A QUIET REVOLUTION Andrea Kirwin
A QUIET REVOLUTION
“I haven't invested in any promotional packages to market my music to radio because I like connecting to people at shows. I enjoy having a more personal connection.”
By Ian Browne Shamrock News
Every time I catch up with talented singer Elena B Williams we land up talking about her friend Andrea Kirwin, this mystical Fijian-Australian who inhabits Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. I was hoping to meet this positive soul one day, and I am happy to say that we are now friends ourselves. I got to spend time with Andrea after her gig at the Mullumbimby Luau in November. A week later I saw her perform in the late afternoon parklands of Brisbane’s South Bank. I watched her appeal on the faces in the crowd, some new to the tranquil ambience flowing gently through the cooling leafy shadows. They were really charmed by Andrea, her cover of an Eric Clapton song, brilliant! She has some pulling power and is popular in the SE corner of Qld, and into northern NSW. With a polite and subtle grace, this woman will soon be in demand further afield.
I have seen Andrea’s CDs on display over the years out at the indie gig paradise, the Sphinx Rock Cafe, located between Nimbin and Uki. Her newest creation, this wonderful 17 track masterpiece is the third to come along and dazzle. Andrea explained how there are 12 songs on A QUIET REVOLUTION that are originals, written by Andrea. There are also five cover songs by Rodriguez, Lennon-McCartney, Sting, Tracy Chapman, and the gospel song Amazing Grace. Recorded by Govinda Doyle at Govinda’s Galaxial Paradise, I find this album relaxing, yet it speaks of colourful, positive times where the simple things are invited to enrich one’s life. This album has a vibrant, clean energy, and I very much doubt anyone would disagree with that, it will be a popular CD. A bluesy, folky string of tunes, I really enjoy the opening song which announces the CD’s title… “so let’s all drift away, out of this human race- whoo.” The cover, Sugar Man, is nicely guided by its melancholy drifting. Mystify appealing in its sunny Polynesian celebration. The cover Fields of Gold is a beautifully written piece where Andrea’s voice seduces tones to her demand with ease, the acoustic guitar gently inhabits the landscape which cradles the story. And finally, I really love the marriage of ukulele and acoustic guitar tinkering away within the nostalgic South Sea paradise My Island Dream.
Yes, the Tracy Chapman single Fast Car is spot on, and Here Comes the Sun is a grand way to end such a beautiful set of tunes. But we really ought to see what the author of this magical album has to say:
A QUIET REVOLUTION – a chat with Andrea Kirwin
When did you first sling a guitar over your shoulder and begin singing, and what song would that have been?
At age 21 I discovered folk music at a Clare Bowditch concert at ANU Bar, Canberra. I'd never been to an acoustic music concert and was blown away by the simplicity, beauty and honesty in the performance. The next day I started song writing and playing guitar in earnest and began performing not long after that.
You described your enjoyment of a venue in Yandina on the Queensland Sunshine Coast. Why do you like playing there so much, and what is it about that part of the world that pleases you most?
One of my great motivators behind playing music is connecting with people. I feel it creates a village atmosphere where everybody knows each other and comes together to celebrate life. The meeting places where these gatherings take place are very special and important to our society. One of my favourite meeting places is a venue called THE SHARED in Yandina. It is a family friendly music venue with a cafe and restaurant run by Caribbean native 'Boogie' who is an amazing chef. I often host my birthday party there and play every couple of months. Everyone who attends is like family now. I've been performing there for over 4 years and launched my latest album there back in February 2017.
The title to your latest CD ‘A QUIET REVOLUTION’…can you let us in on what this is saying? Are you getting airplay?
A Quiet Revolution is about the underground network of good hearted people who make up the fabric of our lives. Our immediate family, our circle of loved ones and those that bring kindness and joy to us on a daily basis. Sometimes we are led to believe the world is a terrible place, full of sadness, suffering and violence. But the truth is underneath the news stories and generated fear, humans care for their families, and protect what they love. So, the quiet revolution continues to be the foundation of our human existence, a foundation of love, peace and oneness.
My music receives some airplay from community radio stations but mostly people buy the albums at shows and listen to them in their cars. The messages on the album are positive and it helps people through their day. I haven't invested in any promotional packages to market my music to radio because I like connecting to people at shows. I enjoy having a more personal connection.
Is there a song that people request most from this CD when you are playing live?
The covers that are on the Album are one's that people often ask for. I hadn't recorded any covers before but after so many requests I thought it would be a great way to give people something that is familiar to them in order to encourage them to connect with the original music. The album has become my best-selling album out of the 3 because people love to hear the songs they love and feel connected to.
Choosing a song you cover, and one of your own songs, describe why they are so important to you.
'Amazing Grace' is a song that I have sung hundreds of times in my life. Growing up in the gospel tradition, I had an abundance of singing in my life. This has definitely shaped the person I am today. Nowadays I consider myself to be a spiritual person, but I still maintain the universal truths of unconditional love, hope and faith in humanity.
'Lewa Lai Lai' means 'Little Girl' in Fijian. It features some Fijian language with English translation. I am very proud of my Fijian heritage and enjoy singing and telling stories of my time living on the Island of Matuku for a year when I was 8 years old.
You are playing gigs around the SE Qld/NSW region of late. What is your plan of action, are you hoping to soothe the pants off audiences during any upcoming festivals?
Hahaha - my solo music is definitely relaxing! But as a band it is definitely more upbeat and uplifting with a funk/soul/reggae/roots vibe. We've been supporting Brisbane band BULLHORN at a few shows in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast. I'm playing lots of local shows on the Sunshine Coast in the new year and am booked to play Miami Marketta on Friday 25 May with my band. I'll be looking at returning to a Byron Bay venue around then. I did a few shows down that way with my good friends Elena B Williams and Tom Francis under the name 'Pacific Heart Tour'.
We may do another run of shows together as that was super fun! If you want to keep up to date with possible shows and Festivals in your area you can visit my website, www.andreakirwin.com