Artist Spotlight: Soulful singer/songwriter Andrew Ripp

Today’s artist spotlight is on the singer-songwriter Andrew Ripp.

Ripp is a soulful singer and a skilled writer who released his latest self-titled album via Spotify and iTunes on Oct. 16.

His songs hit hard with four-on-the-floor tom hits and a roaring voice that gets raspy right when it needs to be. His brutally honest lyrics of overcoming fear and finding one’s inner strength match with the tension many of his songs create, which pulls at the listener’s heartstrings while simultaneously making it beat faster.

Fans of NEEDTOBREATHE, Gavin Degraw and Michael McDonald will especially enjoy Ripp’s music.

But being a musician in the limelight has had consequences for Ripp in the past. On his website Ripp said, "As a musician, you put your heart into a piece of music that you are promoting as you: It's your heart, your name, your face. ... And then you put it out there and people can do whatever they want with it." The stats, sales and reviews of his records were making him feel a sense of anxiety that took away from the music itself.

After overcoming a drinking problem and leaving the party lifestyle, his website said he joined with some of the best songwriters in Nashville and recorded his 2013 effort, “Won’t Let Go.” After the record, with his anxiety still high, he found producer Ed Cash gave him the best guidance he could have asked for – that he had been free all along. He just needed to leave behind his fear.

Ripp’s fourth, self-titled record represents a turning point for the artist.

Much of Ripp’s record focuses on losing the fear that gripped him for so long, according to his website. This record had to be a culmination of what he learned over the past two years, so he scrapped the finished record he made in January and decided to rewrite half the album. "I thought, 'If this is my last record, this isn't how I want to go out,'" said Ripp.

One of the strongest songs on the record is “Animal,” which makes one of the boldest statements as well. It’s Ripp’s declaration towards staying strong, focused and determined to live life to its fullest potential.

In an interview with American Songwriter, Ripp said that “Animal” is “all about overcoming fear, which is a real thing. It’s alive and it’s set on ruining a man’s life. I’ve learned that if you don’t address it face-to-face it will devour you. It will steal your dreams, your peace, your courage, your passion and can even take your life. Every night I step onto stage and sing this song I am stepping out onto a battlefield to put fear in its place. It is a really powerful song for me on this record.”

This record is just as much Ripp taking a stand against fear as it is a reminder for him to continue to fight and overcome his demons.

Ripp’s latest effort is an indicator that he intends to keep making dents in the music industry and is determined to break down walls that have burdened him to the point of needing self-reinvention.

On his website, Ripp spoke on the new record saying, "It's coming from a very healthy place. I don't want to say I'm not affected by the way people will respond, but I'm more aware of what matters – and it's not how they respond. What matters is how I got to the place of making the record that I wanted to make. It's the best thing I possibly could have ever done."


Brett Steinberg is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at brett.steinberg@uconn.edu. He tweets @OfficialBrett.