The North Carolina native is back to take you on a nostalgia-themed trip down memory lane.
In a world where music and artistic society are arguably burdened with the over-produced and hectic, North Carolina’s Andrew X has emerged as a maestro who can channel all the nostalgic goodness of eras past and make it work today.
Although some might believe that the golden age of modern music videos was during the early days of MTV, X’s work makes a hell of a case in support of that, with his latest music video, “Miracles,” poised to maintain the incredibly high standard he’s set for himself and serve as a reminder that sometimes vintage is better.
X believes that the visual language established in the 80s for music videos possesses an undeniable warmth, imagination, humor, innocence, and personality that can continue to captivate audiences today just as it did in the past. “Miracles,” directed by Luke Pilgrim and Brad Kennedy, is a delightful homage to those first-generation clips we saw ages ago that still inspire us.
Both a fresh new release and a teaser from his full-length album “Driving At Sunset,” “Miracles” is the culmination of X’s artistic ability and ethos, drawing on every bit of his nostalgia-tinged artistic tendencies and to give us a one of kind performance you won’t soon forget.
“Miracles” is a wild and hopeful ode to romance in times past. The story revolves around a man infatuated with an infomercial host. The host isn’t just a pretty face; she’s a young woman with her dreams mirroring the protagonist’s desire for something more.
In true 80s romantic comedy fashion, although it doesn’t initially look like our protagonists will end up together, a “Miracle,” primarily influenced by our heroine, provides us with the happy ending we so severely long for. Remaining faithful to the source material, the video is adorned with gorgeous 80s colors and lighting and shot with the same aesthetic Phil Collins or Steve Winwood might have used. For fans of an older school or vintage aesthetic, Andrew X’s “Miracle” definitely stands out as a must-watch.
Andrew X’s “Miracle” is a glorious, nostalgia-inducing three-minute journey which invites us to relive the golden age of music videos. Whenever you’re ready, tap in and stream Andrew X’s “Miracle,” available now on all major streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Andrew X! We loved “Miracles;” what a blast from the past! It hit all the warm nostalgia spots for us! We had to ask, what was the inspiration behind this song? What made you make it the centrepiece for your upcoming album “Driving At Sunset?”
Thanks for having me! I appreciate it! Well, many of my songs are stories of sorts. Mostly based on real-life experiences! Like Hollywood, by the time they make it to the big screen, or in my case, the big speaker, they have been stylized and crafted into art. With that being said, from the beginning, all of my songs are always driven by real feelings and passion. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The main reason I write a song is to convey a feeling and to hopefully evoke a reaction from the listener with their own feelings. I want to showcase songs that the listener can relate to on an emotional level. I know that I’m not the only one that has felt a certain way before or been in a particular situation before. I know that there have to be others out there that can say, “Yea, that happened to me too. I felt that way as well”. My songs, like most songs, are just a telling of the story of the human experience. Now, on with the story! When I was in my early 20s,
I met this girl at a show my band played. She came out of her way to make sure she introduced herself and that we met. I did my best to play it cool, but we instantly hit it off, and I was comfortable with her as if I had known her for years. My immediate reaction was, “I think this girl is interested in me.” The day we met, I had literally just come off of a breakup from a relationship a few days before, so I was a little unsure how to react when I pretty much immediately ran into this situation of meeting someone that I was so intrigued by. As I write this, sitting here right now, it just dawned on me that this is probably a big reason why this story went down the path it did! She probably felt I wasn’t interested or, at the very least, got some very mixed signals I was sending! Anyway, by the next time, we played that city, I ran into her again, and we kind of hit it off again. I was definitely interested in her, and I still thought she was interested in me, but I was never really sure. As I got to know her better,
I realized she was a beautiful person who was very kind, talented, and passionate. She deeply cared about others, and making the world a better place seemed to be where her focus was at. I found her to be very captivating. I had never met anyone like that before. Since I was never sure how she felt about me, and I didn’t want to mess up our friendship, I just never really made it a point to see what was really going on. We stayed friends for many years until life took us down different paths, and we drifted apart. The day I sat down and wrote “Miracles,” I didn’t have that situation on my mind. It was just another day when I picked up the guitar to play some music. The song began when I found this great little guitar riff that I liked. It is the one that is now in the dropout chorus. At the time, it was also in the intro and the turn after the first chorus. For some reason, the situation I described above came to mind at that moment, and I started fleshing out the first verse. “Since the first time we met, when you were wearing that blue dress” just rolled off my tongue. I can still remember when we first met. It is a vivid picture in my mind, and turning that into a lyric just seemed like a natural move.
