Ever noticed how many of the great female R&B and soul singers of the past three decades have first names beginning with A? There’s Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox, Amy Winehouse, and Adele, not to mention Aaliyah and Alicia Keys. Don’t be surprised if the name Andria Simone joins this illustrious A team in the near future. This 24 year-old singer-songwriter was born and raised in Toronto, but a colorfully adventurous life to date has helped her develop both as an artist and a self-confident young woman ready to take on the world. After all, how many aspiring soul singers have studying poker in the Ukraine on their resume? More conventionally, Andria has also studied flute, piano and voice, and her love of writing was established at an early age. “I’ve always enjoyed writing and poetry and getting my feelings out on paper,” she explains. Simone has long had a love for a wide range of musical genres, from heavy metal to dubstep, but has recently found herself a happy creative home in the world of soul and R&B. “I’d love to go back in a time machine to the ’50s and ’60s and dance to that live music,” she declares. “I prefer the real raw sound of the voice, not the AutoTune sounds of today.” Given the raw power, passion and precision of Simone’s voice, it’s a shock to learn she was self-conscious about her voice, even all through high school. A turning point came during the year she spent in the Ukraine at age 19. “All I had with me there was an Amy Winehouse and a Michael Buble CD,” she reminisces. “I mimicked every song on the Amy record, and then I thought the fact I could mimic this singer was showing me that maybe I should be pursuing this. When I came home, I told everybody I was a singer!” Andria’s big career break came when her music reached the perceptive ears of veteran Toronto record producer/songwriter Greg Kavanagh, and his songwriting comrade Demetri James. JUNO Award-winner Kavanagh has worked on platinum-selling albums and with such artists as BKS, Michael Burgess and Wendy Lands, while JUNO-nominated songwriter James scored hit singles as a member of Brattt Pack and has extensive experience in music retail and a major record label.
Andria Simone and Those Guys – Proud of Me
The Drake Underground, November 20, 2013, Andria Simone vocals, Anthony Brancati keys, Mark Wilson bass, Dave Kirby guitar, Tasha Potter vocals, Chloe Creavalle vocals and George Nikolov drums.
Andria Simone and Those Guys – Proud of Me Lyrics: