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Interview with Andy Velo

Interview with Andy Velo

by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Christian Lamitschka: Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the
first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen
or heard you?
Andy Velo: It’s country and Southern Rock to the core. It’s who I am and what I relate to. Very full of
passion and emotion. I live for the live show. Every song that is on the album has a mental movie
played behind it that translates to the stage. We like to keep the songs real and relatable.
Lamitschka: How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?
Andy Velo: Last year was incredible, the banner year that has set everything in motion. We released
our 1st radio single and it allowed us to really focus in on our fan base. Sharing the stages with
incredible artists as we really marked the year in a positive light. A year of learning for sure.
Lamitschka: What is your latest CD and how’s it doing?
Andy Velo: We just released “Southern Thing” to radio and it is doing incredibly well. It has always
been a song that my fan base has connected to very well but now that more people are diving into it,
it is starting to spread very well. It’s just one of those songs that you can relate to. Excited about the
upcoming album, more information on the full project to come.
Lamitschka: Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for
your CD?
Andy Velo: I do write quite a bit but my job is to make sure the best possible songs are the ones that
make it to the projects. I love writing wht I see and having my thoughts or emotions come across,
it’s like building something you’re passionate about and then when it is said and done, standing
back and being able to look at what you’ve done. Same goes though for piecing together the album.
It doesn’t matter if I’ve written it or another writer, it’s about the best song that connects with
myself and my fans. I’ve made lots of friends at publishing companies that have believed in what is
going on that have brought me some really amazing material that I am stoked about. Can’t wait to
get this thing done!
Lamitschka: Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).
Andy Velo: Like I said, that album is built for the live show. It is all about my brand and what
represents me.
Lamitschka: Your current single is being played by radio. What do you feel is special about this
song that makes people want to hear it?
Andy Velo: The current radio single is called “Southern Thing.” I wrote it a couple years ago and it
has really become the song that my fan base, here in Georgia especially, has come to identify with. I
just wrote about stuff I know about. I remember sitting there wanting to write a song like this but
wanting it to feel like something I could identify with rather than just your average “I’m from the
country and DAMN proud” kind of song. The song stems from the fact that I got to grow up in the
best of both worlds. I lived in Suwanee, GA from the time I was born, which at that time was an red
light intersection, a Stucky’s, an old town caboose, and a whole lot of trees, fields, and small farms.
In staying here though, I watched it transition form that to a town of over 15,000 in a few years. So
it’s a mesh of pride saying, “I’m proud of where I’m from here in the South,” whether it be true
country living or suburbia.
Lamitschka: What kind of songs do you like to record the most?
Andy Velo: Don’t really have a favorite type of song, just need it to mean something when it’s
tracked. Party song to Love ballad, if it is going to be something that sticks in your head and you
connect with, that’s what I want to record.
Lamitschka: How much creative control do you have over your music?
Andy Velo: Complete. That’s how I feel like it should be. Do NOT get me wrong, there are a lot of
moving parts in the creative processes of my music with an amazing band that not only do I tour
with, they come into the studio as well, but also when there is a producer involved. But, at the end
of the day, the artist is responsible for their craft and their brand.
Lamitschka: Do you have any interesting stories about how fans have been affected by your music?
Andy Velo: Not one that I can recall in particular but there has been several that will contact me and
let me know how much they love or have been effected by a song. Heck, even the “Man, last night
was awesome! I really don’t remember what happened,” comments are great to know that we, as a
whole brand unit, are doing our job.
Lamitschka: Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?
Andy Velo: I’m inspired by a lot of musicians, I could name them all, but I would have to say being
raised on Garth Brooks, as a performer and businessman, has been real key to keeping that drive
forward. He was electric. I would sit there for hours and play his songs over and over again. It just
proves he connected with his fans, made them a part of his life and career.
Lamitschka: What do you think about today’s music scene versus its post and where do you see it
going in the future?
Andy Velo: I love where the music business is. Never has there been a time like now where as an
independent artist can you accomplish the things on your own that you can now. It proves that it
really is all about relationships.
Lamitschka: What do you think about today’s music industry?
Andy Velo: My only quote for this, the music business will never be able to argue with butts in seats
and drinks in hands at live shows. You get that part right, you’re set.
Lamitschka: If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it
Andy Velo: Radio. Radio is so stuck on their playlists featuring mainly major label acts, it’s near
impossible for young artists to break. If I could change one thing it’s that if someone at radio
believes in a track, they play it, rather than being stuck to regulations of their parent corporate
Lamitschka: Are you doing anything to take music beyond its current borders or are you happy
where it is?
Andy Velo: We will be giving away the next radio single on the tops of Jim Beam bottles. Visit
www.andyvelo.com for more details.
Lamitschka: What was your big break that got you into the music business?
Andy Velo: There have been several big shows with big acts (Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Jason Aldean, etc.) but my answer would be lots of sweat and learning how to handle stress. Hard work and living out a dream that I’ve had in my head since I was a kid. I’m not one to believe in breaks, I believe that you make your chances guided by the doors your faith opens up. Every opportunity is one more that you can build off of. I even think that if you are sitting at the top of the charts you still have “breaks” to go. This business is just like any other.
Lamitschka: What drives you?
Andy Velo: I’ve said performing but to be practical, I just love what I do. In addition, what I do now
in my business goals leads to my dreams of having a family and being that provider.
Lamitschka: What’s unique about you that will differentiate you from other artists?
Andy Velo: I just feel like I see my business through the eyes of a business rather than just creative. It is about product, that’s where the creative lives, but from there you have to cultivate that product
and get it out there. That’s where a keen sense of figuring out this business puzzle comes in.
Lamitschka: Many music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have your
own website and what will fans find there?
Andy Velo: absolutely.
Lamitschka: Fans are always hungry for good road stories. Do you have one you can share with us
(come on don’t be shy)?
Andy Velo: Navarre, FL we were playing as part of a college spring break tour. The bus got stuck in
sand, that was eventful.
Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de )

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