A few weeks ago, Andrew Ripp was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. The artist behind the amazing album Fifty Miles to Chicago had many things to say about the musical life and what may be next.
As someone who's been involved in the music industry, what part of the equation is the most difficult for you? Touring? Recording? Writing songs? Arrangements?
Honestly, the downtime is the most difficult part for me. Writing songs, touring, recording, are all things I'm passionate about. Even though they are hard work, It's the days when I don't have anything going on that are the hardest because I just want to get back to it. Someone once told me that if you get good enough at what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. And that really hits home because even though some days are hard hard, I'm still doing what I love.
What was the first instrument you learned to play? And what's your favorite right now?
When I was in sixth grade my parents bought a huge barroom piano to fill up some wall space and I couldn't stop playing it. Guitar is my main instrument right now.
What was your most surprising moment while creating Fifty Miles to Chicago?
Working with Dan Lavery as producer opened up a world of incredible musicians that played on the record. I've always been a huge fan of Tonic, so even working with Dan was great.
How did you get involved with Art of Elysium? What's your most memorable experience helping out that great organization?
A really good friend of mine, Jen Howell, started the organization 11 years ago, and I go into the hospitals as much as I can when I'm in Los Angeles. As far as the most memorable experience, it's hard to say because there are so many amazing moments. Every time I go in I see between 40 and 100 kids depending on the hospital, but there are a few kids I really connect with.
There's this one little boy who I gave my record to right before I left for tour, and when I came back, he was singing every word to every single song. It's moments like that that really remind me how important it is and how much of a difference you really can make.
What's next for you? More touring? Another album?
All of the above. It's hard for me to plan anything these days, because every time I do, God takes me in another direction. But I can definitely say…more music.
I want to thank Andrew for answering my questions and wish him luck with whatever he ends up doing next!
Be sure to check out Andrew's album – Fifty Miles to Chicago online or at your favorite brick-and-mortar retailer!