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The best kept secret in music



“A sound freshly unsealed from a time capsule”

3 1/2 Stars (Rolling Stone Magazine - June 04)

“Beautiful music about hard times and ugly circumstances - for artists, there’s no nobler quest. In the 1970’s, it was a goal achieved with regularity by such artists as Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and Bob Marley. Now it’s Andreus’ turn.”

Greg Kot (Chicago Tribune)

“Andreus makes a startlingly powerful debut with his 12-track album of sharp, socially aware lyricism paired with a genre-hopping sound that blends elements of classic soul and cutting edge hip-hop. In a Prince, or D’Angelo, like fashion, Andreus plays most of the instruments himself and his musical talents are more than matched by his vocal skills”

Jim DeRogatis (Chicago Sun Times -3 Stars)

“Andreus, is awesome! This album should be on everybody’s radio. Am I missing something here? It’s rare these days that I get an album where every cut is tight! This album is definitely on of the best produced, written, performed works this year”.

Shirly Hayes, PD/Suite 62 – XM Satellite Radio

“Andreus’ sound takes listeners back to a simpler yet more provocative time in music- a time when songs meant something”

BILLBOARD Magazine (“Critic’s Choice”)

“An album for the 21st century that’s evolved out of black music’s rich and diverse heritage, and it stands as one of the strongest debut sets you’ll ever hear”

Bill Buckley (Blues and Soul Magazine, UK- 5/ 5 rating)

“A Must Have!!!!”

KING Magazine (Jan 04) - various writers


LP: Street Troubadour


Feeling a bit camera shy


Andreus--a.k.a. Deandrias Abdullah, a native of the South Side ghetto--has already gained European acclaim for his hip-hop-soul symphony, "Street Troubadour" (Dialogue Group). It was released overseas as essentially a home demo in 2002, then domestically re-released with a handful of new tracks and spiffier production. It merges inner-city blues laments about drugs, gangs and wayward youth with wah-wah guitars, keyboard funk and shimmering string orchestrations.

It's consciousness-raising art in many respects: musically, lyrically, spiritually. And it took Andreus most of his 27 years to get there. "Where would I be if I hadn't discovered music? I wouldn't be talking to you right now, that's for sure," Andreus says in an interview. "I was on the streets doing wrong. My mother was supportive, but she had to work and raise my two younger sisters, and she didn't have time to watch me every second of the day. I wouldn't be living now if it weren't for music. I ran with gangs, I got locked up a couple of times, I had a lot of stumbling blocks along the way. If the music hadn't gone over, I'd be a statistic."

Andreus' first musical love was hip-hop. "At age 7, hearing the first rap tunes coming out of the East, it took over the 'hood--it was like an A-Bomb that blew up our culture," says Andreus. "I started writing lyrics and battle-rhyming on the street corners. We were children of Vietnam veterans looking for some music to call our own, and this was it."

While devising rap lyrics, Andreus taught himself to write about the gritty reality around him. But he didn't see music as a way out of his wayward lifestyle until his mother remarried and moved the family to Evanston. There, he got into more trouble and was awaiting a bond hearing at a Cook County lockup when he began singing. A couple of his cellmates took notice. "These two older white guys were in there, real Charles Manson-type dudes with tattoos, and they were like, `What are you doing here, young blood? You've got a gift. With a voice like that you should be out there becoming the next Michael Jackson,'" Andreus recalls. "That really stuck with me. Be the next Michael Jackson? That was the real turning point. Nobody had told me anything like that before."

The young singer ended up in a recording studio before his 18th birthday, recording vocals on a local house record. The record didn't do much, but the experience dazzled him. Bit by bit Andreus began assembling his own home recording studio and taught himself to play various instruments--guitar, bass,keyboards. He struggled through most of the '90s, fatally obsessed with finding the correct formula for "making it." "I was watching videos, trying to emulate what was hot, obsessed with getting a deal," he says. "I did demo tapes, but I was struggling. It wasn't until about two years ago that I decided I am not going to keep trying to do what everyone else is doing. The music began to change, and the soul came back. I let me
be me."

Many of the songs on "Street Troubadour" were improvised in front of the microphone, Andreus pouring out a lifetime of observations about street hustlers, prostitutes, gang bangers and drug dealers. His songs were underpinned by subtle moralizing, a sense of having lived and learned about what young underprivileged ghetto denizens will do "For the Love of Money," as one song says.

"I'm not doing anything new," Andreus says. "I'm picking up where Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and people like that left off. This music was always there in my life, because my mother was a record connoisseur. I realized that this is music that could make a difference, because it made a difference in my life."

Though a social consciousness has never left popular music, it's taken a backseat lately to bling-bling odes about acquisition, wealth and sexual conquest. "Music is a cultural weapon," Andreus says. "It's about feelings and emotions, and politics and life. It's about what's going on. But I haven't listened to the radio in 15 years, because music isn't saying anything. Even hip-hop has been transformed into this pop illusion. But bling-bling is not what life is about. Not for the people I speak to and for--blacks, Latinos, Asians, underprivileged whites. I wanted to make a record that said, `This is what we're thinking. Listen to us.' The stories on this album aren't just my stories, but the stories of everyone who has ever lived in a ghetto."

For additional information please see website.