Listen to the Live Interview January 26: Episode #418: A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax :

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW STEVE ANDREWS
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

I feel that the music business has…
become much more difficult to succeed in because of the vast number of artists worldwide who are competing to find that deal that will propel them into the big-time. Also, there are a lot less places to play live music and showcase your talents, at least that is the case in the UK where many venues have come and gone. The Internet and digital media have changed things in a very big way with the increase of people downloading music rather than buying singles and albums as physical CDs or vinyl. But at the same time the Internet, digital music and the social media have provided a new way of marketing music if you know what you are doing. It is possible to be very successful with selling your music and finding fans by using the Internet.

For example, Leah McHenry is able to earn a lot of money without the old traditional route of getting signed to a label and touring. Leah does not tour, is not signed to a big label, and is a mother who looks after her kids at home, but she found the key to success in marketing herself online. She shows it can be done. Talent is as essential today as it ever was but marketing online is key to making a name for yourself and your music. I am hoping this interview and exposure here will be a key to my success. In the past, I think that what my songs have missed out on is the right marketing and publicity.

Ever Yours…
is a love song that talks about the mystery and magic of attraction and the joy of surrendering to being in love. Great love songs are as popular today as they ever were. Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” is a great recent example. “Ever Yours” is an old song of mine that has been brought up to date with the help of Jayce Lewis who produced it at his Northstone Studios. Many years back I used to work for Incredible String Band founder Robin Williamson as his secretary, and I remember Robin liked an very early version of “Ever Yours.”I got to perform it unplugged at his wedding party in Insole Court in Cardiff, after he married Bina Williamson. Far more recently I performed “Ever Yours” as one of the songs I did for the Britain’s Got Talent auditions in Birmingham and I am now through to the next stage before the judges, at a date to be confirmed later this month (January) or in February. .

New Music…
In the months ahead I will be creating a new album of my songs, provisional title – “Through The Years” – with the help of Jayce Lewis, whom I have already mentioned. There will be more love songs, and also songs like “Living Book” that includes the lines: “I am a living book, read me, so are you, take a look and I’ll read you too.” I have a lot of songs that were recorded on home studios or at cheap studios years ago and I want to rework some of these songs with Jayce’s help. In 2017, I want to give my music the real push it needs. I am confident in my ability as a singer-songwriter and want to give my music a new sound and a modern professional production. I have had a lot of success as a musician in the past, having performed at festivals as well-known as Glastonbury and the Green Man, I have had my music used in TV shows and been rave-reviewed in the NME at one point, but despite all that I have still never found that elusive “big break.” I am hoping this year I will find it and that my new album will be a key to opening the door.

I have been living in Portugal…
for the past two years but am back in Cardiff, Wales, at present. It looks like I will be back and for between the two countries this year. In Portugal I have been really impressed with the open-air festivals, in particular the Rock in Rio Lisboa (Lisbon) and the Nos Primavera Sound festival in Porto. I saw amazing concerts by Bruce Springsteen, as well as The Hollywood Vampires at Rock in Rio in Lisbon and I was there for the legendary Brian Wilson, as well as PJ Harvey in Porto at Nos Primavera Sound. Festivals in Portugal are well-organised and do not suffer the insane queues, traffic jams, and terrible weather that can spoil UK events. Speaking of Portugal, in relation to my own music, I am delighted to see that I am number 2 in the Singer-songwriter charts for Lisbon on Reverb Nation.

In Wales,
I recommend the Green Man Festival, which I have appeared at twice as a performer and as an MC, and I had two tracks on the Green Man Festival album. It is an event with a real mixture of acts, including singer-songwriters, folk-rock and indie bands. It is a festival that has been growing but is not too big like Glastonbury yet.

Clwb Ifor Bach, commonly known as “the Welsh Club”, is an essential part of the live music scene in Cardiff with a mixture of local acts as well as touring national and international bands and artists appearing there. It has been a big part of my music career on a local level, having played on its stages on many occasions and been to some fantastic gigs. Many artists who went on to becoming big stars have played at Clwb Ifor Bach in their early years. Cerys Matthews and the Stereophonics are two examples that spring to mind.

I would like to mention the Wyrd Wonder nights at Chapter Arts Centre. Marc Roberts, who has his own “psychedelic Gothic folk” band called Zeuk, has been organising these events that bring a mixture of folk, acoustic, underground, alternative and indie artists, as well as poets, to the Chapter theatre stage. Marc has had acts as different from one another as Robin and Bina Williamson and Andi Sex Gang headline Wyrd Wonder shows.


If I could meet one artist and spend five minutes with him…
it would be Neil Young. I would want to thank him for all his amazing work and for doing what he does. I was first inspired to become a singer-songwriter myself by listening to the works of other great writers and Neil is one such writer I have remained faithful to as a fan, all the way through his varied career. I can identify with his lyrics, and I love his acoustic folk and country-style music as much as his grungy rock. There is so much emotion that comes over in Neil’s songs and performances. This is why he is such a famous singer-songwriter and rock guitarist. I also totally admire him for the way he uses his platform as a world-famous rock star to speak out on political and environmental issues in his albums, such as “Living With War,” “The Monsanto Years” and “Peace Trail.”

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