Andrew Reed is a creative…a multi-dimensional one at that, known for different things to different people. As a songwriter, his works have been recorded by artists in the United States and abroad. He is also a principal of several entertainment and healthcare-related entities by virtue of a twist of fate in the music business.
His latest release, Delusions of Grandeur, is perhaps his best work to date. It includes songs ranging from rock to movie scores, with plenty of the acoustic-driven numbers which many people identify him with. Many of the arrangements are complex yet graceful, flowing and beaming with quality. The lyrics, as in Search for Significance, are philosophical and are what one music industry executive called “extremely cerebral.” The subject matter of Reed’s work is far beyond the traditional themes of love and lost love.
“I certainly write about relationships as they are powerful and inescapable drivers of the human condition. But I guess I am always searching for answers and insight. There is a broader universe of ideas that needs to be explored. Ideas are my love. Music is a platform for those ideas. I also have lived a pretty diverse life thus far, which provides the firsthand experience from which I normally write. Unfortunately, I have had more than my share of woes through chance and my own hand which comes out in overtones. I also have done lots of things that have worked. So without trying to be too self-absorbed, I write from the only perspective I can…my experience.”
Reed created an ambitious new record/publishing label, Artists International, and is building a state-of-the-art, mountaintop recording and media production facility near Asheville, NC. Artists International is a SESAC affiliate.
“I know from my experience what if feels like to have someone control your art...and it’s not good. Artists International is a creative refuge for art. We are interested in the purest pursuit of human expression regardless of race, age or anything else. We seek to promote and make commercially viable artistic works in a way that is mutually beneficial for the artist and AI, bringing business balance to art.”
In the late 80s, Reed had been noticed and signed an exclusive, ironclad, six-year, six album recording and management contract with a prominent New York/Nashville management group.
“After I signed, I had a falling out with my management about the songs I wanted to record, as well as with the fact that they owned my soul and anything I could ever imagine doing artistically. I walked away and they basically thought I would cave-in, but I didn’t. To me they were changing my songs so that I felt like I was selling dog food or some artificial product. It burst my world as to what I thought the music business was all about and I didn’t want to be associated with that.”
It was through this twist of fate that Reed reinvented himself, becoming a CPA and founding a host of successful healthcare-related and creative/artistic entities with unexpected benefits.
“I thought that was the end for me. But the weird and great thing is that I developed a side of myself that wouldn’t have emerged without being contractually locked out of music for such a long period of time. It has liberated me to create almost anything I want without being controlled. Plus, I can go head-to-head with most any music business executive on behalf of myself or artists I represent.”
In addition to Delusions and Search, a largely live CD, Shadowlands is scheduled for release in 2010 with many selections from the performances that led to Reed being initially signed.
Reed’s music? Regarding genre, he’s all over the map. And don’t let the photos of him with acoustic guitars fool you. He plays a mean electric guitar! He plays virtually all of the electrics on his records. Just listen to his licks on Significance and especially Delusions. His music reflects a sensitivity and depth of experience that can’t be manufactured.