Just before the release of her debut album ‘Lady Like’, Ingrid Andress reveals more about herself and her songs’ stories in an intimate interview with Atwood Magazine.
When singer-songwriter Ingrid Andress first came up with the story behind her hit single, “More Hearts Than Mine,” she wasn’t expecting it to top the Country Radio charts or to launch her onto the Billboard Hot 100. She certainly wasn’t expecting the song to make history as the only debut from a solo-female to break the Country Airplay Top 20 chart in 2019. She was simply just wondering what it would be like to bring home the person she was dating and introduce them to her family over the holidays, but what it turned into was one of the first songs that address the way a breakup can impact more hearts than just two. It turned into a very real portrait of the things you risk when you allow yourself to love someone, and it turned into Andress’ biggest hit to date, pushing her bold and truthful storytelling to the forefront of music platforms for the world to hear.
Originally from Colorado and having planted her own self-made roots in the heart of music city – Nashville, Tennessee – Andress has proven herself time and time again a voice worthy of its own spotlight in the music world. After working and writing with major artists like Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX, FLETCHER, and Alicia Keys, Andress will be taking her musical journey on the road by also performing on tour with country music superstars like Dan + Shay, Thomas Rhett, and Tim McGraw, but not before the release of her highly-anticipated debut album, Lady Like (March 27, 2020).
‘Lady Like’ is a combination of letting you know who I am, and just real storytelling and emotion.
Incapable of being labeled and put into a box, Lady Like is a record that sonically bounces off traditional country music, but has the potential to land literally anywhere it feels like.
From heartbreak songs to empowering ballads, Andress’ songwriting and incomparable voice make a force to be reckoned with, and if you’ve never heard of her, her music, or her story before now, Lady Like will be the perfect gateway into learning more about her artistry.
It’s an intimate look inside the heart of a songwriter who’s ready to tell stories in the most honest way that she can. Atwood Magazine was thrilled to to speak with Ingrid Andress about her upcoming debut album!
Listen: ‘Lady Like’ – Ingrid Andress
:: A CONVERSATION WITH INGRID ANDRESS ::
Atwood Magazine: Your first album Lady Like is coming out on March 27th! Are you excited about it?
Ingrid Andress: I am! I mean, I wrote some of the songs on the album, like three years ago, so it’s going to be great to finally put them out into the world because I love every single song that is on it.
I just wanna say the record is really beautiful and a lot of the songs on it really touched me and a lot of your songwriting I think is what we need right now, and I think you're bringing something really fresh, especially, to country radio these days, so I just wanted to say thank you.
Ingrid: Oh my god, of course! Thank you for listening to it. I’m glad that it resonates with you.
Do you have anything you're hoping that your fans or your listens or just audiences, in general, might take away from your record as a whole?
Ingrid: I mean, it’s very emotional … so I feel like I just would hope that people would want to get in touch with their emotions, and even get to know me a little bit since it’s my first album. I feel like it’s a combination of letting you know who I am and how I feel, and then also just real storytelling and emotion because I feel like that’s why I love music. It’s because of the stories, and so I just hope that people can find something to relate to.
Your single that's been doing amazing on the radio and charts right now, ''More Hearts Than Mine,'' - for me personally, it was like the first song I've heard ever that addresses how a meaningful breakup can affect more than one person. Do you want to talk about that story and how you came to writing that song?
Ingrid: Yeah, well the idea came to me – I think it was around the holidays – where I had to make a decision of like, “Okay, do I want to bring this person I’m dating to meet my family?” because I feel like that’s when everybody kind of has to come to terms with it. It’s like Thanksgiving, Christmas, like what is the deal? So, yeah, the title of it came to me during that inner dialogue in my head, and at first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write because like you said, I hadn’t really heard a song that addresses it, and I thought, “Oh well, maybe that’s for a reason,” but then I was like, “This is such a real feeling that I’m feeling right now and I need to write about it.”
Watch: “More Hearts Than Mine” – Ingrid Andress
I agree, yeah. Well, you did it spectacularly and in ways that people are obviously relating to considering how good it's doing in the general public and people are loving it so it's great. I wanted to ask you - You have several songs on this major-label debut album of yours, but you took the song ''Lady Like,'' and you chose that as the title for your album. Do you want to talk about why you went with that as the title?
Ingrid: Yeah, I feel like it really encapsulates who I am as a person and an artist and what I stand for, and with it being a debut album, I thought that that song really showed, like if you don’t know who I am, you’ll know who I am after listening to that song. I just think it’s a message that needs to be heard right now, just with everything that’s happening as far as like, women in country and what that means. I think it just brings the conversation up a little further, to hopefully empower people, men and women, to be themselves and not have to apologize for it or feel like they need to put themselves in that spot in the way we’ve done for so long.
Do you want to reveal some of the musical or artistic influences you've had growing up? I know you've been a songwriter for a really long time. This is nothing that's new to you, but you're just now breaking out onto the scene, so do you want to let people know like who or what inspires you?