After the first verse, I moved on to the chorus, where I focused on the idea of faith and miracles, which was my way of alluding to the core of who I felt this girl was and what she was really about. I always saw her as being a very faith-driven person who felt she had a calling to help others. She always believed she could make a difference in the world, and she worked hard to do so. She believed in miracles. After I completed the wording, phrasing, and melodies of the chorus, I moved on to the second verse, then the bridge, and finally the outro, and as they say, “The rest was history!” This song really wasn’t very challenging to write. It was just one of those songs that seemed like it wanted to exist.
I just had to go with the flow, write it down, and record it. I felt it was exceptional from the beginning. At first, I was worried it was maybe too “pop” sounding, but in the end, it felt just right to me. I chose this to be the first single from the album because I felt it was a strong song that a lot of people could relate to. I love how it starts with the keyboards. I love the feel and vibe of it. It really landed where I had in mind. I guess, sometimes, you just know. You can feel it. You can feel which songs are special. I felt that about this one.
So you’re dedicated to making a tremendous audio-visual experience for your listeners. What was your favorite part of bringing the video for “Miracles” to life, and how did you even decide what the music video would be?
Actually, Luke and Brad over at Sozo Bear Films had a very impressive storyboard presentation for me to see if the concept we used for “Miracles” before I was even able to really share some ideas I had for the video! I thought it was great and instantly felt I had made the right choice by reaching out to them in the first place. Before I spoke to them, I had a few very loosely put-together concept ideas in mind, but I quickly realized their concept was much more interesting as they told me about it! I believe in trusting the right people to do their job. I believe Luke dreamed the concept up. The ideas I had were more abstract or based on the song lyrics.
I like how his narrative storyline worked well with the song lyrics but brought an interesting concept along with it! I loved the bit about the tv shopping network! My favorite part about bringing the “Miracles” music video to life was working with the guys at Sozo Bear Films. They are a nice group of people who are passionate about what they do and work hard to make things excellent! I love it when I see people and organizations who are following a culture of excellence.
Those are the people and places that often do something special. Each member of the Sozo Bear Films team brought something different to the table. Luke Pilgrim, Brad Kennedy, and Ellis Treece are all a lot of fun and great at their job. I have known Luke since 2005, when were pretty much kids in bands. His old band Last November played many shows with my old band Hot Vegas. I would say at that time; he may have been 17 or 18. Even then, he did a great job writing and producing his own music and music videos! He is a very gifted person!
What’s your origin story? How did Andrew X come to be, and do you have any particular favorite music-related memories?
How far back do you want me to go? I’ll bypass my childhood of how I became a music fan and started playing guitar and skip forward to when I started pursuing a career in it. Back in the summer of 2003, I started a band named Hot Vegas. Within two weeks, we wrote ten songs, hit the studio, and recorded a full-length album we released called The Reverse Forward.
It was pretty raw and not recorded very well, but people reacted to it. We had a tiny label offer us a recording contract. We didn’t take it, but it encouraged us to keep pushing forward. In 2004, we recorded another full-length that we ended up not releasing until I finally released it back in the 2010s. We recorded what would often be referred to as The Reflection Sessions and later released as the Truth In Love album at an iconic Charlotte, NC studio called Reflection Sound Studios. R.E.M., Brand New, and some other cool acts had done albums there before. While recording, we actually ended up moving to Charlotte and lived in an apartment building next door that was owned by the guy who owned the studio! It wasn’t until 2005 that things really changed and started moving for us.
In early 2005, we booked our first tour and also recorded a six-song EP that we released titled “This One’s For Desire.” We played like 75 shows that year throughout the eastern United States. In December of 2005, we went into the studio with Matt Goldman, who produced my upcoming album Driving At Sunset and recorded the album Migration. This album opened many doors for the band. Also, at this point, our sound had matured and greatly changed from where we began. The songs were written much better, and it was our first professional recording. We released it in April of 2006, which changed so much for us. We had interest from both major and independent labels. We started getting requests from music supervisors who wanted to use our songs on nationally televised shows, and we started getting opening slots for nationally touring acts. It was a lot of fun, and it all happened so fast! When you are in the middle of it all, it is hard to really appreciate all the great things happening to you at the time.
