In the dark, I killed myself and chose rebirth.
Andi Young. Rebirth. EP
Andi Young. Rebirth. EP
hip hop/pop. Opening track. Dreamy nostalgic.
Love, betrayal, hate, jealousy.
Time to say goodbye
Folk/pop/acoustic. Story telling.
'whenever there's a man there's a fire.'
You go left, I go right
You hurt me, now I'm strong enough to be calm.
Electronic House. In the dark, there's a fire that lights up hope again. And life becomes a celebration.
Piano/acoustic. I scream, I cry, I sing.
I don't care about my heart, I only care about my art.
Little boy's whisper Guitar/orchestra/acoustic. Written at the age of 17.
Domestic violence ruins a childhood, but makes a strong adult.
There is a fearless quality to And! Young’s music that both confronts and empowers the listener. Gifted with a unique, shiver-inducing voice, he brings something fresh to the singer-songwriter tradition. Young’s debut EP introduces an artist at once vulnerable and confident, willing to confess his longings and expose his scars while touching upon something universally human.
“Everything I write is genuine from my own life or lives I see around me,” he says. “People may lie about many things, even their own feelings, but I find it too hard to lie in my music… I have strong feelings inside me, but I’ve never known how to communicate with the world in the right way. So I’ve put everything into music.”
Raw emotion lies at the core of Young’s work. You can hear it in his yearning vocal style and the unguarded content of his lyrics. Rich, well-sculpted melodies and an inspired talent for arrangement make his songs as accessible as they are honest. Themes of love, loss, self-discovery and rebirth run through songs like “Lonely Child” and “Time to Say Goodbye.” From the piano balladry of “You Go Left, I Go Right” to the propulsive EDM flow of “Star,” his work transcends categories as it combines musical elegance with an intensity that aims straight for the heart.
If Young’s songs cross creative boundaries, it may be a reflection of his own international upbringing. Born of Asian-American heritage and spending his early years on three continents, he began his musical journey as a four year-old violin student. Daily practice on the instrument helped him develop a real passion for music (as well as a talent for composition that he channeled into songwriting). Singing allowed him the freedom to fully express his emotions, enhancing the skill and discipline he gained from his classical music studies.
Early on, he began improvising melodies and making up lyrics to his tunes. “The words that came out were not always positive and that would make me feel so sinful,” he recalls. “The words delivered sophisticated emotions that made me scared, so I tried to force myself to stop creating lyrics and melodies. But that was impossible.”
Over time, writing songs became a way for Young to find solace and healing: “Living in different parts of the world as a child, everything in my life cast sharp contradictions. I had a very difficult time identifying myself – I didn’t seem to belong to any particular community. The issue of identity was something I had to deal with when I was a child and teenager, but I gradually grew out of it and started to accept myself as just a human being.” These topics would find expression in his music as he matured and mastered his craft.
Young grew steadily more serious about music while attending high school in Europe on scholarship. He auditioned for a singing competition in Holland at age 17, winning Best Stage Award as a finalist. The strong encouragement he received from the judges led to his entering further contests and to performing at musical festivals and special events with various cover bands around Europe.
Though the applause earned from singing other people’s songs could be gratifying, Young’s real goal was to develop his own music to its fullest potential.
After relocating to Australia, Young applied for admission as a composition student at a music conservatory. The head of the composition department Greg White evaluated his original material and pronounced him a “natural songwriter.” Ultimately, though, Young passed up formal training as a composer in favor of creating his music his own way, with its raw edges intact.
When the time was right, he sought out partners in the pop music industry to help him realize his vision. New York-based producer/engineer Robert L. Smith – known for his work with the cast of TV’s Glee as well as projects with Lady Gaga, Aerosmith and David Bowie – agreed to produce tracks for Young after hearing one of his songs. For his dance tune “Star,” he teamed up with producer John Ho, whose credits include Number One Japanese hits with ShiNee (“Obsession”), Lil Eddie, Mya and Kimbra, among other artists. The results of these collaborations will be heard on Young’s debut EP as well as his first album.
Young continues to stretch and deepen his talents as he records new songs. “Star” is a particularly impressive breakthrough, revealing a warm, expansive vocal range that soars above its sleek, pulsating track.
If there’s pain and conflict coursing through the music of And! Young, there’s also a ringing note of hope amidst the struggle. His songs are confessions, anthems and prayers – sometimes all three at once. Come into his world and be prepared to be moved, uplifted and more than a little startled.