Andie Case, a 23 year old singer and songwriter from Seattle, is taking YouTube by storm with no signs of slowing down. Andie and her bandmates post awesome covers of popular songs, as well as original music. Their YouTube channel has over 1 million subscribers, and a couple of their viral videos have earned over 25 million views. Andie currently lives with her bandmates, and together they produce music, post YouTube videos, and perform live – as their full-time job. Andie is currently happily single with no time for dating. She is proving that living the dream is an achievable goal, and that hard work most certainly pays off. Read on for our exclusive interview with Andie, to get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to be a YouTube star and what she owes her success to:
How did you get your start singing?
AC: I started singing at a young age. Growing up, singing alone in my room was my escape and my happy place. It was much needed “me” time considering there were 7 kids in my family. In my room, I’d sing to myself for hours and I loved it. In the 5th grade, I found out there was going to be a talent show. I had never sang in public before, but I received such a positive reaction when I performed that it just reinforced how much I loved to sing and I knew I wanted to sing as much as possible! At 11 years old, I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life.
What inspired you to start your own YouTube channel?
AC: Through family friends, I met a guitarist named Ajay. I told him that I sing, we totally clicked, and we started doing shows together. Some fans mistakenly think we’re together but he’s not my boyfriend – I currently do not have a boyfriend. We just created awesome music – and still do. Eventually, we decided we wanted to reach a bigger audience with our music and we knew that YouTube was the best avenue to do that.
So who’s in your band now?
Did you expect your YouTube channel to get so popular? What would you attribute your success to?
AC: We definitely didn’t expect it. It’s super surreal. We started 3 years ago with 10 subscribers, and today we’re coming up on 1 million. Everyone told us that the odds of succeeding on YouTube were slim since it’s so over-saturated with covers. We decided to make each song our own and keep our style authentic. We’d do covers of our favourite songs, especially songs that we had an emotional connection to – and we’d really strip the song down to just acoustic guitar and vocals. I think our fans appreciate that our videos are genuine and that we stay true to ourselves. We keep our videos simple and relatable, like singing in the car. Who doesn’t love singing in the car? In a way, that simplicity allows us to stay true to the root of the song.
Can you talk about the viral video that was a game-changer for you guys?
AC: Yes! 2 years ago, we posted a singing-in-the-car video of Rixton’s “Me And My Broken Heart”. Someone posted it on their Facebook page and it just went viral. My social media blew up and at the time, I was working at my day job as a barista, and I had to turn off my notifications because my phone was blowing up like crazy. I had never experienced a response like that before, it was really awesome.
What are some other achievements you’re proudest of so far?
AC: A year after our viral video, we posted another car cover – this time it was Jason Derulo’s “Want To Want Me.” That one blew up even bigger, we got that cover on iTunes – and it ended up charting! It got on iTune’s top 100 and top 5 in the UK, which was huge for us.
We’ve also been lucky enough to get to go on a 20 city tour; I was able to quit my barista job and work in music full time which is a huge accomplishment, and we produced our first debut single “Coming Around” which is an original song and it’s available on iTunes. We even posted an acoustic version of it on our YouTube channel.
It’s also been an incredible achievement to be able to connect with my fans on an emotional level. I’ve had fans reach out to me to let me know how emotional they got watching one of my videos, saying that it helped them during a hard time – and achieving connections like that makes everything worthwhile.
What’s it like to be your own boss and work in music full time?
AC: This was the year I quit my day job and became my own boss, and it’s a dream come true. I knew that I wanted to do this full time, but I didn’t know how I was going to make it happen. This was the dream, so I knew I wasn’t going to give up until it was a reality. To be able to make a living doing what I love now is unreal. Nobody wants to wake up Monday morning and be pissed off about having to go to work. It’s not fun to go to a job you don’t love. For me, it never feels like I’m going to work. It doesn’t feel like a job when you love what you do and you have fun doing it!
You’re an extraordinarily talented singer. Have you ever tried out for The Voice or American Idol?
