Spotlight Artist: Andre Blue

ARORI CLAY-BUCKNER

ARORI CLAY-BUCKNER

 

JESSICA COWLE

Hailing in all the way from Bloomfield, Connecticut, aspiring artist Andre Blue came to Manhattanville to pursue his artistic career. This self-designed, Creative Technology Major, is a hybrid of music, digital media and arts courses meant to fully immerse him in his passions.

In the spirit of Manhattanville’s newest student-produced mix tape, “We Own the ‘Ville,” I sat down with Blue, and he openly discussed his goals, aspirations, experiences and performances.

Blue became interested in music at an early age. He was raised listening to gospel and 90’s R&B, with artists like Mary J. Blige and Charlie Wilson. He joined church choir when he was six years old and began to write gospel songs of his own, in hopes of performing them in church one day.

Blue found inspiration from Usher and Kanye West as he was growing up, explaining that he respects the freedom that Kanye has, which has become the de facto motive for his career. He also looks up to Jimi Hendrix, drawn in by Hendrix’s messages expressed through his music. Blue stated that “Hendrix was unapologetically him,” which is something that Blue admires deeply. At the end of the day, Blue aspires to be his own artist, taking bits and pieces of artistic muse from other artists, and embody the individualistic freedom of his role models.

Although he loved music growing up, he stated, “It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that I really considered making music as something I could potentially do with my life.”

Since that decision in high school, Blue has not stopped making music. Blue a ended a Magnet High School, which relied heavily on global international studies. Blue had the opportunity to visit China during his sophomore year. His trip influenced his music career thanks to his experience immersed in such a diverse culture.

During his freshman year of college, Blue received his first vocal coaching and marks it as a crucial point of growth in his career. Voice coach Ron Capone taught him proper singing techniques and had him sing Italian operas, which was not something he had previously trained for.

Blue preformed at various venues and grew accustomed to what is called the “DIY scene,” referring to pop-up venues, characterized by their very small and intimate settings. He believes that the energy between the audience and the performer can be created and transferred.

He explained that it is more difficult to form this connection on a larger stage, where the audience is merely left to look up at the stage. As a member of the “Bluejack & The Sauce Boyz” group,
he enjoys working in a band rather than being a solo artist, due to his love for the music and cohesive relationships between different components that come together to create a uniquely specific sound.

When it comes to selling his music and getting it out into the eld, he prefers SoundCloud over actually selling his music through other distribution channels. He feels that creating the music is more than a commission, and that simply sharing his music is like sharing his smile to the world.

“It’s a very personal thing, I sort of treat it like a diary. I don’t expect all artists to believe the way I do. I actually encourage creators to know and respect their worth.But to me, there’s a certain power in independence and maintaining ownership of your creations,” said Blue.

Blue stated that he wants to be valued enough to make money through touring, endorsements, and merchandise. If things went his way, he would never make his supporters pay for his art.

Looking forward, Blue plans to spend his days working on as many creative opportunities as possible. When asked what he would like to do, he stated, “I would love to be somewhere where I can do something creative, I love art and I can do something huge in this advancement in society. Artists don’t get as much credit as they deserve, they push their own agenda to affect society through art.”

Blue doesn’t have any definite plans for future music production, but if anything, he wants to spread positivity and smiles. Today, Blue is working with his Jazzy, R&B-esque, Hip-Hop collaborative, “Bluejack & The Sauce Boyz.” They are working towards networking with different artists to get their music out into the world. Since September, Blue has performed numerous gigs and he loves meeting different artists along the way. Blue is also working on a short lm for his Digital Media Production class. It follows a girl trying to make it in the music industry, which should be available by the end of the semester.

This semester, you can see Blue perform at “Battle of the Bands,” where he will compete for a spot in the Quad Jam set list. Blue is also featured in “Welcome to the ‘Ville,” which is available on Sound Cloud now.

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