Collette Andrea
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Collette Andrea

| INDIE

| INDIE
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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Jan
23
Collette Andrea @ The Old Nick

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jan
22
Collette Andrea @ The Old Nick

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Music

Press


Inside Independent: Collette Andrea is a Talent That Needs to be Heard.




“She writes songs like Joni Mitchell, has the most unique guitar playing style, and has a voice that instantly leaves me paralyzed” says Ben Hannah, who is one of the three owners at Hannah•Kin Studio. Meeting Collette Andrea for the first time was exciting, the music was great and I really wanted to see the person (and people) behind it all. When I was contacted by Jordan Mackinnon (another piece of the puzzle at Hannah•Kin Studio) and asked if I would like to come by the studio and sit in on one of the sessions, I was ecstatic, we arranged a date and I eagerly waited. I arrived at the studio and was greeted by Kyle Hannah (the final piece at Hannah•Kin Studio). I followed him down the stairs and entered one of the most kicked back studios I had ever seen. Ben was setting up the session with Jordan, and Kyle showed me to my seat which was one of two big (and extremely comfortable) chairs that seemed to be made for a recording studio, there was a turntable between them and a large stack of vinyl with the likes of The Band, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, and The Velvet Underground. About ten minutes later Collette arrived at the studio and I couldn’t wait to see how the session went. “Hey, I’m Collette” she said with a shy smile as she sat in the other chair and pulled out her guitar and started to tune it, I couldn’t help but notice the positive energy in the room, everyone was so comfortable with everything. One of the guys called over “hear what she does before you start the questions” and then they shouted out different songs they thought she should play for me. As she began strumming the chords to her song “Drive On” I instantly knew it was going to be a powerful song. She hadn’t even begun to sing and emotion already ran through the performance. Then she sang and I think I saw the universe align as shivers ran down my spine. The song to me was about an epic let down, someone she loved who had failed her or didn’t really turn out to be who she thought they were. After hearing her just do something out of the blue like that, I knew what everyone else saw in her; talent is an understatement and the emotion that she pours into her songs and performances could make the toughest of the tough feel it. We began to talk about her album and how everything had lead up to where she is now, and I was blown away to discover that things had really only started moving. “I first came here in late August to check the place out and maybe record a 3 song demo” she says, she had previously been friends with Jordan, and knew Ben a little bit from high school. “When Jordan invited me over I had no idea it would turn into this” as she looks back at where it all began. Since late August “the team” as they call it has produced a full studio album, 4 music videos (shot in impossible locations), and there is no plan on slowing down. The guys at Hannah•Kin Studio keep themselves and Collette busy at all times, whether its scheduling shows, recording songs, or shooting videos, there is never a day where something isn’t being done to help build her as an artist. As we talked more, I got to learn Collette’s story. Her introduction to performing music started at age 12 as a bass player “I played bass before anything, but then me and a few friends formed a band and we needed a guitar player…. so I became the guitarist” she says. After learning that she started out with bass (and had no intention of ever playing guitar she says) I could definitely hear it in her playing, she does a lot of finger picking, “Well it’s usually just me and my guitar so if I want to hold everything down I have to finger pick so I can keep a rhythm and play melodies at the same time”. At this point in time the fella’s came over and said we were going to track a new song Collette Andrea had prepared called “Down by the River.” This is one of the songs (and there are about 4) that were played on an electric guitar, she was using Ben’s Les Paul Custom which sounded amazing in her hands. It begins with a beautiful finger picked melody and then, by the chorus, gets thrown into a groovy strut blues kind of swing where she jumps around with some nice 7th and 9th chords. Of course if you ask her about song construction she’ll tell you it just “comes to her.” I had been inside sessions before, but never had I seen a song recorded quicker, one take for the guitar and one take for the vocals. just like that, it’s ready to be mixed. “She’s an engineers dream,” Ben says “…. and a producers, and a managers…you see where I’m going with this” he jokes. After that little while of recording we all gathered and went out to the back deck to continue talking. I wanted to learn about her creative process, where her songs come from, and how they’re made, “That’s tough to really pinpoint” she says, “but usually it will begin with a progression or idea on the guitar long before the lyrics are made” she continues to explain and then we hit something really interesting “I know if a song is going to workout pretty quickly, if I have a progression down, then usually the lyrics will just come out of no where, but if nothing is coming to me at the time I’ll scrap it and move on to the next idea.” I read an excerpt from one of her songs “you’re the one I can’t hide from you’re the one that makes me fail, can’t you see I can’t help you because you’ve gone stale” I wanted to know if her lyrical content was fantasy or reality as song writers can really work which ever way they like. “It’s all real, the content of my songs come from my emotions, I use past and present experiences, I need to relate to my lyrics, I can’t just write a song about nothing it’s almost like writing a public diary” she says. It wasn’t long after that we went back down into the studio and a 4 piece jam session began, Ben and Collette were playing guitar, Jordan was on the drums, and Kyle was playing piano, they did an awesome rendition of The Band’s classic song The Weight. They would take turns singing the verses and all come together in the chorus belting out “Take a load off Fannie, Take a load for free” it was clear to me that a love of music is what brought all these folks together, and there passion and personalities is what kept the wagon moving, I spent a whole day there and I didn’t see anything but smiles on there faces the whole time. So what’s next I asked “Well the guys keep me pretty busy, we’ve been shooting a new music video every week” I had seen the first video on YouTube which was shot in the studio for her song “When the Sun Goes Down”.

