Below, you can read our interview with artist Andrey Psyche and listen to his single Cupid & Psyche. Check out our full music review of Cupid & Psyche, HERE.
Q: Great to be speaking with you, Andrey! Tell us how you and Julia met, and how you ended up working on your latest release “Cupid and Psyche” together.
A: It was all such a chance encounter. A dear friend of mine, and an accomplished actor and performer herself, Jordan Kerbs, asked me to play a set at her venue to try to bring some community back into her establishment. The day came, and I went through the motions as I always had and finished my set. What I didn’t know was that Julia was performing after me. As soon as this woman started flowing, it was game over; she had captured my focus for good. The way she embodied the stage, her music, her expressions were of the purest and highest caliber. It was pure art!
When the show was over, I expressed my interest to feature her on one of my tracks and we decided to re-record one of my previous songs “Here and Now.” It was a truly magical experience that left me even more mesmerized than before. I told her that day that if there was anything I could do to help her achieve her goals, her dreams, her aspirations, that I would not hesitate to bring the world and rest it at her feet if that’s what it took.
Shortly after, Julia had shared a poem on her Patreon page titled “Echo.” I read that poem back to back as if I was trying to grasp for my final breath. It was powerful. It was intoxicating. It was what inspired me to take the beauty she managed to create, and pay homage to it by capturing her essence in “Cupid & Psyche.” It can be hard to see one’s own beauty; all I wanted to do was to reflect that beauty back to her from an outside perspective. To give her a chance to see herself the way I did.
Q: In that same vein, how did you end up as a musician yourself?
A: Ever since I had my awakening to this world of beauty, I wanted to share it with every passerby. I find life to be extremely precious; all it takes is the right perspective to unlock the infinite bounty that this life offers. I tried to share it through visual means, poetry, conversation, any means of expression I could get my hands on. I tried to meet people where they were but each time it felt like the message was being lost somewhere in between the lines. I felt unheard and voiceless for far too long.
Years have gone by, and I found myself at what some people might call “The Dark Night of the Soul.” It was a rather deep and dark depression that was consuming my every thought. It was robbing me of my peace, of my breath, and there was no end in sight.
Everything coalesced into a moment of divine beauty when I felt lower than I ever had and the pain was begging to jump out of my chest. I reached for the nearest thing I could grab which happened to be a guitar that a friend left as a sign of gratitude for taking him into my home for a short while. I pulled it in close, struck whatever rudimentary chords I knew, and wailed my pain at the top of my lungs.
To my surprise, the demons I was battling retreated back into the darkness and I could see the light of day once again. From that day on, I knew the guitar was my lover, my partner, and my friend for life. From that day on, all I have been focused on was growing my relationship with music to capture stories that would help others navigate the treacherous seas of life.
Q: Your lyrics tell emotional and poetic tales of love and loss, of complex trials and tribulations. What is your songwriting process like?
A: I feel like it is different every time. Sometimes a melody captures my heart and I try to hear what my guitar is trying to convey to me, translating it into words that compliment the message. Other times a poem will find its way to my heart, and I will rearrange the cadence to fit it into a song format.
One thing that stays constant is the intention behind it. I always try to capture pure emotions that I may be experiencing at the moment, whether fresh or lingering ones, and I set them free by giving them a chance to speak. It is a very vulnerable process, but I have learned something long ago that changed my approach to life. That which you do not set free will control you indefinitely.
With those words in mind, I create an expression that is purely my own but in a way that leaves space for others to inject their own experiences. The mark of a great artist is to capture the underlying principle of this universe in a way that is accessible to anyone. By diving into the deepest part of the self, you are able to capture something fundamental that carries over to our day to day decisions. I always strive to be as honest, vulnerable, and courageous as I can be with myself in order to even have a glimmer of a chance to reach a speck of truth to share with the world.
Q: It appears that you’re an artist of multiple mediums – you’re a painter as well as a musician. Are there parallels between these art forms for you personally?
A: Oh totally! They’re all the same. Everything is the same process. And it is always about the process. Life is a process. The end product, whatever it may be, is but a footprint in the sand. It will come and go. The true art is every step that we chose to take.
Gandhi famously said, “My life is my message.” All I’m saying is, “My life is my masterpiece.”
For me, there is no separation between the art and the artist. The is no separation between you or me. There is no separation, period. Once you can see a glimpse of it, you can start to create layers beyond what the intellectual mind can immediately perceive.
Q: How long did “Cupid and Psyche” take to record?
A: From conception to the finished product (not taking into account the mastering done by Asher Condit) took a total of 3 hours.
I was swept off my feet by the muse, and she sucked me up into a creative frenzy that had me kneeling on the floor of my bedroom, watching myself as the words fell out of my mouth into the microphone. It was an electric experience.