You are so focused on what’s next that you don’t really soak it all in. It was in 2006 when the idea of “Andrew X” was really born. This is the first time I have ever told this story! I’ve always been a big fan of 80’s music and the artists who created it. At that time, I was a big fan of bands like U2, The Police, etc. One day I was thinking about Bono, Sting, and The Edge and how they all had stage names. I thought it was a bit odd they had those names, but at the same time, I found it interesting. It was like they were ‘80s WWF wrestlers or something who got to come up with their names. I liked the idea of it. I thought, “It would be fun to have a stage name, and I think it might help people remember me better.” At first, I didn’t tell anyone I was thinking about it, but in the back of my head, I was rolling ideas around. For some reason, one day, I was thinking about “St. Andrew’s Cross,” which you see on things like the Scottish flag, so I researched it a bit. Essentially, it is cross-shaped like an X. I thought to myself, “It’s like a symbol for my name.” I liked the idea, which is how the moniker “Andrew X” was born.
While I don’t explain this to people, in my mind, it is just my first name with the symbol beside it that represents my name. I first used “Andrew X” in the liner notes of the Migration album and whenever I was being interviewed. I thought people might initially make fun of me, but people seemed to like it. I was often told they remembered me because of that X! From a branding perspective, I’m not sure how good of a move it was. Andrew X sounds a bit like the name of a rapper or techno artist, but in my head, it was just my name with the symbol that represented it, and I liked it, so I stuck with it. In 2008,
Hot Vegas hit the studio with James Paul Wisner in Florida to do a new record. We did not release that record until 2010, under the band The Air Station. That name change was a bad business move! That album is called The Human Condition. Also, during 2008, I had been writing many acoustic guitar-based songs and decided to do a solo project. That was how Andrew X really started as a project. I released the double-disc Language Of Love album in 2009. And that is some version of the origin story of Andrew X, and Buzz Music got to cover it first! Surprisingly, I’ve never been asked about it before.
What or who was your biggest artistic inspiration growing up?
There were so many! It takes work to nail it down. Countless artists have influenced me over the years. There are so many that have made a huge impact on me. For the sake of entertainment, I’ll make a list of some of the more major ones that pop into my head.
Fleetwood Mac, Cat Stevens, Phil Collins, Bryan Adams, Tom Petty, Eddie Money, Travis, Michael Jackson, U2, Steve Winwood, 2Pac, Chaka Khan, Lionel Richie… there are so many that is not even the tip of the iceberg! I just stopped because the list would be too long! As crazy as this little list may seem, I can point you to specific elements in my music that these artists directly inspired!
For example, Michael Jackson’s song “Human Nature” and Phil Collins’ “One More Night” were two songs that heavily influenced the Andrew X song “We Are The Night,” which was on my 2015 release, Young Hearts. The song “Shoot For The Moon” on that record was heavily influenced by Lionel Richie’s “Dancing On The Ceiling.”
What’s next for Andrew X! Can we expect to hear more news about Driving At Sunset soon, and is there anything you want to tell your fans?
Quite a bit! Driving At Sunset includes ten studio recordings and will be released on September 20th, 2023! I have selected three “singles” I will promote throughout the summer. They are “Miracles,” “Where Are You Now,” and my personal favorite, “Whatever It Takes.”
Each week I will be dropping a significant piece of art. The first week will be the album version of the song. The following week I will release a lyric video, followed by the music video, then an alternate remix version called a Golden Hour version, and finally an acoustic version. This week I completed the “Miracles” rotation and released the acoustic version on Wednesday! If you are a fan of the song “Miracles,”
I would highly recommend you go check out the music video, lyric video, and the two alternate versions if you have not already. They are all on YouTube if you search for them. The audio versions are also on all streaming platforms, Spotify, Apple Music, etc. I’m proud of all these, and I think you will like them if you check them out! They all bring something different and special to the table.
I hope that the music I am putting out right now becomes part of the soundtrack to your summer and that years from now when you think back on the summer of 2023, you will think of these songs!