Toronto pianist, writer and singer Andreena (formerly Andreena Mill) is no stranger to the music industry. Since her pre-teen years, she’s been on her rise; after being part of the female R&B trio X-Quisite along with Melanie Fiona and Nicole Holness and earning Canadian Urban Music Awards and Juno Awards, she released her debut solo mixtape, 2009's "Ready to Fly." She then took her talents to Universal Music Publishing, where she worked with DMX, Drake, The Bizness, Brian Michael Cox, James Fauntleroy, Kevin McCall, and Needlz. September 2012 saw the release of her EP “All Eyes on Me,” and now the busy artist has released her new album “Naked” this past summer; her latest video being the scandalously-plotted visuals for “Terminator.”
We caught up with Andreena for a short Q&A, where she got us acquainted with her new set “Naked,” quickly hipped us onto the music scene in Toronto, and even dished on how she keeps her beauty game tight.
After you check out the short interview, check out Andreena’s “Naked” here.
Singersroom: As a writer for Universal, you constantly have to remain inspired to pump out lyrics on a constant basis. What are your sources of inspiration?
Andreena: My life is honestly my source of inspiration. I like to pull from experience or even from things that I know others are going through. I like to make music people can relate to.
Singersroom: What’s the significance of the title of your latest project "Naked"?
Andreena: During the creation of "Naked," there were so many things changing in my life; break-ups, death, business relationships changing. It was frustrating and so I decided to make an album that my fans could listen to and really get a chance to get to know me on a personal level. I wanted to do something that wasn't like the previous mix-tapes.
Singersroom: Have you ever been enraged enough that you felt like doing what you did in the "Terminator" video?
Andreena: Ohh yes! lol I think we all have thoughts like that sometimes when we're really upset but I would never think of actually doing it. THAT would be crazy![Watch Terminator video]
Singersroom: You were in a group called X-Quisite with Melanie Fiona. Would you ever consider linking up again with her for a collaboration?
Andreena: Melanie is one of my closest friends and we continued to work together and even for each other when the group fell apart. We are at very different places in our careers right now, but once we're both ready I believe we will get back in the studio.
Singersroom: Toronto R&B is popping right now with artists like Melanie Fiona, Glenn Lewis, Drake, Rochelle Jordan, The Weeknd, PARTYNEXTDOOR, etc. What do you attribute that to?
Andreena: Toronto has ALWAYS had amazing talent. However, the industry is still very young here and we are still learning how to utilize it in the right way. It’s also a very multi-cultural city. We have influences from all over the world that allow us to be more experimental and daring as a whole.
Singersroom: What’s currently on your playlist?
Andreena: A lot of Toronto music! I love rock… The Killers, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Reggae and of course old school Hip-Hop and R&B: Wu-Tang, Lauryn Hill, Pac, Biggie, Aaliyah…I can keep going…
Singersroom: Which do you prefer: performing live or creating in the studio?
Andreena: I love to create in the studio. I produce and write so it’s great to just vibe out, but nothing is more of a rush than being on stage.
Song (by you or another artist): Right now? "Happy" By Pharrell has been on repeat
Movie: “The Never Ending Story” (I am such a kid at heart)
City to visit/perform in: I want to see the world so I'll be able to answer this in a few years.
Article of clothing: Hoodies, I have a million.
Food: Anything Jamaican
Beauty secret: Coconut oil. I cook with it & I put it on everything, so great for the skin.
Hobby: Don't really have time anymore but I use to collect comic books, stamps and coins.
Moment on the road/in the studio: The 1st time I ever recorded in the studio I did a song with Canadian rappers Kardinal Offishall and Saukrates. I was 12 years old at the time and they didn't release the song until I was in high school. Of course by then no one believed it was me because my voice sounded so different, but it also reminded me that even at that age, I had people who believed in my talent. That was a moment I will never forget.