IWantAltitude Chats Inspiration & Instruments!
IWantAltitude is the alter ego of a girl named Andie, an Australian singer-songwriter with a unique voice and a big message.
We chatted recently with Andie regarding her history with music and how she got to where she is today!
Andie's father is a singer and pianist, and he urged Andie to start piano lessons when she was just 6.
"I have never really started taking singing seriously, but I have always been known as 'that girl that sings,'" she said.
Andie has now been playing the piano for 10 years. She is also a guitarist, and has been playing for more than 5 years. She also taught herself to play the ukulele 4 years ago, and plays a bit of the bass guitar, banjo, and mandolin. Now, she's learning to play the harmonica.
"My song writing process is very sporadic," Andie said. "I probably produce a whole new finished song once every couple of months, often with about 3 or 4 other ideas in the making."
Sometimes, the songs come to her in a matter of 20 minutes. Other times, the process can take months.
"I also have songs that I wrote half of more than a year ago, and I come back to muck around with the song, and finish it off," she said.
She usually doesn't plan to write a song. Instead, the songs come to her organically.
Musically, Andie is inspired by the musicians with great lyrics and inspiring guitar techniques, or just an all around amazing sound.
"Some of my favourites are Keaton Henson, Laura Marling, Orla Gartland, Arctic Monkeys, Stevie Wonder, Passenger, Lior, Lewis Watson, Allen Stone, James Blake, Emily and the Woods, Rae Morris, Lianne la Havas, Kimbra, Rachel Sermanni, The Lumineers and of COURSE Mumford and Sons, just to name a few," she said. "I listen to a really wide range of music."
In fact, she would love to someday collaborate with Mumford and Sons.
Andie decided to record her first video during a power blackout.
"It was a simply whimsical thought on a lazy evening," she explained, "and I had nothing other to do than to write a song. So I did."
She decided to share it with the world, posting it under the name "IWantAltitude." Today, it's the name she's known by thanks to her brilliant original songs and innovative covers.
"I like to cover popular songs and put my own spin on them, because that way, people get to hear a song they like through someone else's interpretation," she said. "Sometimes I choose songs that are really popular in that moment, but I also like to cover songs that many people may not have heard of, so that I can share them with my followers."
When she covers pop tracks, she learns the basics of the song, but changes up the rhythm or the tempo of the song. Sometimes she slows it down, jazzes it up, or turns chords into a fingerpicking pattern.
Taking a risk and turning a popular song into something different is a huge factor in Andie's musical appeal.
She suggests that other artists also take risks by being original.
"Do what you like. Don't let anyone tell you what to do, but by all means, be open to constructive criticism," she said.
She also insisted that musicians be true to themselves, only playing and writing what they like, and not catering to an audience.
"If you don't like what you are doing, then its not fair to expect anybody else to," she said. "Be proud of your work, and if you really love it, then keep it up."
Next, Andie plans to record some HD videos with her close friend Nick, who is an excellent editor. She wants to cover a few songs including "Thriller" by Michael Jackson, as well as record a few original songs!
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