Andrea Soler is an Australian singer songwriter with compelling vocals and insightful lyrics who has just recently toured the UK summer festivals including Isle Of Wight, Larmer Tree and the Sunrise Festival. Musically inspired by the passionate joie de vivre of her French ancestry she exudes a distinctly European influenced sound, yet maintaining her own take on indie folk. Likening herself and her music to the old ways of gypsies and travelers; expect a swathe of moods and emotion from Andrea’s soulful live performances.
Andrea, it’s really a pleasure to meet you and to be part of your journey! We know a bit about you from earlier talks and your bio, but tell us a bit about your musical path and how has your career has developed.
AS: When I was 18, I went to the Woodford Folk Festival here in Australia. I’ll never forget the feeling I had watching band after band blow me away. I knew then, one day I would play that festival, all I wanted was to be a musician! So, I then bought a guitar and started playing and writing songs. I went busking on the streets with my sister. After recording a home made demo, I decided to try my luck overseas and bought a one way ticket to Paris. I ended up living there for over a year and played in bars in Montmatre and even Fete De La Musique in 2007! I then went to the UK where I was then sponsored to record my first EP ‘Better in The Sunshine’ at The Sonic Kitchen Studios. I played festivals such as the Larmer Tree, Isle of Wight and Sunrise Festival, UK. I got on so well with my producer that I went on to record my debut album ‘Earth On An Axis’ with him as well. Since coming back to Australia I achieved my dream of performing at many festivals and lastyear I played at the Woodford Folk Festival, the place that kick started my musical career!
Is there anybody who has really helped you along you path, Do you have a mentor?
AS: I am very lucky to say that I have had so many people help me along the way. My biggest mentor is Alan ‘Big Al’ Hill. He was the incredibly brilliant man who produced my first two records. He believed in me and taught me so much about the recording process, about music and about life. He truly was an incredible man, a world class musician (played bass for Jack Dejonette – Miles Davis’s drummer, produced for Shirley Bassey & many more). Sadly, Al passed away a couple of years ago, is greatly missed today by so many people around the world. I still count him as my biggest mentor. I always think – what would make Al proud?
What’s next for you? What’s coming up for you live and recorded?
AS: I have just finished recording my brand new EP called Daydreamer. I’m going to be launching it here in Australia at the beginning of June, and then embarking on a twelve week tour through the UK and Europe! I’ve booked 18 shows already which includes four festivals in the UK. We’ll also be making a documentary about this tour to inspire independent musicians to manage themselves and book their own international tours. I am very excitied about this trip, especially to return to Paris!
Do tells us a bit about your latest album.
AS: Daydreamer is a five track EP. It’s a collection of songs I’ve written on the ukulele. A lady once said to me that you can’t write a sad song on the ukulele. Well, one day I was sitting at home and wrote a song called ‘Heart Break Floor’. It’s about my first heart break. At least I can prove to the lady you can write a sad song on the ukuele! Then there’s ‘Love at First Sight’ which is a true story about a guy who was lost, walked into a cafe to ask for directions and fell in love with the girl behind the counter, and there’s Daydreamer which is the title track. It’s a song to remind people how important it is to believe in their dreams. Lonesome Traveller is a haunting tune, and The Palmreader is a song about.. well, I guess you’ll just have to hear it and find out!
It’s hard to believe that anyone would have the nerve to break your heart! Let’s take a few minutes out to let everybody in on what’s going on as we watch “Daydreamer EP”
We work with a lot of young emerging artists. Can you share a certain moment in your career – good or bad – that’s kept you moving on?
AS: I think I’ll share a good and a bad if that’s ok? The bad moment was when I lost one of my best friends and producer Big Al. He means so much to me. He always assured me along the way. Gave me advice, feedback about my songs and made me laugh too! He brought out the best in me, and I’ll never forget all that he did for me.
A good moment – I think it was just recently, when I walked onto the stage to play at last years’ Woodford Folk Festival! It had been my dream for over ten years to play at this festival. I had to pinch myself a couple of times to realise that I was literally living the dream. It taught me to never give up on my dream, keep working hard, and enjoy the journey!
I always like to ask our guests about personal heros, so here goes…who is your hero? Why?
AS:There are so many people that inspire me. When I read the biography of Edith Piaf, I felt so inspired by her zest for life and for everything she achieved from her humble beginnings as a homeless girl on the streets of Paris. Then there’s Joni MItchell who got Polio at the age of 8 and started singing to get better. She is another woman who overcame obstacles in her life and achieved her dreams. I think another of my heroes would be Sally Dastey. She is an Australian singer and is such a beautiful person and gives her whole heart to her audience. I like artists that give their all.
I have to tell you, that my colleagues here at HorizonVU Music are not to wild about that question (they’ve heard me ask it so many times), but I think you saved me…we’re all Joni Mitchell fans! Andrea, again, thanks so much for your time and we look forward to going live in September. We’ll be posting your gigs!