Junior enters the music scene with single: “On Your Own”


Sophia DeLuca

Sophomore enters the music scene with single: “On Your Own”

Sophia DeLuca

Andi Kezh stands in front of a microphone in a soundproof room. She sings harmonies to the track of the single she’s recording so confidently that it’s hard to believe she wasn’t always the musical one in her family.

When she was younger, she sang in her church’s musicals, and with her family, but she was always “in the background,” where music was concerned.

In seventh grade, that all changed.

She started guitar lessons, and writing her own songs.Now, three years later, she has committed herself to music.

“I don’t care about fame or how many followers or fans [I have], I really just love music. I love singing and playing guitar and writing songs. To me, having a job that lets me do that is just amazing,” Kezh said.

Even with this dream in mind, she knows it will be difficult.

“At a young age, everyone is trying to do the same thing,” Kezh said. “It’s a really big industry and everyone is fighting to get in.”

Carly Gibson, Kezh’s songwriting and guitar mentor, works with her on performance, as well as changing guitar chords and melodies in her songs. She thinks that Kezh is already distinguishing herself from the crowd.

“At 16 she’s really cultivating an authentic sound,” Gibson said.

She describes Kezh as a mixture of a nineties grunge band, and the singer-songwriter Jewel.

Gibson supports Kezh’s unique style.

“I’m just a facilitator,” she said. “I don’t change her or make her do anything that she’s not comfortable with learning. We really try to stay true to the path that she’s going.”

For the past four months, that path has taken Kezh to ‘Off the Record’ recording studio in Roswell.

Almost every weekend, she worked on recording vocals and guitar for her first single: “On Your Own”. The song was released on June 5, and the music video came out on Aug. 5.

“This is my baby…. I wrote it in my room. It’s mine, my words,” Kezh said. “It’s my first ever single that I’m putting out into the world, so it’s setting a precedent as what my style of music is, and who I am as an artist.”

With this in mind, Kezh likes the idea of exploring a variety of music types.

“I like the idea of not classifying into one genre of music,” she said.

Gibson recognizes this eclectic style in Kezh’s songs.

“It’s singer-songwriter, but it also has an alternative edge. As she continues to write and play, her music continues to evolve and it’s hard to say what she’ll be doing,” she said.

The wooden paneled soundproof room of the studio is different from playing in front of a live crowd, and Kezh notices it.

“When I’m playing live in front of an audience I kind of zone out a little bit and I’m just in the moment, feeling the music, feeling the beat,” she said. “It’s a lot different when I’m in a studio. It’s really secluded and isolated, and you’re really in your head.”

Luckily, she has people like Gibson to walk her through the process.

“She has been like my guardian angel,” she said. “She really took me under her wing.”

Not only did Gibson play the electric guitar in “On Your Own,” but she also introduced Kezh to her producer Andrew Hill.

“I knew that when I met Andi, that she would be a great match for Andrew Hill to make some music,” Gibson said. “He’s really great with emerging young artists and with arts development.”

For Hill’s part, he knew Kezh was special from the moment he first heard her sing.

“I was immediately struck by her music, so I approached her after she performed, introduced myself, and told her I really wanted to record and produce her,” he said.

So far, that initial feeling hasn’t disappointed him.

“There is deep meaning and substance to her lyrics, as she writes in a style and with subject matter that seems well beyond her years,” he said. “She takes the time to craft a very well-written, intelligent, meaningful song, which can be a rare thing these days.”

For Kezh, “On Your Own,” has significant meaning. She wrote it right after her sister went to college, and it deals with wanting to try something new but “feeling like you’re stuck in a spot that doesn’t understand you,” she said.

It was one of the first songs she ever wrote and she’s very “protective,” of it.

Hill recognizes how hard it can be to relinquish control of something you created.

“It’s hard to write a song and then have to share it with someone like a producer, who will then change it and hopefully make it better,” he said.

Still, Hill thinks their relationship combats this.

“There is a certain amount of mutual trust and give-and-take that has to be established early on between the artist and producer….I think we achieved that,” he said.

Kezh is grateful to all the help Hill and Gibson have given her.

“I’ve learned that no one can make a song by themselves,” Kezh said. “I’ve listened to this song so many times I’ve gotten so tired of listening to it. It’s nice to have other ears listen. You have to let other people be a part of the process.”