NYC-based indie pop artist Andrew Smith creates bright and nostalgic piano-driven songs that are undeniably catchy. His unabashedly honest lyrics are both humorous and melancholy and aim to better understand complex feelings about life and purpose. The songwriter confides, “Many of my songs are born of reflections I have about my life or discoveries made in therapy, etc.”
Born south of Boston in 1993, Andrew Smith grew up performing in theatre and writing short films at a young age. However, it wasn’t until he studied at Berklee College of Music that he began writing and producing original songs alongside longtime collaborator, Jackson Hoffman. From there, Andrew knew that music was his emotional outlet, oftentimes comforting him in times of uncertainty, fear, anxiety and depression.
Smith’s last EP, To My Therapist, addresses his journey to self-acceptance, the ups and downs of coming out, and finding romance in modern-day Manhattan. Inspired by his love of songwriters like James Taylor and Randy Newman, Smith pulls elements from 1970s piano pop, The Great American Songbook, and contemporaries such as John Mayer and Ben Rector. With To My Therapist, Andrew thematically hopes to bring a deeper honesty and inspiration to the often challenging and confusing experiences we all navigate on the road to self-acceptance.
Getting to know Andrew
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
I actually don’t typically sing in the shower. But there are two songs for some reason I always find myself humming. The Best Day by Taylor Swift (I know that’s super random) and Sweet Baby James by James Taylor. Two of my favorite songs of all time.
If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?
Searching for Gay Jesus
What makes you nostalgic?
James Taylor’s voice. Cheez-Its. Big Fat Liar. School of Rock.
If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?
How did you find peace?
If you were talking to a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give yourself?
So many people love you and care about you. If you’re gay, it’s okay. You’re okay. Your world isn’t going to fall apart. The sky isn’t falling. You can be successful and gay Andrew. It’s okay.
What first got you into music?
When I think about my earliest influences, I think about Sesame Street, Blue’s Clues, PB & J Otter. Bops galore, am I right? Then, as I got a little older, my mom’s love for James Taylor and Celine Dion as well as my dad’s love for Alan Jackson and George Strait created my now very eclectic musical taste.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
I love intimate, reflective, nostalgic pop. I find songwriting so therapeutic, and I love to reflect on lessons I learn in my life through music. I also love to find sentiments and images I haven’t heard in music before. I am a very emotional person and like to challenge myself in what I write about.
What is your creative process like?
I had a teacher who used to call ideas, seeds. Song seeds. I get little ideas all the time that I’ll write on my phone throughout the day. Then, I’ll sit down and try to flesh out the idea at the piano. At the end of the day, songwriting is work. It’s a process. And I can chip away in different ways, but it always works.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
This is such a tough question but I’m going to go with Ben Rector. He had played such a huge role in my life without even knowing it. Thanks Ben. Wherever you are.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Therapy saved my life. Try it.
Andrew’s new single “Twenties” was written in his parent’s attic during the pandemic. The poignant song narrates Smith’s feeling of being overwhelmed by his own path and feeling unaccomplished and unworthy. He confides, “I spent many years of my twenties putting my personal life on the back burner. Am I falling behind!? When I’m being critical of myself, my demons say that I’m late to the party. I’m “falling behind. This has been a huge lesson as I navigate self-acceptance and self-love. Time and showing myself compassion is a theme through many of my songs lately.” Featuring sprinkling synths and warm tender vocals over 80s-dipped landscapes, “Twenties” is stunning, anthemic and intimate at the same time.