An Interview With the Singer-Songwriter GEOFFREY ANDREWS On His Latest Holiday Album, “A Christmas To Remember”
Posted On 19 Nov 2018
There’s something about Christmas that unleashes a torrent of emotions. Joy, pain, loneliness, laughter and hope swirl through the season like snowflakes on a busy street with holiday music providing the soundtrack. The most beloved Christmas albums that surface year after year are the ones that reflect the essence of the season. Acclaimed vocalist Geoffrey Andrews captures the magic of Christmas with his new collection A Christmas To Remember.
“As I was recording certain songs, I would think about Christmas as a child and about being with family. Opening gifts obviously was a big deal when I was a kid,” he recalls with a smile. “Singing those songs really brought back a lot of memories.”
Recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios with the famed London Symphony Orchestra, A Christmas To Remember includes some of the holiday season’s most beloved classics. Mixing the sacred and the celebratory, Andrews put his distinctive vocal stamp on such gems as “O Holy Night,” “What Child is This,” “Silent Night,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” It also includes the poignant original “Candle in the Window,” penned by Andrews.
“I initially wrote that song as a sad love song,” Andrews shares, “But the more I wrote, the more I thought this could apply to other situations such as loved ones who can’t make it home for Christmas or even someone who might be deployed overseas during Christmas. It could be different situations. So it started as a sad love song, but I think it’s really more universal. People will hear their own situation reflected in the lyric.”
Andrews has a gift for touching people with his soaring, emotional vocals. Influenced heavily by such icons as Josh Groban, Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, his phrasing and the emotion in his voice make listening to any song a memorable experience. In 2013, he caught the attention of Sirius XM radio with his cover of “White Christmas,” which they continue to support and include in rotation. His follow up single, “You Don’t Stand Alone,” peaked at #24 on the Friday Morning Quarterback Chart and his single, “I’ll Still Love You,” hit #21 on the FMQB Top 40/AC Chart.
Listeners are drawn to the warmth and power in his vocals. And if it sounds as though he’s an old soul, it’s because the Texas native has overcome much to get to where he is today. “I feel very blessed. I don’t know what God has planned for me in the future, but I do believe that getting to this point is something of a miracle,” says Andrews, who was born with severe, bilateral clubfoot deformity. “Doctors told my parents that, at best, I would walk clumsily, but I would never be able to run. To have defied those odds is a God thing.”
As if club foot deformity and the surgery to correct it wasn’t challenging enough, Andrews was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome when he was eight years old. Because of the Tourette’s, he dealt with bullying at school, yet he persevered. “I still have Tourette’s but it’s not a big issue anymore,” he says. “I still deal with it here and there, but that’s part of life for me. I don’t let it slow me down though. It’s a miraculous thing that I’ve gotten this far and I’m excited to see what God has in store for the future.”
This winter, he looks forward to hitting the road with Selah and sharing music from his new Christmas collection. Andrews loves performing and has toured in the past with the likes of Lauren Daigle, Point of Grace, For King & Country and other major acts. “It’s my favorite thing,” says Andrews, who currently resides in Nashville when not on the road. “Before I go on stage I’m always nervous. But other artists have told me that it is a good thing to be a little nervous. Because if you’re not nervous, it could mean you don’t care enough about your performance. When I get out on stage, it’s an energizing experience and those nerves just kind of calm themselves. It’s one of those moments where I feel like I’m in my element so it’s fun for me to be on stage performing live.”
Among the highlights on the album are Andrews’ thoughtful, measured rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and his lush, romantic rendering of the Carpenters’ classic “Merry Christmas Darling,” which he recorded live on the floor with the London Symphony. And of course, no holiday collection by a classical vocalist would be complete without them tackling “O Holy Night.” “It’s one of my favorite Christmas songs,” he enthuses. “I love the song. I love the dynamics of it, so it was my must have song on this album. I know that a lot of artists have done ‘O Holy Night’ a million times on their albums, but it’s one of my favorites. It holds special significance to me because of my faith. This is my go-to song.”
Learn more about Geoffrey Andrews in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you now? Is there music playing in the background?
Thank you for giving me this opportunity. We just released a Christmas album this year that was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, I’m touring with Selah for the month of December on their Christmas tour, and yes, I can almost hear music playing in the background.
Now that we are on the back end of the year, how do you think 2018 has treated you and your career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it? Or did you already reach it?
2018 has been a bit of a transition time for me. I joined Be Music Entertainment earlier this year. They have been phenomenal in helping get things moving again, they are an awesome group to be with. My goal this year was to release the Christmas album. Yes, I have met that goal. And I’m very grateful to my team for making it happen.
