enre-bending, raunchy, electropop rapper Andy D sounds different than some hip-hop acts but still earns their respect. Andy D focuses less on fitting into a genre and more on making the music he wants to make. Andy D and his wife Anna Vision play party music that wins over fans of punk and rap.
Andy D has lived in New York, L.A., Bloomington, and his current home of Indianapolis. His first album, “Choose Your Perversion,” came out in 2007, and he has released three more albums since.
Andy D’s energy is something that cannot be described as anything but electric. From his beats to his raunchy humor no one is quite like Andy D.
You represent a different side of the genre of hip hop…
Yeah, it’s interesting. I started performing in New York during college in 2005. I came up in the Electro Clash scene. It was really glitchy electronic pop and rap music. It was mostly just rappers being as raunchy as possible but being really smart about it. Most of them were gay rappers rapping as if they were straight; I was the only straight guy in the group. I came from that angle. I started doing shows there. In New York it’s a bunch of art kids. It’s really eclectic. We played with who we like--it wasn’t about genre. Our first album came out in 2007, and I moved to Bloomington in 2008. When I got there, it was kind of the same thing. It was a college town, [and] we played punk shows. It was more about energy than genre. Indianapolis was the place where I played my first show with all hip-hop artists. I was really nervous. I thought a real hip-hop fan stands a good chance of hating what I’m doing. Like if they really wanted to be purists about it they could really, really hate me. After that show I felt really good, because they were so welcoming. They really got what I was doing, they really like it. It’s been tons of love from the Indianapolis scene. That’s how I met Oreo.
How does our scene compare to New York’s?
The scene in New York is really fractured. It’s harder to tour in New York. The problem in New York is that everyone is so busy trying to make rent that it was hard to put things together. Like if someone came to your show, it was like they were doing you a favor not because they wanted to be there. I had to decide what I wanted out of music, and I decided that I didn’t want to be in New York any more--I wanted a proper tour. So when we first got to Indy in 2012, we launched a seven-week tour of the country and met so many great acts along the way. We toured with Electric Six. They took us on two tours of Europe, and it’s just about matching energy. They are like as straight up rock as you can get, but we have similar humor and similar party energy and when people see us they are like it makes total sense, even though I’m rapping. We have been touring full time for the last two and a half years. It was a blast, but it was just draining. We just want to refocus on the music and to build up an internet presence. We are a little bit different--it’s not about genre for us. I hate genre. it’s a restriction to art. If you try to put yourself in a genre you feel pressure to do things that would fit.
What’s better about Indianapolis?
I think what’s good about Indianapolis and the rappers I respect here, it really is a great scene. The Ghost Gun Summer guys are all different. They really have their own style. They push what hip-hop can really mean. I love hip-hop, [so] if they consider me hip-hop I’m honored, but I don’t really worry about it.
How do people react to you?
I like southern hip-hop. We used trap snare beats, that pop popopop. I like to reference all of my influences and all of the things I like. Someone who leaves a trap show, they might look at me and think this guy is a joker or something. After a few songs, they typically get into it.
Not everyone in this town likes my music, but that’s fine. Not everyone liked The Beatles, and they were the biggest band in the world.
How’s Chreece going?
I don’t know all that many people here, but it’s amazing. It’s a great chance to meet people.
The support here has been immense…
Yeah, Fountain Square is really embracing this culture and it’s great. All ships rise with the tides.
Later in an Email:
This festival was amazing and really highlights what is so special about Indy right now - artists and fans of art coming together to support each other, show appreciation for each other, regardless of differences in taste or style. Indy is so eclectic and diverse and diversity is the greater strength a scene can have. Chreece really exemplified what a scene with dedicated curators looks like. The internet has democratized music and with that, artists no longer need to flee to former magnet cities like New York or LA or Seattle, they can stay where they are and make that place better - Indy is the best example of this I've seen in all my touring.
Twitter - @AndyDLovesYou
September 25 – Joyful Noise Recordings at 8 p.m., donations only show with Yip Deceiver