She recently performed on, ‘Later With Jools Holland’, is preparing for the release of her new album and has now shot the music video for her new single, ‘That’s Alright With Me.’ There’s no doubt that Andreya Triana has been extremely busy! We managed to have a quick catch up with her in-between her busy schedule…
You performed on, ‘Later with Jools Holland‘ on the 28th of April. What was it like being on such an amazing show amongst talented artists such as, Florence and the Machine and The Charlatans?
It was amazing! It was literally one of my biggest dreams come true. It was also a little scary. The nerves did set in and I was really petrified I was gunna skip the lyrics to my song right before we started filming, so that was pretty petrifying, but it was an incredible experience. I’m gunna remember it for the rest of my life.
How do you control your nerves? Do you have a method that you use?
The nerves vary from gig to gig and kinda depend on what’s going on. In general, I just make sure I have a corner, take myself off somewhere and listen to some music – that’s really important. I listen to music to get in the zone, shut everything else out and I also warm up – that helps! I just generally find once I start the gig the nerves just go, it’s more the run up to it that’s worse.
Your new album, ‘Giants’ is released on the 4th of May. You released your first album, ‘Lost Where I Belong’ in 2010. Is there any reason for this five year gap?
Basically, after the first album came out, I spent pretty much a year and a half/two years touring my album and touring with Bonobo. I was touring all over the world and then I just got to a point where I was like, ‘Right, now I need to sort of stop.’ I just spent my time working on my song writing really. I wrote about 70+ songs, I went to LA, I went to New York and I worked with lots of people. I just wanted to try and write the best that I could and really challenge myself, so that’s what I did until I got the songs that I loved and that took a little while. I think it’s great to have that time though.
You mentioned that you wrote 70+ songs for your new album. How did you manage to whittle it down to 12 tracks?!
I mean, it’s a tough one, but I think it’s the beauty of having time – time to listen to songs and time to write new ones. You just find what fits, y’know? You write something and then six months later you’re still really into it. It’s just getting other peoples’ feedback as well – my management, my label and everyone will kind of throw their ideas on the table. You just know, y’know? Sometimes you write something and it’s like, ‘This is the best thing ever!’ and then a week later you’re like, ‘No, it’s actually not so good.’ You just find the gems work their way to the top and they’ve just got a special thing about them.
Is it strange looking back at your first album now?
Yeah, it is actually. I look back and I feel like the first album was so innocent in a way. I’m like, ‘Gosh! I’m such a baby!’ I do feel like I’m in a very different place. I just keep trying to progress, learn, change and push myself. I never feel satisfied with what I’ve done – it’s important to keep moving forward.
You first album had a mixture of soul, jazz, blues and folk music. Do you think this album includes a similar mix?
Yeah I do, definitely. I feel like my musical tastes are so varied and my album just reflects that really. I’m really open. Personally, for me, I can never dictate where a tracks going to go, you’ve just got to be open to the process. So yeah, that’s definitely a similarity with my first album.
When you recorded your first album you didn’t have a lot of money and you were working as a sushi waitress. Was there ever a point where you wondered whether to give up on your music career?
Oh god, loads! It was quite a difficult and very stressful time. I remember just not being able to sleep for years because I didn’t know how I was going to pay my rent. I had many points where I was like, ‘What the hell am I doing?’, but I just carried on and during that time I really tried to focus a lot. I remember writing, ‘focus, belief’ and something else that I stuck on my wall, so that when I woke up it was the first thing that I saw, in order to keep me focused. I think its part of the journey of pursuing what you wanna do in life. It’s not always gunna be a bed of roses, so you’ve just got to keep going nonetheless!
How would you describe ‘Giants?’ How is it different to, ‘Lost Where I Belong?’
I feel like the first album is quite soft and quite mysterious in a way lyrically. I feel like ‘Giants’ is a lot bolder and a lot stronger. I really went to town on the harmonies and the backing vocals. I just feel like it’s a lot rawer than the first album really.
What’s your favourite track on the new album?
