By Ryan McConnell
When you think of Newcastle and music a certain Sam Fender may spring to mind as he quickly rose to fame with his poignant and thought-provoking songwriting. But there is a new kid on the block who looks set to make a big impact on the scene and that is young Geordie singer-songwriter Andrew Cushin. I got the chance to catch up with him last week to talk about that studio picture with Noel Gallagher, how writing acts as a great outlet for him through life, and his brilliant new single ‘Waiting for the Rain’ which remarkably he wrote when he was only 15. Have a read to what he had to say below…
So the new single ‘Waiting for the Rain’ I understand first came together in a poem when you were only 15? Tell us more about it…
So basically me mam and dad we’re having an argument that was starting to get out of hand. I decided to leave the house and go and meet my mate, Thomas. We smoked a joint and had a laugh together, on the way back home I wrote that poem in my notes on my phone, I was seeing things in a different perspective at that point.
Has putting pen to paper always came as a natural outlet for yourself growing up, and do you find it beneficial to your mental well-being?
Writing has helped me in a lot of ways, grieving, expressing myself and obviously the opposite. For example, if I’m wanting to be a bit of a recluse then writing can aid in that. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without writing. A lot of things have happened in my life that could quite easily send someone off the rails. Writings all pulled me back from the edge of something disastrous.
I understand the guitar playing came later than some of your writing, how does your songwriting process start off, is it usually words before music?
It depends. I’ve written a lot of poems in the last few years that I can always look too for inspiration. When I first started playing the guitar I was awful at putting together chord structures and obviously wasn’t a great player in general. So I used to start off with the words then practise the guitar to finish the song, whereas now I can pick up the guitar and just sing and play fairly easily, songs definitely are easier to write now that I’m a better player.
You sold out The Cluny in your hometown of Newcastle earlier in the year before releasing your first single. You must’ve grown quite the following around smaller clubs and pubs. How was it for you?
It was mental like I still see myself as just another daft geordie. Darts, football, beer and hangovers are all I see myself being good at. But now that the music is catching a bit of light I just don’t know what to do with myself … I was speaking to the doctor on the phone the other day and before I told him what was wrong he asked about my music, it’s mental.
I came across some pictures of both Noel and yourself at RAK studios recently, what sort of advice did he have to offer you?
That man has changed my life. I grew up idolising the likes of him, Weller, the Beatles, the roses … the list goes on. The advice that bloke has given me is priceless, absolutely priceless. I won’t have anyone say a bad word about him in my presence because that man is a god for what he’s done for me and my family. He definitely has a soft spot for NUFC though, I can feel it haha!
You supported The K’s on their UK tour earlier in the year, I managed to catch your set in Glasgow and was instantly a fan, how was the experience for yourself touring?
It was great, the K’s are great lads. It’s a funny one because obviously, Cheltenham was on the week before so during that whole tour I was struggling really badly with my throat due to all the drinking, smoking and whatever else … I definitely performed better as the set went on. I have a few fans in Scotland now so I always love playing there.
You’ve had quite a bit of support from ‘This Feeling’ how vital do you think they are in supporting grassroots music and venues, particularly going forward after lockdown?
Aye, this feeling are huge with helping local acts, I see them as the foundation that every artist must set. If I didn’t play any this feeling shows I wouldn’t be in the position I am now as an artist. They’ve helped me learn the basics of performing and got me playing all over the country. Mikey deserves a lot of credit for this.
What’s next for Andrew Cushin then, can we expect an EP or album in the near future?
In an ideal world (which we currently aren’t in) I’d love an ep out by Christmas which would hopefully be available in-store on vinyl as well. In terms of an album, I’d love to get my following up tenfold before those preparations are made. I have a phenomenal team and am in an extraordinary relationship with the record company. Everyone knows what they’re doing.
Keep up to date with Andrew and check out the video for his latest single below…