Sound Off: Ingrid Andress
Jul 24, 2020
Ingrid Andress has a new squeeze, but it’s not what you’re thinking.
In March, country music singer-songwriter Ingrid Andress released her debut album Lady Like, which not only charted the Billboard US Top Country Albums but landed the No. 9 spot. Since then, the artist has come to our quarantine rescue with a refreshing taste of heartbreak in her new single ‘Waste of Lime.’
Completely succumbed to the tequila, this tropical jaunt will have you sittin’ and sippin’ your sorrows away by the poolside. But of course, no Summer ’20 single is complete without a quarantine-style slash social distancing-friendly music video. Quite literally, video director Lauren Dunn directed the entire production via Facetime. Going as far as completing her backyard decor with a lime-filled kiddie pool and a deck of margaritas, the songstress makes the best of a romance ended just in time. The song also comes as a contrast to her recently released album that includes an array of slower emotional ballads, such as the GOLD-certified single ‘More Hearts Than Mine.’
Ingrid is undoubtedly making a name for herself as one of country music’s rapid-rising newcomers. Popular had the chance to interview the Nashville-based artist in which she dished on emerging into the genre of country, the lyrical intentions behind Lady Like, and obviously, her margarita preference; frozen or on-the-rocks.
1. You’ve previously written songs for pop artists such as Charlie XCX, Bebe Rexha, and Alicia Keys. What inspired you to emerge as a country artist?
As much fun as writing pop music is, the whole reason I started being a songwriter was because of my love for storytelling. I feel like country music really allows me to paint a picture with words, and that’s very important to me. Stories about real feelings and real situations in people’s lives are what unite us as humans.
2. What are the most significant differences when it comes to writing for another artist as opposed to yourself?
When I’m writing for other artists, I ask them about what’s going on in their lives and how they’re feeling in the studio that day. The song has to be about them in order for them to relate to it, so I try not to include too much of how I’m feeling. It’s the opposite when I’m writing for me. I ask those same questions to myself when I sit down at the piano. “What’s going on in your life, and how are you feeling about it right now?”
3. Clearly, you’ve been songwriting for quite some time. How has your creative process changed from the very beginning to now?
I think I’ve learned to be a little more flexible as far as how the songwriting process starts. I used to start with a title and work on the lyrical meaning before writing the melody, but now I just sort of just go with the flow with wherever the song is taking me. If I hear a melody in my head but have no lyrics, I record it on my phone to have for later. The songwriting process is really fun if you just let go of the expectations of how you’re “suppose” to do it.
4. Name a song in all of music history you wish you had written.
“House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert, written by songwriting kings Tom Douglas and Allan Shamblin.
5. What instrument do you gravitate towards more when you catch an idea for a song? Guitar or piano?
Piano 100%. I’ve played it since I was 6 years old, so I’m the most comfortable with it. I’m learning guitar at the moment so I’m able to switch back and forth between instruments, but it’s not my favorite thing haha.
6. When you were writing your album, Lady Like, what intentions did you have for the record? With this being your premiere debut as an artist, how did you want the world to perceive you?
As a new female country artist, I wanted to make sure everyone knew who I was as a person after one listens to the album. Sometimes artists put songs on their albums that don’t really express who they are or how they feel very accurately, so when they finally do put out a song that speaks to them, fans tend to get confused if it’s not like their other songs. I wanted there to be no mistake of where I stand on certain things and what type of feelings I have.
7. Your song ‘More Hearts Than Mine’ made me ugly cry. Really, the entire album did. Each song was written based off of true events in your life. Do you find it hard going back and listening to some of these tracks since most stem from a place of heartbreak?
Ha! I ugly cried when I wrote that song, so I understand. Writing those heartbreak songs actually helps me process my emotions, which is a huge reason why I write. Putting my heart and soul into a song about something that hurts actually feels like a huge burden being lifted. It’s like those feelings don’t just have to stay in your body anymore. When I go back and listen to those songs, it just reminds me of that chapter of my life, and they hit differently from where I am in my life now.
8. What is a personal favorite lyric of yours that you’ve written, and from what song?
“Sometimes I forget not to talk about politics when I’m in the middle of me getting hit on” from the song Lady Like.
9. Do you have any hobbies outside of music that inspires your creativity?
Well, pre-COVID, I would travel a lot and seek out whatever random adventures that were available. Putting myself in different cultures and environments gets my brain working in a different way, and I end up learning about different perspectives. I also am a sucker for comedians, so if I’m watching Netflix or YouTube, I’m most likely watching a comedic TV show or someone doing standup. Humor is another form of creative writing that I admire a lot.
10. You’re originally from Colorado. Growing up here, how did your hometown or surroundings influence your musical upbringing?
My hometown actually shaped me in sort of an opposite way haha. There was nobody in my hometown that was pursuing music as a career, so at first, I didn’t think it was an option. But the more I made music and realized that was what I wanted to do, people in my hometown became super supportive and excited for me. It made me feel famous even though nobody else knew who I was, haha.
11. Do you recall a specific pivotal moment in your life that made you realize music was your true calling?
I had no idea “music college” was even a thing, so when I walked by Berklee College of Music in Boston on a trip with my family, I was immediately drawn to it and had to go inside. I walked in and saw classrooms of musicians playing music together, like rocking out. I decided then and there that this was where I needed to be.
12. Have there been any challenges you’ve had to overcome since choosing the music path? Did it affect you and your writing in any way?
I mean, the beginning stages of pursuing music are not usually very pretty. I worked a lot of jobs when I first moved to Nashville, so designating time to write was more challenging than it is now. When you’re new to town, and nobody knows you, the meetings you take with labels and publishing companies are kind of pointless because they don’t know any of your music. Being a girl in the music scene isn’t always fun either, because most people assume you don’t know what you’re doing, and they try to take advantage of you. So being patient and grinding while still staying positive and motivated were all very challenging things to keep up with every day. But it was worth it.
13. You’ve quickly become a beacon of female empowerment by the way you’ve defied expectations of how a “lady” should act. What advice do you have for women everywhere?
I would say just embrace who you are and how you look, no matter how society makes you feel. The “rules” of female beauty and personality were made up of old white men who didn’t want to feel threatened by women. If we all just accepted everyone for who they actually are, things would be 1000% better, in my opinion.
14. Where did the idea for ‘Waste of a Lime’ come from?
It actually came from staring at a bunch of sliced limes left out on a counter after a night of tequila consumption. My friends and I were like “Aw man, what a waste of limes,” and we all looked and each other and were like to wait! That could be a song! So we wrote it that same day.
15. It’s evident you love tequila. So I must ask: Frozen margarita or on-the-rocks?
On the rocks baby! Frozen margs aren’t bad, but I need less fluff. Just give me the stuff.