“This video is for Broken Coast, I was really in shock when we got to the set” she says laughing. “First we went to the thirtieth floor into a penthouse, then we went up the stairs in the penthouse and came out on the roof of the building, and if that wasn’t high enough we had to climb a ladder and sneak onto the service roof, we were 32 stories up on the roof of a sky scraper down town Toronto” she says with excitement and I was rather shocked to hear about the set. “That was quite a night” Kyle says, “We drove down to Toronto at 8 pm, and we didn’t make it home until 5:30 am the following morning, that’s what it’s all about” he says laughing. The video is set to be release October. 12th and the shooting date for her next song “Hey Jack” is scheduled for the 13th. “I can’t tell you the set of this one, you’ll have to wait and see, it definitely fits the song”she says. I hadn’t heard the song but they played it for me and I loved it, it was completely different from her other stuff, I guess ‘folkie’ would be the word, like it was written by Woody Guthrie, and to sweeten the pot the recording sounded like it was being played through an old transistor radio, “Ribbon mics and EQ’s, that’s how you get that sound” Ben says smirking. After hearing the song Collette Andrea told me that it was the first song she had ever written, at the age of 14, again just cementing the fact that she is a natural talent. For the next while we just sat in the studio listening to the album that they had made together in a months time, and I was floored, why isn’t this on everyone’s iPod? Why don’t I hear this on the radio? I felt like real music was back, that the likes of Joni Mitchell and Janis Joplin would rise up again (in the form of Collette Andrea). “I am adamant about using my music and not relying on looks or a sex sells approach, which I find is the popular thing to do these days, girls wearing next to nothing and singing about nothing. I mean when was the last time you saw someone like a Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, or Bessie Smith? That was real, relying on nothing but great music, and talent” she says passionately. That was a breath of fresh air to hear from a young female up and comer I think most female singers trying to make it these days are trying to be that bubble gum pop star, but not her, this girl is the real deal. With hard hitting progressions and a voice that can’t even be explained in words because its so good (and original) Collette Andrea pretty much sums up what indie rock is. “The sky is the limit” says Jordan Mackinnon “We all see it, we all love working together, and we’re keeping our foot on the accelerator nothing can derail us.” That sums up my trip to Hannah•Kin Studio to see one of the most talented people that I have ever heard in my life. But that’s what Inside Independent is about. It’s going to be hard to continue to write about independent music, because I think I just met the Queen. A talent that NEEDS to be heard. - Inside Independent/hannahkin blog


Discography

Released singles:
Broken Coast (video)
When the Sun Goes Down (video)
Stale

Streaming from ReverbNation

Current LP "Luna" is in the mix/master stages.

Photos

Bio

Collette Andrea, who was born Collette Falk in a small town in Ontario, has been honing her creative talents since the age of 12. She began with bass guitar (obvious when you hear her sense of rhythm), but due to the need of a guitarist in her first band she put down the four string and picked up the six string. Once acoustic guitar came into the picture, Collette found herself creating catchy chord progressions and one-of-a-kind melodies. She began to dabble with singing around the age of 17, and has since developed a beautiful, powerful, euphoric voice. Her music is hard to pin point, like Florence and the Machine, Alice in Chains, and Joni Mitchell all mashed up into a single (mostly acoustic) style. Collette's voice is like no other and her guitar style is unique and creative to say the least. Influences include but are not limited to: Joni Mitchell, Feist, Janis Joplin, Alice in chains, Bessie Smith, Sublime, Cat Power, Devendrah Banhart, Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, and the Smashing Pumpkins.