Growing up, how important was music to you? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
I started singing just as a hobby when I was 5 years old. I would get involved in some community theater in my hometown, but at the time I wasn’t seeing a career at a young age. I was 21 years old when I saw Phantom of the Opera for the first time. It was then that I decided I wanted to sing professionally. It was an easy decision to make, because I felt this was my career calling.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
The biggest surprise was having the opportunity to record in London, UK at Abbey Road, with The London Symphony Orchestra. I remember my producers telling me about it, and I was excited. I believe my biggest and welcomed challenge has been getting ready for road tours, such as this upcoming tour with Selah. Rehearsals can be tiring, but it’s worth putting in the effort to make myself better at what I do.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today?
I’m from Lubbock, TX. Great artists such as Buddy Holly, Mac Davis, and others have come from that region. I’ve had some great vocal teachers from Lubbock, and I believe they influenced my style choice a little and helped me get ready for this industry. I live in Nashville now and have been influenced by the degree of difficulty in the business. I realize it’s tough, but it keeps me striving to do my best.
Let’s talk about your new Christmas album, “A Christmas To Remember.” What was it like recording it at the legendary Abbey Road Studios with the London Symphony Orchestra? How did that happen? Was that your plan to record there all along?
I was talking to my producers about the options of where to record. They said there was an opportunity to go to Abbey Road and record with The London Symphony Orchestra. Although this wasn’t the original plan, my mind was made up. We were going to the UK. It honestly was a dream come true to be there. To stand where legends like Paul McCartney and The Beatles had been, and to hear the symphony that recorded great scores for movies such as Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and other great projects was beyond amazing.
How did you go about picking the classic songs to sing on this collection? Was it hard to make those cuts?
Just to get in a Christmas mood, my producers and I met in the mountains of Pagosa Springs, CO on a very snowy weekend. We all brought our top Christmas song lists, and began to pick and choose what we wanted to see on the album. I only had one song that I decided must be on the album, and that was “O Holy Night.” Recording the songs wasn’t always easy. There were some days that my allergies wouldn’t allow me to record. But, it was easy to record on other days.
Have you always enjoyed the holidays and the music that comes along with it? Can you recall a favorite Christmas memory?
Yes, I’ve always enjoyed this time of year, especially the music. My favorite memories of Christmas have been when I’m with my family. There’s nothing more gratifying to me at this time of year than being with them and sharing the happiness we get during the Christmas season.
How would you say that this new album shows how you have grown as a singer since your debut album, “Via Voce”?
Via Voce was a great stepping stone for me. It taught me how to be committed in getting ready to record an album. Having recorded the new album with The LSO at Abbey Road, I realize that the caliber of the project demands a lot of energy and effort from me. I had to make that decision to step up my effort for this album. I believe I have grown more in recording this new album. And with training, I believe my voice has become stronger as well.
Since the beginning of music, people have turned to it for support and as an escape from their realities. How do you want your music received and appreciated?
I want people to be touched by my music, that they will experience the emotion that occurs with each song. I hope my music provides the type of escape they are looking for. More importantly, I hope my music can provide some type of resolution to someone’s realities and give them relief.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
It can be a challenge at times, I’m grateful to have some help with it. My social media team helps to keep me up to date on what to post and when. My favorite way to connect with fans is to make posts that engage with them. Asking a question or putting a video that they’ll enjoy on my social media platforms has been a great way to communicate with them. I’ve really enjoyed hearing and engaging with my fans.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
I’ve been inspired by a variety of artists, from 80’s bands to classical celebrities. But I’m continually inspired by Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Adele, and Michael Buble. To me, it would be an honor to work with any of these artists if the opportunity presented itself.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
I would have to go with the piano. I’m still learning to play it, but there’s something about a piano that can be used just about anywhere and for just about any occasion.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
Well, with everything going on, I haven’t been able to get hooked on a TV show at this time. I would love to see my music featured in a movie, but it’s hard to pick a favorite.
Do you have any tour dates you would like to tell our readers about? How will you be spending your winter?
I’ll be with Selah for their Christmas tour from November 28th to December 16th. I encourage readers to visit our Facebook pages for tour dates and details.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music? I’d like to know more about how you want your music to be timeless?
I’m inspired to pursue my career by the music of other artists, I hope fans are touched and inspired to pursue whatever they hope to achieve in life when they hear my music. I believe my music is timeless in quality, but I hope it will be a timeless inspiration to many people over the years.