice. “I looked at what I do and I realised my talent falls in writing and the vocals I give in recordings.” He says talent shows such as The Voice are better-suited to musicians with a wide vocal range.
Of course, I also had to ask him about the infamous Season Six Finale of Grey’s Anatomy where his song “In My Veins” ft. Erin McCarley played out during the pandemonium of the hospital shooting. Surprisingly, Andrew is not a big fan of the show. It did, however, provide him with the perfect medium for impressing a girl he was dating in college who was a big fan of the show. He still found the episode as shocking as the rest of us as he said; “I was not prepared for the level of intensity of that episode.” Amen to that Andrew.
Andrew also has a new Christmas single out this year entitled “Back for Christmas”, which he wrote in half a day. A must-listen during the festive season. His personal favourite is “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, which he covers masterfully. I’d HIGHLY recommend checking both out during the festive period, they’re truly beautiful pieces.
Andrew Belle is living testament that you don’t have to be born with an incredible singing voice to make it in music. All you need is passion, patience, and a willingness to adapt. Oh, and plenty of shitty bars and restaurants to develop your sound in.
There’s more of Andrew Belle to come as he hopes to release his third studio album in the first half of 2017. If you haven’t already, go check out his YouTube and Spotify. You won’t regret it.