I am talking about a young singer/songwriter by the name of Andrew Chen.
This is probably the first time that I’ve critiqued anything to do with the music scene on my blog, but after being passed a copy of Andrew’s latest CD, I was so blown-away, that sharing this with my 20,000+ visitors a month became a necessity.
As all of my long-term friends know, I come from a musical family and background - singing, playing keyboards and performing live for a number of years. Then, while doing a stint as DJ in one of Australia’s number one venues in the 80s, I spent much time importing music from the US and Europe to the nightclub scene, often setting the scene for the imports to hit the mainstream public radio waves through popularity.
That was then – this is now… my only exposure to the industry these days is through the ‘taste’ I’ve acquired for all varieties of music… whether it be rock, pop, hip-hop, rap, R&B, jazz, easy-listening, heavy metal, country, folk, right through to classical, many of my friends can get frustrated by my ‘musical schizophrenia’ when they get into my car and the CD player’s going.
Unfortunately, this appreciation of all kinds of music sometimes makes it difficult for me to be ‘blown away’ with anything new – but then along came Andrew Chen!!
The last thing I want to do is to try and ‘pigeon-hole’ Andrew into a genre – one thing that is blatantly obvious is the uniqueness of his style… I spoke to Andrew’s Dad just recently, and from that discussion I’m guessing that Andrew’s inspiration has come from a very wide appreciation for all styles and genres throughout his growing up, along with his classical training as a base – and remember, he’s just 19!!
So when I make my next statement – do not try and ‘read anything into it’ nor should you take my word for it – in fact Andrew may not be happy with the comparison I’m about to make – for this I apologize sincerely… but it’s difficult to put musical appreciation into words.
The first track I listened to, was the title of his current CD – “You Just Might”… I listened once, and ‘felt’ something familiar – the second time it almost came to me… third time, and then listening to a couple more tracks, it occurred to me that the experience was a bit similar to that of listening to Al Jarreau and perhaps George Benson in the early-80s (both legends in their own right)… I took in some more songs and my perspective changed again… I can’t seem to put my finger on it. - Please note very well, I am not drawing comparisons between styles or artists – I’m talking about feelings inspired by listening to music. I reiterate – Andrew Chen’s style is unique in its uniqueness!!
TRACK 1 from Andrew Chen’s CD (and title track) – “You Just Might”
Now for the really amazing part of Andrew’s story – this guy is extremely versatile – he is a master of a range of instruments, and the information on his CD says it all – it was created and produced solely by Andrew in his ‘bedroom studio’ – every guitar riff, every run of the bass, every twinkle on the ivories, every vocal harmony is Andrew himself – just as Eddie Murphy is the king of ‘multiple movie characters’, Andrew is the ‘king’ of his compositions – he is also responsible for the mixing and editing.
I’ll leave this story here (for now) – I’m sure we will be hearing much more from Andrew in the future as he hits ‘mega-stardom’, but I want all my readers to remember this – if you’ve not heard of Andrew Chen until you read this article… keep in mind that I shared it with you first back in 2009!!
TRACK 8 from Andrew Chen’s CD – “Night Rain”
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