Prepare to meet another side of Andy Brown. As frontman and chief songwriter with chart regulars Lawson, the Liverpool-born singer-songwriter always had a sharp ear for a great melody. But now, combining his pop sensibilities with his lifelong love of the Nashville sound, he’s all set to become the next figurehead in the unstoppable rise of crossover British country music.
With the million-selling band on hiatus, Brown’s upcoming solo debut is about to land a double punch: winning him a whole new audience while delighting his existing legion of fans. He’s been writing and recording with the elite of musicians in both Nashville and Minneapolis, crafting an album that speaks of his affinity with American country, soul, gospel, pop and rock but which retains a proudly British flavour.
As he developed the album, Brown was confident in the knowledge that country music is all about emotion and storytelling, not about whether you drink beer and drive trucks. “For me, it’s real life lyrics and emotive songs,” he says. “I’ve always tried to reference bands like Lady Antebellum in my writing, but now I’ve had the shackles taken off. I think there’s a massive market for it, and I’ve always loved the music. When I sit down at a piano or guitar and write a song, they’re always country songs.”
The next step is to take these songs on the road, and he’s revved up and raring. “I’ll put a band around it because the songs are so big, like three-part harmonies in every chorus,” he says, with a glint in his eye. “I can’t wait to get out there.”