Q: What was your first guitar? Do you still have/play it?
A: First guitar was a yellow nylon-stringed guitar. Can’t remember the brand. I spent 100$ at Guitar Center and just went to town on her.
After I got good enough to utilize a nice guitar, I purchased my Cordoba GK Studio Negra (her name is Olivia), painted my first guitar, wrote a poem on the back of it, and gave it to one of the first performers that truly stole my heart with his music, Luke Stanton, when I ran into him while we were both touring the west coast in the summer of 2017.
Q: Perhaps in some unspecified amount of time, your musical career explodes in the best of ways. What does that look like for you?
A: Honestly, all I want at this point is to reach an audience, or create a community of people that are receptive to my message. I know music is my calling, but I love to create in general. I just want to serve this planet as best as I can and be utilized for my gifts to bring forth a more loving and united civilization.
Even though there will never be an endpoint of my growth, or my desire to give, if I were to reach a point of “success,” I would be in a position where I’m financially supported enough to allow me to play shows, share my poetry, create visual art, teach, speak and inspire, travel to every crevice of this planet, start ethical businesses that can replace some of our current options, focus on cleaning up this world in all forms to create a better today, and tomorrow.
Right now, I feel successful, because I do all of it as we speak, just not to a magnitude that many people can experience. I’m limited by “making a living.” But even if nothing changes, I will continue to do and give my best, and I will die with a heart of bliss.
Q: You get to collaborate with anyone of your choosing. Who is it?
A: Gregory Alan Isakov, Regina Spektor, Gabrielle Aplin, Birdy, The Wood Brothers, Shakey Graves, Billie Marten, Sarah Bareilles, The Head and the Heart, Billie Eilish, Childish Gambino, Damien Rice, Follies and Vices, Zaz, Lil Dickie, Lowland Hums, Stromae, Joe Rogan, Jack Black, Trevor Hall, Julia Newman.
Q: Your favorite album of all time? (Yup, you gotta choose one.)
A: Gregory Alan Isakov; This Empty Northern Hemisphere
Q: Your favorite song of all time? (Again, only one!)
A: Take This Heart of Gold by Mandolin Orange
Q: What would you like fans to know about you that they’re most likely unaware of?
A: I have shared every bit of my life up ‘til this point. Every challenge I had to overcome, every insecurity, everything that has ever kept me down, and outlined how people can get over their own hang-ups through countless podcasts interviews, and the books I published. I create for you, to give you a chance at freedom, at love, at peace. I want you to have everything I have worked so hard to create. All you have to do is reach out and grab it. No gimmicks, no sales pitch, just reach out and take it.
Q: Any shout-outs you wanna make?
A: Special thanks to:
Mike Hintz with Mike Hintz Media
Your willingness and passion to create and share a brand new vision of this world is a constant inspiration. You bring insurmountable joy, humor, and beauty, everywhere you go. I couldn’t be more grateful for your work behind the camera, as well as all the help to realize the direction of the visual message each step along the way. Thank you for your time editing and spit-shining every scene to bring forth something that we can all be proud of for lifetimes to come. You’re the bestest friend, and partner, anyone could ask for!
Asher Condit with Kingship Productions
Thanks to a chance encounter on TikTok, you won my intellectual and emotional mind. In no time, I realized your heart was just as deep as your knowledge of music. I was completely enamored how one person could walk the walk, and talk the talk as eloquently as you. You make me want to be a better musician with each and every strum of my guitar. Thank you for lending your talents to create what could have been a lump of coal, into a perfectly polished diamond. You amaze me and leave me feeling fortunate to call you a friend.
Julia Newman with Julia Newman Music
It’s funny how something so insignificant can lead to the most profound moment of one’s life. If it weren’t for you, none of this would ever have seen the day of light. Your presence has shaped the direct outcome of every second of this masterpiece. Your love for life, your strength, and passion flow so potently, that even the most weathered warrior would keel over in the face of your grace. There will never be enough words to describe the true beauty of your heart, but that will never stop me from trying. Thank you for being a muse, a friend, and a kindred spirit. Thank you for your intoxicating poetry which inspired the lyrics of this song. Thank you for your acting in the video, for your loving patience, and for always keeping us honest about the vision of this project. You are an invaluable asset of any team, of any partnership, and even one moment with you is more valuable than any and all earthly riches.
I love you all beyond my ability to write, beyond any deed or the mis of it, any blessing or flaw, anything that you can point to or philosophize about. I love you beyond it all. You make this life have meaning, and there isn’t anything that I wouldn’t give to repay your everlasting gifts.
Thank you for everything.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: Thank you for your attention and your valuable time.
(Want to be interviewed by The Ark of Music? Click HERE.)