“I grew up singing all my life—kind of classical stuff. My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved around a lot. I was in the Nebraska Children’s Choir, I was in the Colorado Springs Children’s Choir, and then once I got to college I started playing guitar and writing songs.
My style is kind of like folk-soul-R&B, I guess you could say—those three styles smushed together. It’s not really any one of them.
I don’t want to just stick to playing quote-unquote ‘New Orleans music’ or straight jazz. I want to put my style on music I like or a song that I think would sound cool done a different way. Usually I write lyrics before music, but there are times where I do both together. Sometimes I sit down with a riff and write words to it. Every song is different. Sometimes somebody will say a phrase, and I’ll turn it into a song, whereas sometimes it’s something I’ve gone through. A lot of times it’s easier to write about it than talk about it.
In terms of my covers, I might hear something on YouTube or on the radio and think it would sound good done in my style. I take suggestions sometimes, too, from people who come to all the shows and say that this or that would sound good with my voice.
Sometimes it’s just—we’re joking around about some song and then we’re like, ‘Well, we might as well cover this.’ I started playing the mash-up of all the pop songs as a joke, but so many people liked it, I just kept it going and added more songs as we went along. Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Drake, Rihanna, Fetty Wap and ’N Sync are some of the artists…
When I first moved here, I was street performing. I started getting gigs after two months, which was nice. I’ve been living here two years as of last January. I was playing in Seattle for about five-and-a-half years before that. The two cities are kind of similar, but I think… there’s more culture here. And you get to meet more people. Everybody is so ready to get involved musically with people they don’t know. If they see you with an instrument they’re like, ‘Hey, do you wanna come sit in with us?’ Or, ‘Hey we’re having a party, everyone’s bringing their instrument, come by and play something.’ It’s very inclusive.
I’m coming out with two albums soon. One’s gonna be acoustic, one’s gonna be with the full band. The current lineup is me, Matt Gibson, Fox Capone, David Ginger and Colin Provensal. There are going to be some songs on both of the albums, but they’ll have a very different feel.”
Andre Lovett plays the Apple Barrel twice a week: Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. with drummer Colin Provensal and Mondays at 10:30 p.m. with the five-piece band.