Ingrid: I draw from a lot of different aspirations. I really listened to pretty much every genre growing up, but you know, I loved and still love the Dixie Chicks. I love their personality and how it shows in their lyrics, and just their music in general. I also love John Denver. His music really spoke to me when I was younger and now. I love that he kind of transcended genres as well and was a singer-songwriter but also could tell good stories in his songs. I mean, Coldplay was a big influence on me as well, as far as, like, their spacey, vibey kind of production. I love that space that they have so I feel like it’s just a combo of a bunch of different vibes put together.
I totally get all those vibes from your album right now. I can see a little bit of Dixie Chicks and everything like that in your songs, and I know you're doing really well with country audiences, but I see you also like transcending genre too because you've written for a lot of pop singers so do you have a spot where you think your music falls?
Ingrid: Um … I feel like some of it is drawn from classic, traditional country influences so I feel like there are a few songs for the avid country listener, but then there are some that really then, sonically, as far as like, you’re not really sure what genre it is, but to me, that is almost intentional because I feel like limiting creativity to a genre is not why I got into music. I feel like I just wanted to express myself the way I was hearing songs in my head and because I was listening to so many different types of music – I just used country as like the foundation as far as like, lyrically, but I feel like it just is what it is. It’s kind of country, and like, kind of something else.
I definitely agree. I mean as long as you're telling the story the way you feel it, it doesn't really matter where it falls, and you do that really well.
Ingrid: Yes. Thank you!
The song ''Both'' is one of my favorite songs on the record. One of my favorite things about it is that you paint this contrast with your lyrics like, 'You can hate me or love me, but you can't do both,' and I just wanted to ask you what the songwriting process is like for you. Because you create these beautiful pictures in such a short amount of space with your lyrics so I just wanted to ask you, how do you go about writing?
Ingrid: They all have to come from a real place, otherwise it’s hard to get that specific so I feel like I only write about things that either I have gone through or like, my friends have gone through because it’s a lot easier to write a song about a situation that you have thought about and have been feeling. So to me, it always starts personal, and you add colors based on your experience or based on somebody else’s, that part is like painting a really real picture because you’re just trying to express the feelings that you have.
“Both” was inspired by my friend getting Bumble for the first time, and being really frustrated about it, and I feel like you don’t really get to hear that. Like there are so many love songs that are so black and white, like either you’re in love or you’re not, or you’re with somebody or not, but I feel like it doesn’t really reflect where we’re at as a society right now. So I just feel like I wanted to fill that gap for all of us in our twenties who have no idea what we’re doing!
Watch: “Both” – Ingrid Andress
You were gonna hit the road super soon with Dan + Shay and The Band CAMINO... I know the tour's been postponed with everything going on, but are you still excited to one day get to perform these songs live?
Ingrid: Yeah! Actually, we got to perform three songs together before it got postponed so I feel like I got to have a little taste of what a sold-out arena feels like, and it was really awesome. I feel like I’m now really – It was such a tease! I’m so ready to get back at it, but I’m glad I got to experience a little bit of it just to see what it will be like going forward and how to mentally prepare for that. It was really fun.
I love that. I know there are a lot of live music fans just waiting to see you guys get back out there soon. Do you have a preference between songwriting, recording, or performing? Do the three different things hit you in different ways? Is there one you like to do more?
Ingrid: That’s a great question. I really don’t know! I feel like I go through phases where it’s like, “I need to perform right now otherwise I’m gonna die!” or it’ll switch to songwriting. Like I haven’t written a song in forever. So they all bounce off of each other because each one of them brings a different energy to me, and I get something out of doing each of those things. So it really depends on what’s happening in my life or, you know, what the day brings. So like today – being quarantined, I can write songs and not perform and can get something out of that so it’s really all just like a balance!
Do you have a favorite song on the record that you want to talk about?
Ingrid: Haha! I feel like that’s like picking a favorite child! Really, they all just have their own lives and their own meaningful story to them. I loved co-producing all of them. I feel like they all turned out exactly the way I was hearing them in my head. So it’s really – I can’t pick a favorite! I put so much time into each one of them making them the way I wanted. So I feel like I love all the stories and all the production and that’s why there are eight songs on it because I didn’t want there to be any filler songs.
Don’t be afraid of the journey because that’s really what will make you the musician that you are.
Before I let you go, do you have any advice for any young girls who are writing or playing guitar out there and listening to your music and wanting to do what you do?
Ingrid: Yeah, I feel like a lot of people are gonna tell you or that the things you’re doing aren’t right. It’s a hard business to break into, but just know that the harder you grind and the longer you work at it, the better you get as a musician and it is always worth it to put in the time. That way, when you do break-in, you already have all the tools you need to keep going. Don’t be afraid of the journey because that’s really what will make you the musician that you are.
Watch: “Life of the Party” – Ingrid Andress
With her voice as bold and true as her achingly honest songs, Ingrid Andress’ Lady Like is an album of power all on its own, taking heartbreak, breaking barriers, and turning them into shiny, beautiful works of music and magic – the brightest form of escapism that the world really needs today.
Lady Like is available for purchasing and streaming on all music platforms as of March 27, 2020! Catch Ingrid Andress on tour with Dan + Shay this coming Fall 2020!
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📸 © Jess Williams
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