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At only twenty two, Newcastle born and raised, singer/songwriter Andrew Cushin has achieved what many young, solo artists can only dream of. He has been backed and supported by some of the most prolific song writers and poets in guitar music, including Noel Gallagher and Peter Doherty.

After hearing an early demo of the track ‘Where’s My Family’s Gone’, Noel Gallagher offered to produce and perform on it. Andrew also signed to Doherty’s ‘Strap Originals‘ last year, a label described as ‘forged with love’.

Andrew’s songs tell a range of stories from personal battle to those of young men who face issues related to identity, belonging, and mental health. His sound has developed from solo, acoustic artist to a powerful, dynamic live band. 

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Andrew has today released his debut EP ‘You Don’t Belong’ alongside the phenomenal new single ‘Runaway’ I spoke to him earlier this week… 

Let’s start with the meaning behind the title? As a debut EP is that an important decision?

I wouldn’t think too much into the title of the EP, ‘You Don’t Belong’ was the first single to be released under Strap Originals and the first from my debut EP. I suppose all the titles are about escapism, ‘You Don’t Belong’, ‘Runaway’, ‘Catch Me If You Can’. I suppose title wise they are about escaping somewhere, this wasn’t done intentionally, however.

Where did you write it and where did the inspiration come from?

I wanted to challenge myself. I became a little obsessed and influenced by the Noel Gallagher story of Oasis needing a single. So he picked up the guitar and wrote ‘Supersonic’. I purposely left a spot free on the EP and said to my manager on the phone “Whatever I write within the next hour, that’s what we’re using” the song turned out to be ‘Runaway’, I think it’s great.

 

‘Catch Me If You Can’ off the EP packs a punch, it’s got a real attitude to it. Can you tell me a little about the track?

It’s just a Blues riff that for a long time really didn’t work. I wasn’t intending on even putting it on the EP at first. The backing vocals and war drums make this record for me, it’s a great track to play live!

If you could sum up the overall feel of the EP, how would you describe it?

It’s definitely a slight change in direction from what I’ve done previous. I’d say the first 2 tracks pack ALOT of energy. ‘Catch Me If You Can’ is a marcher and ‘Runaway’ is a little more of what I’m known for, melodic acoustic playing with a stripped back vocal and big chorus.

How much input do you have creatively with the videos? Is that something that’s important to you as an artist?

I’ll start by saying I despise everything about videos. That being said I’ll always get asked what I think we should do for a video, my reply is always, Do what you want, just don’t make me look shit.

In 2021 you signed to Strap Originals, on which the EP is released, it’s a bit late but nether the less, congratulations! I’m extremely happy for you to have such a great team behind you, how is it all going? Is it a different vibe now you have a label, has it took some of the pressure off?

There’s never any pressure, I’m just one of the lads playing music and enjoying myself. The day I feel the pressure is the day I walk away, I’m enjoying this whole journey immensely. We could’ve released an EP or even an album last year but I asked myself what’s the point? So much music gets lost today because people release things too early, I wanted to attain a bit of a fan base first. The album is planned however and we should start working on that by the end of year. 

I see that you’ve been covering some Brit-Pop classics on your Instagram. Two of my absolute personal favs from Pulp and Oasis (check them out, links below). So, thinking of those two massively influential bands, who would you say has been the biggest influence for you in music, firstly, someone established and secondly someone who’s young, current and smashing it just like yourself!?

Someone established would have to be Noel Gallagher, having been fortunate enough to work with him on ‘Where’s My Family Gone’ I can tell you now he’s a true professional, so much advice and so much to learn, a great bloke. Someone current, I’d be inclined to say Sam Fender but he’s very much established himself now so if we’re talking about someone that will 100% go big big time in the next 12 month, I’d say Jamie Webster. Another lad I’ve had the privilege of learning from, a mega talent with a huge future. 

On that note you’ve supported some of the biggest names in music, Noel Gallagher, Carl Barat… So when Andrew Cushin is hitting them arenas who’s coming on tour?

Me mother. There’d be fucking hell to pay if she never came along. Support wise I’d love to take The Clause lads with me to a few shows, maybe jump on a few shows with them down the road as well. Great lads with top tunes.

At the end of March you announced a full UK and Ireland tour hitting some of the best venues including my home town of Sheffield at The Leadmill. How excited are you for the tour and where are you looking forward to playing the most? (We all know its Sheffield Andrew, don’t even try to lie haha.)

Well, I’d be lying if it wasn’t my home town show.. I’m the youngest Geordie to headline the O2 Academy, soon to be named the NX. It’s going to be an honour to walk out to my city. Greatest feeling in the world.

Did you hear the news about The Leadmill been sold? What are your thoughts on these icon places disappearing?

It’s horrendous, without these venues the independent music scene will die. It’s great to see local musicians come out in support! Something needs to drastically change, you can’t expect to see the next Sam Fender, Fontaine’s DC, Declan McKenna without these venues. It’s where everyone sets their musical foundation, it really is the beginning of the road for everyone.

You seem to be on the road a lot looking at your socials, and after covid I don’t think anyone is complaining are they! is it a chance for you to write? Does it get tiring?

Like I say I love it, I’m so grateful to be able to play music as a profession now that the waiting around doesn’t bother me. It’s better than waking up at 6am and going to graft!

I saw you at Leeds festival last year, great set, how’s this summer shaping up festival wise?

It’s looking canny aye! Kendal Calling, Y Not, Truck Fest, Hardwick Hall, Bingley Weekender… the list goes on! Also a few festivals abroad which will be amazing!

I know how passionate you are in your work and you’ve a massive fanbase who clearly adore you. As a fan of music, artists and bands myself I know it goes a long way when they take time to chat to their fans. So if you could say something to yours, what would be the message?

You’s are all beltas! If it wasn’t for you lot I’d be down a dark old path! Music has effectively saved and changed my life, this is only down to you lot! the people who listen and support me. Big love 💙

When can we expect the debut album, or is that under wraps for now?

2023 or VERY latest early 24.

Last but not least, give me three words that sum up your 2022 vibes!

Mags, tabs, kebabs x

Stream the new EP and single ‘Runaway’ on Andrew’s Spotify below. 


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RACHEL BROWN

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