AC: I tried out for American Idol when I was 17, but the producers told me I was way too shy and insinuated that I could never be a performer for that reason. I proved them wrong and overcame my shyness going forward, mostly by forcing myself out of my comfort zone even if I felt awkward or scared. The producers telling me that I was too shy was a huge eye-opener and it pushed me to gain confidence – so now I’m obnoxious as sh*t. I never tried out again – not for American Idol or The Voice or anything – and I don’t think I will. I don’t like the idea of getting a hand-out, to be honest. I’m into the concept of working hard, hustling and knowing that we got us where we are by ourselves.
Have you encountered any significant struggles along your path to success?
AC: Some people assume that young women such as myself have no idea what they want, and try to push young artists in certain directions. I’ve been pushed into something that was way too pop for my style, and I wasn’t happy. Just being pushed to conform in general has been a struggle because LA can be very pop and I hate heels, I hate dresses – I’m not a girly-girl. I like dressing like a dude, while still maintaining a form of sexuality that I’m comfortable with. That’s been a struggle, too, because I feel confident and sexy when my cleavage is out, but then I’ll get negative comments about it. I want to dress how I want to dress, I want my love for rock to show through in my music, and I want to be different – but it can be hard. Every struggle has made me stronger and given me more of a reason to keep going, though. There will be hundreds of doors slammed in my face, but I know I have to keep hustling. My mom told me that singing is what I need to do, and she told me to never give up. That always stuck with me.
Where do you get your inspiration from when you write your own songs?
AC: It’s almost always personal experiences that inspire me to write a song. “Coming Around” is a song that a lot of women can relate to. Many women have been in a relationship where they know the guy is just coming around for the sex, and the guy’s trying to convince her it’s something more instead of admitting what their relationship is, but she’s not falling for it. The song is written in the female perspective, which is that she knows he’s in it for the sex – but she likes sex too, and she doesn’t care if that’s all it is. It’s empowering.
Do you have a song writing ritual or a particular environment that helps you write?
AC: If I suddenly feel inspired, I usually need to lock myself in a room and be completely alone so that I can start writing. Sometimes something specific will make me feel happy, sad or angry and I write down what I’m feeling. Then I’ll take the song I started to my bandmates and we’ll work on it some more together and finish writing it.
What advice would you give aspiring singers wanting to start their own YouTube channel?
AC: Just start doing it. Don’t over-think it, just make sure that it’s what you want to do and that it’s your genuine passion. Your followers on YouTube will see you growing and getting better, and they’ll be part of that journey with you, which is awesome.
Let’s get to know you a little better. What are three things you love and three things you hate that might surprise people?
AC: Well, I happen to love metal! Nothing gets me more pumped than listening to some Manson or Korn, especially if I’m working out! I love cleaning because if I’m ever stressed or I need to give my brain a break, cleaning helps me wind down. I also love spontaneous trips in the middle of the night. Whether it’s just to get food or a full-blown road trip, I like keeping things somewhat exciting!
I hate sleeping. I feel like the days are never long enough, and I never want them to end. I could do so much more if I didn’t have to sleep! I hate routines or doing the same thing over and over. I need to change things up or else I get bored really easily. I hate pickles, marshmallows and bubblegum with a deep burning passion!
If you’re not singing or writing lyrics, what do you like to do?
AC: I love spending time with my family and close friends. I’m becoming a huge sports fan, so watching sports center or going to games is awesome. Going to concerts is an absolute must!
What are your goals – where do you want to be in 5 years?
AC: I want to keep doing what I’m doing, and I want to keep writing music as well as performing. This is what makes me happy, and I want to accomplish as much as possible. I’d love to be able to say I performed a duet with Steven Tyler – working with a great artist would be amazing. But as long as I’m still working in music and connecting with people through it, I’ll be happy.
What should your fans be watching for this summer?
AC: I want my fans to keep a lookout for my new EP that will be out late this summer. I’m really excited to finally be sharing new original music and letting everyone get to know a little more about who I am. Until then they can check out my new single “Coming Around” on iTunes!