The track, ‘Giants’ is actually my favourite. That’s the first song that I wrote with Matt Hales, who produced the album. I just really love what it says lyrically. It talks about experiences that I’ve been through many times in my life. It’s just about having strength, standing tall, doing your own thing and being strong.
You worked with songwriters Paul O’Duffy and Dee Adam. What was it like working with them? What did they teach you?
Yeah, i’ve learnt a hell of a lot from both of them. Dee in particular – I wrote majority of my album with her and Paul is amazing – he wrote, ‘Wake Up Alone’ with Amy Winehouse. It’s unreal working with both of them. They’ve both done amazing things, but I guess they really encourage you to just push yourself – I think that’s the main thing. They create a space where it’s really supportive, but you can go that bit harder to make the hook that bit stronger. They were great.
You recently shot the music video for your new single from your album, ‘That’s Alright With Me’, which is released on the 25th of May. What inspired the new video? What’s it like?
A-har! Well, it’s very simple ideas, but very effective. It’s just a one shot, so there are no cuts. The song starts and the camera moves all the way round. I’m basically sat in a cage with glass – you can see crazy reflections! It’s more of a performance video, so it’s very emotive and it’s quite dark, but I really love it. It’s such a striking idea, so yeah, you’ll get to see it pretty soon actually, I think!
Yesterday you announced dates for your UK tour. Will you sing tracks from your new album as well as some tracks from your first album?
Yeah. It will be predominantly the new album, but they’ll definitely be some oldies in there for sure – without a doubt.
Where do you think your love of music comes from? Did you grow up in a musical family?
Yeah I did. I mean, it wasn’t the family that play all the instruments or anything, but everyone was always playing music. My mum was always singing at the top of her voice and so were my grandparents. It was a very openly creative household I guess. It’s just what I always loved really.
What made you decide to go into music as a career?
Yeah, I just thought, this is something that I really love, this is something that I really wanna share and I feel like I have to work as hard as I can, to do the best I can at this. I remember making a the decision when I lived in Brighton when I was doing all my crappy temp jobs. I called my mum one day and I was like, ‘Right mum, I’m gunna do music full-time and I threw out all of my old office clothes. I thought, if i’m gunna go for this, I can’t then be like, ‘Oh well, I haven’t got any work, I’m just gunna go work in an office.’ I really need to find ways to make it work. Since that day, I’ve done music full-time and that was 6/7 years ago now I think.
Your hard-work and determination certainly paid off! Is it true that you were the first woman to be signed with your label, ‘Ninja Tune?’
I think! Speech Debelle might have been on the books at that time, but she was on Big Dada, so I think I was! If not the first, one of the first!
If you weren’t a singer right now, what do you think you’d be doing?
I think it would definitely be in a creative industry. I’m really into style and fashion, so I’d probably really love to have my own clothing line or something!
Cool! Who’s your style icon?
Oh my god, Solange Knowles all the way! She kills it. Everything she does she just absolutely kills it.
Did you go to University and study music?
Yeah! I went to Leeds Met and did music technology. I can’t say I was a model student, it all went a bit over my head, but I was really active outside of university, so it was just getting work experience, having a band, doing shows, getting a website and booking shows. Being a Leeds student was great for that. There were so many opportunities. It’s a really supportive place to be in that respect, so I really just made the most of it. Leeds has been a very important part of my journey really.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to go into the music industry?
I just feel like the main thing is to just take responsibility for yourself and your career. I feel like it’s not the right way to go about it if you’re kind of thinking, ‘Oh I haven’t got a label, I haven’t got this.’ There’s so many facilities nowadays that you can use yourself. You can put your own record out; you don’t necessarily need a label. You can push your own shows, you don’t necessarily need x, y and z. Be really proactive, take responsibility and just work really hard… and be nice to be people!
You’re so busy at the moment, but what’s next for Andreya Triana?!
Yeah! I’m going to Paris tomorrow and next week I’m going to be playing in Rough Trade in London and one in Nottingham, so it’s all go! I’m open as well, I never know what’s going to happen and what’s going to come in, so we will see!
That sounds really exciting! Thank you for talking to me, I really appreciate it.
No problem, have a great day!
Thank you – enjoy Paris!
Will do! Take care, all the best.