Musician Andrea Robertson’s love for music began early in childhood, a passion that was supported and nurtured by her loving parents Alison and Bob. Their home was always buzzing with music; voices singing, piano playing, the record player spinning the family’s vinyl collection, cassette mix tapes and the weekly ritual of Countdown.
When Andrea attended high school there were limited opportunities at the time to be involved in the creative arts and less of a societal focus on music being an acceptable career option.
Sharing about some significant trauma experienced during her childhood and into her teens, Andrea described how this impacted her on many levels, steering her away from pursuing music as a career. However, this connection wasn’t made until she was well into her adulthood. Although she never lost her love of music and writing, there was always something holding her back from openly sharing this with others. Andrea speaks of the importance of music as a way of helping her to get through a long period where she was coming to terms with and dealing with what had happened.
Andrea met her husband David in youth group at around age 12 and they began dating at 15. David is a drummer and talented musician in his own right and they have played together over the years in various forms. Andrea credits David for pushing her out of her comfort zone regularly and for being her greatest encourager. After Andrea became a mother to her son Heath and later her daughter Carly, she started to really acknowledge the importance of music in her life and recognise a growing desire to pursue this further.
In 2013 at her home studio, Andrea recorded her first album – ‘It’s about time’. This was released in 2014 to a sell-out local launch in Ocean Grove. Andrea explains that this was a moment of ‘joyous accomplishment’ for her with such positive feedback and encouragement from supporters that it was enough to set her solidly on the musician’s path. Andrea says ‘I had no stars in my eyes, this was a combination of hard work but also allowing the gradual organic process to occur. This enabled me to express myself creatively, be taken seriously and share my music with the world. The most important part was that it was sustainable and something that I could continue to do for as long as possible into the future.’
After the release of her first album, Andrea pursued her music, playing many gigs and continued writing songs in response to her life. Andrea speaks about her music as ‘an opportunity to uplift the spirit of others without denying their story’. She loves to use her lyrics to engage the listener in a story that she hopes resonates with them and has also been commissioned to compose original works for others.
In 2017 she released her second album ‘Remind Myself’ and in the same year was announced as the winner of the Queenscliff Music Festivals Emerging Artists Grant, using this grant money as well as some additional generous crowdfunding to release her third album ‘Live at New Hall’. As the title suggests, the album was recorded live over two sell-out shows at New Hall, a creative space in Point Lonsdale run by the Lighthouse Arts Collective. This album was made with the help of many friends, family and professionals including Nick Huggins, a local sound engineer who was able to record the authentic quality of Andrea’s voice and music in a way that resonated beautifully with the surroundings.
This third album was toured extensively throughout regional Victoria and destined to be toured interstate but sadly plans came to a sudden halt with the arrival of Covid and lockdown. This sudden change in momentum coupled with the overwhelming state of the world forced Andrea to pause and reflect. Music did step forward for her at this time and she was able to write, record and release her song ‘Timely Reminder’ which is a reflection of this time for Andrea.
Aside from these major musical achievements Andrea has strong community ties and is passionate about bringing music to the people. She ran the ‘Tides of Welcome’ community choir in Queenscliff for many years and has been involved in many different music programs across the Bellarine Peninsula for young people. Andrea continues to teach piano and singing and together, David and Andrea run the Ocean Grove Acoustic Sessions; an adult acoustic jam session that occurs regularly throughout the year.
Andrea speaks so strongly of her connection to her family. She has always prioritised her role as a Mum to Heath (19 years) and Carly (17 years) and along with David, they have supported their children to develop their own individual and exceptional musical talents. Andrea speaks of the importance of making sure her children had plenty of opportunities to play and interact with music without forcing them to do so. The whole family love playing music together and they regularly perform collectively as ‘The Von Robertsons’.
As far as the future is concerned, Andrea has lots of little projects on the horizon. She is dreaming up another wonderful album but no date is set for release yet. Like many musicians, Covid has made planning and goal setting very difficult so she is taking it month by month at this stage. Andrea is also extremely passionate about supporting women to push themselves towards their dreams and goals and feels that it is never too late to take that first step. She is living proof of the importance of listening to that idea that drives your heart and working towards it no matter what age and stage you are at.
Connect with Andrea on Facebook and Instagram. Listen to her beautiful music on Spotify and see her performing live with her family as part of ‘The Von Robertsons’ on the Blues Train on the 16th October 2021.
Fun Fact: Andrea won the Humans in Geelong song contest and her song, ‘Dance the Blues Away’ is the track that has been used in ‘The Dance’ video clip featured on our YouTube.
Photo: Patrick Callow Photography.