We had the pleasure of interviewing Andy Louis, a soul singer, composer and producer based in New York City. Born in France to Malagasy parents, Andy’s musical journey has been shaped by his diverse cultural background. From a young age, he felt the influence of his Malagasy heritage, where music holds a special place in the culture. Additionally, his father’s collection of classic rock, blues and American folk music sparked his musical interest. After studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Andy made the move to New York City, a place known for its artistic energy and its status as a jazz mecca. The city’s rich tapestry of cultures and its appreciation for the arts have profoundly influenced Andy’s creativity. In this interview, we’ll dive into his musical beginnings, cultural influences and his recent release, the captivating single “Change of weather”.
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Channel WAVY: How did you get your start in music?
Andy Louis: I was born in a musically inclined family that always supported my choice of making music so that was really nice. I wanted to play saxophone originally but it was expensive, and we had a guitar at home. It’s safe to say I don’t regret it one bit. I played a lot by myself, had a band in high school that I was the guitar player and lead singer for, and then I went to music school in Paris after that where I learned music theory, arrangement and jazz. I then moved to Boston where I continued my music studies and of course continued playing and started developing my composition/producing skills.
Channel WAVY: You were born in France to Malagasy parents and are based in New York City. How do these different cultures influence and shape your music?
Andy Louis: The musical inclined family part is mostly from the fact that both my parents are from Madagascar, which is a country where music is an integral part of the culture. Most Malagasy people have some sort of bond to the music, which made it a very natural thing for me to play. My father also had a big classic rock, blues and folk American music collection that I would hear all the time, forging my musical interest. I moved to New York after three years of University in Boston. New York is filled with artists of all sorts and amazing musicians from all around the world, not to mention that is the mecca for Jazz. I see and hear music every day here, and the city has this blunt honesty – probably because life isn’t very easy for a lot of people over here – and a real appreciation for the arts. All of this helps with creativity.
Channel WAVY: How have friends and family reacted to your journey so far in music?
Andy Louis: Friends and family have been very supportive of my journey in music so far. It always helps when you feel people are with you, at least in spirit, in this unpredictable lifestyle. Having their support also pushes me to better myself doing it – in a way I feel every song I make is also a way of showing my gratitude to them.
Channel WAVY: Congratulations on the release of your new single “Change of weather”. What can you tell us about the track? How did it come about?
Andy Louis: Thanks! I wrote “Change of weather” in a couple days around February last year. They were gloomy months, and I was also going through a more fragile emotional state, feeling under the weather because of a few personal reasons. My mood always gets better when sunny days come around, and the song is an ode to that. I wrote the song in two days but it took me actually close to a year to finish it – production, recording, mixing, mastering.
Channel WAVY: What’s the story behind the music video?
Andy Louis: My friend Tom is a videographer who I met when he filmed a live show we had with this band I was playing for a few years ago. He did my first music video “Corrosif”, and I liked his vision and execution so much he was a natural choice to come back to for this one. I came to him with the idea of asking “Who is Andy Louis?”, a question I ask myself a lot musically as I tend to make lots of different styles without too much connection between them. We thought it would be a good idea to extrapolate this concept to video (with more to come) where every time the question would be asked, a different personality would come out. For the video itself, the only idea Tom had was the location. We improvised the rest on the spot, and Tom had the idea of adding VFX – putting the clouds, rain, snow, water etc. in – while looking at the frames on camera. It turned out great in my opinion!
Channel WAVY: Who are some artists or producers you’d love to work with in the future?
Andy Louis: The ones through the years that I consistently come back to are Mk.gee, quickly, quickly and Daniel Caesar. Making music with any of them would be so rewarding.
Channel WAVY: If you could only listen to three albums for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Andy Louis: Tété – L’air de rien, Oscar Peterson – Oscar Peterson Plays The Harold Arlen Song Book, Mk.gee – Pronounced McGee.
Channel WAVY: What are your plans for the rest of 2023? What can fans expect?
Andy Louis: I’m releasing an album soon. I’m in the process of finishing it right now. Once it’s out of the way, I want to work on a live set to perform it all around. Stay tuned!