Musician Andrew Yearwood Jr can play the bass guitar, piano and violin. However, it’s the bass guitar that’s his instrument of choice.
The 23-year-old told Bajan Vibes that he has been playing guitar since his teen years.
“I started playing the bass guitar when I was in secondary school, around the age of 14/15 years old. My dad Andrew is also a musician, and he had a guitar sitting around at home. Out of curiosity and sheer interest, I took it up and started fiddling around with it.”
He added: “I am self-taught, but my dad would have given me pointers sometimes. I also play the piano and the violin, but rest assured I will try my hand at any instrument I can get my hands on! But bass guitar has always been my favourite! There is just something about holding down the foundation of the band that always caught my attention.”
The former student of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Secondary School and Combermere holds a degree in Music from the Barbados Community College (BCC).
Andrew admits he has a love for all types of music, but if he had to choose, his preference would be soca. He is inspired by both local and international musicians.
“I am influenced by some local musicians such as Nicholas Brancker, Damien Neblett and my dad to name a few, as well as some international bass players such as Justin Raines and Marcus Miller to name a few.”
The guitar and keyboard player has performed on many stages including: Bequia Music Festival, St Kitts Music Festival, Soca on the Hill and Hennessy Artistry. But it is his time with the island’s leading band krosfyah that he is proud of most.
“My major musical accomplishment to date would definitely be being privileged enough to travel to many parts of the world to represent Barbados and Barbadian music. Being a part of the Edwin Yearwood and krosfyah band has provided me with such opportunities, and I consider myself blessed to be able to do that!”
Not only does he play with krosfyah but he is also a part of The Element Band which backs entertainer MarzVille. “My involvement with The Element Band came through a phone call I received one afternoon from the current drummer and a good friend of mine. He informed me that a local artiste (MarzVille) was looking to put together a live band to back him for live performances. I loved the idea and stated my interest and we got started right away.”
He explained: “Krosfyah was similar; I received a phone call informing me that one of the current keyboardists was migrating and I was asked if I would be available to audition. After going through the necessary audition process, I was selected to be the new keyboardist for the band.”
Andrew is serious about his music and intends to make it his sole career. He has big plans for the future. “I would love to make a living doing what I love, playing music! That is my biggest goal. Open my own music studio and private music school and ultimately just do what I love for the rest of my life. A wise man once said: ‘If you enjoy what you do, you will never work a day in your life.’”
The guitarist believes that much more can be done to ensure the survival and success of the local music industry. “I think more investments can be made into the local music/arts industry. There are so many talented young musicians in Barbados who are unable to express themselves simply because there is no platform for them to do so. I think the We Gatherin’ initiative this year was a great way to address that and to allow a platform for many of these upcoming artistes. However, due to unforeseen circumstances that had to be put on hold.”
But while authorities have a role to play, Andrew is advising those who are interested in a career in the arts to just do it.
“Go for it! Everyone may not always be on your side and you may be discouraged but in the end, making a career out of what you love to do is the best feeling and like I said earlier, if you enjoy it, it won’t feel like work!”
If not music, his second career choice would have been mechanics. Andrew admits that he loves working on, fixing and driving cars.
To unwind, the musician takes random drives around the island while listening to music or he parks at the beach and listens to the waves.
He said: “I also enjoy playing/watching any sports, but cricket is my all-time favourite sport. I also enjoy watching motorsports and doing a little bit of video editing when I have the time. I am also a ‘self-proclaimed nerd’ and will spend countless hours on the Internet grasping at any opportunity I can to learn something new!”
Andrew confessed that despite his love for performing, he actually hates attention and the spotlight and would prefer to perform from the background.
For him, family matters most. Andrew said: “My parents, Andrew and Mona Yearwood, and my brother, Aaron Yearwood, mean the most to me. I believe that I got my musical talents from God and my parents (mostly my dad, no offense mum) and I try my hardest to make them proud in everything I do!” (IMC)