For those of you who are not yet familiar with the name Gordon Andres, he is a Guyanese musician and song writer currently residing in New York. He is a recording artiste who recently released his first mixed tape, ‘My Time’ which has gone viral on the internet where downloads are also available.
Gordon is an individual who always fought for what he wanted. When asked what motivated him to be a musician, he replied “My struggles. Nothing was ever handed to me – I had to work for everything. Even at a young age I just knew I would have to work for everything.”
He describes his mother as the driving force behind him and says he owes his ambition to her past. Gordon noted that his mother gave birth to him when she was 19 years of age and he saw her struggle just to make ends meet as he was growing up. He loves his mother since, as he puts it, “we basically grew up together and her strength is my motivation”
Describing his childhood, he explained that it was a beautiful time, a serene environment that no New Yorker would ever understand. “Although it seemed gloomy and dark at times, I found comfort in simplicity growing up in Guyana. I remember swimming in Linden, picking fruits from trees, climbing trees was fun! Playing ‘Ketcha’, playing football and the bush cooking.”
He further explains that living in New York can be nothing like Guyana. “It was amazing times. The thing I love about Guyana is that it was so simple and so fun.” Gordon was focusing on the beautiful, simple life enjoyed in Guyana as compared to the busting city of New York where people just go by thinking about money and business. “Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that counts. Guyana gives me an appreciation for the simple things whereby in New York it’s just overwhelming and oversaturated.”
Gordon Andres began singing in church as the “nervous, shy little guy from Linden” he describes himself to be. His earliest memory he can recall of singing on a stage was when his teacher Claudette from Linden was auditioning at the McKenzie Sports Club Ground for the 1994 Mashramani Calypso Competition. He won his school title and was sent to Georgetown in the finals where he competed and won first place, he won the national title again in 1995 and in 1996 brought 2nd place although he was suffering from a sore throat. He never competed again because he left the country in November 1996.
However life changed when he stepped into the US. His mother was adamant that he should not sing. “She was like: ‘Get your education, everybody in the US wants to sing – that’s what everybody does, they act, they sing, they model. You need to be somebody in life, a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher – anything with an education.’”
However young Gordon was still active in music, he sung in his elementary school’s choir and continued in high school performing in talent shows.
“Music is what I really always wanted to do. I’m thankful to everyone who pushed me into that direction. I’m still on that journey and I will never stop until that journey is fulfilled.
“The future is unpredictable. Life is so unexpected, you can never pinpoint where you’ll be or what will happen,” he replied when he was asked if he had expected to be a recording artiste.
He never looked at it with too much expectation; he just knew that singing is all he wanted to do and “although it’s stressful and hard, I have a goal.” Gordon considers his present career to be a stepping stone and not much of an accomplishment.
When asked if he fears that time is running out on him, he said, “I don’t think music has an age. Music as a whole is emotions and interpretations.”
He emphasises that music will only live forever as long as it has essence. Gordon explains that if music is based on sex and materialism like what is portrayed by some artistes like Trey Songz, Madonna and Rihanna then surely it will die. He goes on further to say that music needs substance and essence – something that everyone can relate to.
Gordon Andres is stern in his decision that he will never transform himself or be an artiste who will have producers change him. When he was asked what makes him different, he said, “You have a decision on what you want to do in your life. Everyone has a choice; therefore you decide where you want your music to be.”
He describes music to be a compromising point where one does not have to submit to the industry or lose oneself; everything must maintain a complete balance. “If you let people force you to become something you’re not because of a lack of talent or insecurities to sustain yourself, then you’re going to fall apart.”
He emphasised that his music can relate to each soul, he describes his songs as positive and influential, and something everyone can relate to. His music focuses on storytelling and interpretation.
His biggest fear, is as he simply puts it: “Not being great, not being amazing. Even though failures, setbacks and rejections makes you stronger – I hate to fail, I despise failing.” When asked if there has ever been a time when he felt discouraged, he replied “Everyone has their insecurities and feels sometimes that you put in so much and you’re not seeing anything coming out of it.” He goes on to say that music is not about making it, but loving what you do and that itself is supposed to be motivation enough. “If you don’t love what you’re doing then you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons. Loving what you do takes away the negative feelings.”