Andrada is a rising star in the pop music scene. She started singing and performing in her home country of Romania before moving to London in 2016. Andrada has released several catchy singles so far, including “I’ll Be Lovin’ You,” “Unbreakable,” and “High on Love.”
In honor of the holiday season, she recently came out with a song called “A Different Kind of Christmas.”
Showbiz Cheat Sheet decided to sit down with Andrada over Zoom to discuss her exciting career and interesting new Christmas song.
You started singing and performing at a very young age. Can you share with us how you got into music?
It all started quite randomly. I was seven when I first started singing. I was on a trip going to Turkey with my family, and I just apparently kept singing and singing the entire drive. Then, when we got back home, my mom made a few calls, and she was like, “I think my daughter can sing. Can you please help me find out if she’s actually good or not?” She sent me to a place for singing lessons, and the teacher was like, “Yeah, she can sing.” My mom was really excited. She started signing me up for all these competitions and contests. I started taking professional singing lessons and training properly with vocal coaches.
I started competing nationally and internationally and winning some prizes, and that’s kind of how I thought that, “Okay, maybe I am good at what I do.” In 2008, I represented my country at Junior Eurovision, and it became more serious with every competition, contest, prize, and show. When I was 13, I got cast on a major series in Romania. That’s kind of when my career—not skyrocketed, but I started gaining fans, getting messages, and signing autographs. And I never really stopped doing what I initially started doing at seven.
As you’ve mentioned, you’ve performed in many different competitions around Europe, including Junior Eurovision. What did you learn from those experiences?
I mean, it was very stressful. My mom was very much a perfectionist, and she really liked to see me do well. Obviously, for a child that was a lot of pressure. It’s funny, I think the more I grew up, the more I started becoming nervous. At my first competition, it was like being a kid—you don’t really care about many things; you just want to have fun and have a good time. The more it became serious, the more I started becoming nervous. One time, I actually peed myself before I went on stage. Just a tiny bit. I think the more prizes and the more competitions I won, the more I realize that people expected something of me. It was me telling myself, “I can’t afford to embarrass myself. I can’t afford to have a bad day. I can’t afford to not win something.” I guess it was a lot of pressure put on me from outside as well as from myself.
You recently released a holiday song, “Different Kind of Christmas.” It’s definitely not a usual jolly, happy Christmas song. Can you tell us more about why you chose to write this song?
I had always wanted to release a Christmas song. I just didn’t know what to write about because everything’s been written about already—candy canes, silver bells, mistletoes, and whatnot. So [my manager] was like, “What’s left there that no one has written about?” I was like, okay, 2020—no one has really been through anything like this. There have been pandemics before, but our generation hasn’t gone through one. And I just kind of thought that it would be easy right now to write about what everyone is feeling. Even though it’s a Christmas song, the lyrics are not just Christmas-related. They’re more 2020-related. That’s kind of what my thought process was. I just wanted to look back on this year and everything that’s gone wrong and everything that’s gone well and just have this song as a memory of a different kind of Christmas.
I came up with that title before the song was even created. I was writing down some lyrics, and I was like, “I want this song to be called ‘Different Kind of Christmas.’” Then, we came up with the instrumental, and I was shocked. I was like, “This line actually fits.” It was like the perfect fit.
I just wanted to stay true to what’s actually happening instead trying to act like it’s not different. I didn’t want to talk about how it’s the happiest Christmas ever and how I’m going to have the best time. We know we’re not going to have to best time. We know we’re not going to see family, and we can’t travel. We can’t join households. We can’t do all these things that we normally do for Christmas. So I felt like I had to make fun of a bad situation and say, “You know what? This Christmas sucks and this year sucks, but we’re in this together. We just need to pull ourselves together and stay strong.”
During a normal year, do you or your family have any fun Christmas traditions you can share with us?
I moved to London in 2016, so I mostly spend Christmas away from my family. England has its own food and traditions, and Romania has something else. It was a bit of a transition at first, but I do enjoy both sides of Europe when it comes to this. In Romania, Christmas equals food. My dad loves making food, and he makes so much food. On Christmas day, it would be 4 o’clock and you can’t eat anymore. It’s just so much food, and by the time you actually want to sit down and play games, you’re in a food coma. In England, I’ve definitely been into the drinking and board games. But back home it’s mostly just stuffing your face with food.
And also the Christmas carols. Back home we have different Christmas carols, and in England, obviously, we have Michael Bublé on repeat. And now me [laughs]. Because, obviously, I’m going to listen to myself. I do enjoy Christmas. It is definitely my favorite holiday—it’s just nice and cozy.
I know you plan on releasing an EP in 2021. Do you have any other things you are looking forward to next year?
I have a feature coming out on Jan. 15. I’m really excited about it. I think it’s one of my best songs even though it’s not a single—not my single. But I think it’s one of my best songs so far, and I did a music video for it as well.
I’m trying to get the EP done. I know it’s going to be a lot of work trying to pick what songs make the cut and what songs don’t make the cut. I do think next year I’ll definitely have enough material to be able to put out a mini album or EP. I haven’t decided how I want it all to pan out; there are a lot of things I need to consider, so I need to discuss it with the team. But I’m really looking forward to releasing more music and music videos.
I have a movie coming out next year, which I’m really excited about.
And, hopefully—fingers crossed—eventually at some point in 2021 or 2022, I could get a record deal. We’ll see how that works out. I don’t want to rush anything that’s not ready to happen yet. I want to make sure I have my best material out before I want to present it to whoever I want to present it to.
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