SXSW Entry #6: Andrea Balency, LA ENTREVISTA

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to speak with the fast-rising Andrea Balency. And all it took was me buying her one beer, along with my awesome charm, of course.

Andrew Casillas: So…how does it feel to be “hot shit” right now?*

Andrea Balency: It’s kind of surprising because when I started writing music I never thought I would be where I’m at only two-three years later. Before that, I played classical music at home with my piano and I wanted to be a classical musician. But then I started writing music, saw how fun it was, and felt the need to continue doing it. My first songs didn’t sound very commercial, and I thought, “Oh, I’ll never been famous or popular.” But suddenly everything started happening, and people started coming out to concerts, and suddenly I had 300 people coming out to see me. And I’m thinking, “Who am I?” I’m just a regular person, so it’s been very surprising, but exciting, because I feel like I can make a living doing this forever.

AC: Speaking of playing with Natalia Lafourcade, Javiera Mena, and Ximena Sariñana (at the awesome Torreblanca + Amigas show earlier that day), each of them had a very different career path. Natalia started out very quirky and has progressed further into idiosyncrasy. Javiera began with a defined sound and has continued developing it to where she is THE BEST at what she does. Ximena started out as a huge pop star, and is leveraging that early success in a very ambitious attempt at English language superstardom. Of these three, which would you find most appealing as a career path?

AB: I feel like my music has to follow its own path and, thus, I don’t think about it so much. I don’t want to force things and take my music somewhere it probably shouldn’t be. Right now what I think is that I have a pretty singular sound which will continue to change. I’ve gotten into a lot of electronic music lately…

AC: Even Skrillex? (jokingly)

AB: Yes! (haha) I just love the whole universe of electronica, and I’m trying to incorporate some of these elements into my sound. I don’t know where I’m going to evolve; I’ll just let it go where it needs to be.

AC: Do you have any idea where you’re going to be in a few years? Do you think you could be like Skrillex tomorrow?

AB: I’d love to think I could. Part of what I love about music is that it’s spontaneous.

AC: Well answer this: do you want to be a pop star?

AB: Hahaha, well…

AC: I’m serious: I don’t mean pop star in the “selling out” sense. Do you want to be a star? An easy comparison would be, say, Julieta Venegas. Someone who can command his or her own career with a mass following?

AB: Credibility is important to me, so as long as I have that, I wouldn’t mind being a “star.” I wouldn’t mind not being a star so long as I’m credible. It’s the most important thing to me.

*I clarified that I meant to say “one of the biggest buzzes at SXSW,” but hot shit still sounds cooler.