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Chicago Musician Bedows Is Quickly Making a Name For Himself

While Bedows has been keeping busy seamlessly producing and playing keys on tracks with Chicago artists like Burns Twins, Nafets, Rich Jones, and Elton, he’s starting to make a name for himself in the city’s eclectic music scene.

After recently releasing two consecutive singles, “Spin” and “Spin pt. 2”, it’s safe to say that Bedows is quickly developing and maturing his sound. We can’t wait to hear what he has in store for the future.

 


Photo Credit: Alina Tsvor

Photo Credit: Alina Tsvor

Whats up man, go ahead and introduce yourself to those who don’t know you yet.

Hi! My name is Andrew Bedows, and I’m a pianist and producer from Chicago.  I also love blueberries and tell terrible dad jokes.

 

I’d like to hear more about you and your musical background. Growing up in Chicago, how did you get started playing music?

I actually started playing piano when I was four.  My older brother of a year began taking piano lessons and I said to my parents that I wanted to because he was. I continued to take lessons for most of my childhood and I was mostly playing classical and rock and pop tunes.  My Dad was always playing older rock and roll so that’s what I was listening to and playing. Like many others, my first obsession was with The Beatles–so that music is ingrained in my soul. I kept playing for a while until I was 12 when I developed a bunch of growing pains in my hands and wrists which prevented me from playing the piano so I had to take about a year and a half off.  I got back into it around the time I was graduating 8th grade and although I wasn’t taking lessons, I was just playing on my own. I was mostly listening to hip-hop, rock, and some classical for a few years and then my junior year of high school, I started getting into jazz.

Who are your biggest musical influences?

I think it’s appropriate to start this list with Kanye as “Late Registration” is why I fell in love with production.  The musicality of that record is so strong, it doesn’t feel like you’re listening to music, it just feels like life. Also, I think The Beatles deserve to be up at the top.  So much of the music that they made was so instrumental in me growing up how I did–it’s tied to my childhood. Gershwin also gets a spot for “Rhapsody in Blue”. I’m not quite sure what it is about that piece, but every time I have ever listened to it, it spoke to me.  

 

Moving over to jazz, Bud Powell, Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans, and Mulgrew Miller are the pianists I have listened to the most.  I love how Ahmad Jamal pulls the most out of each note or chord he plays on his earlier recordings and when you listen to Mulgrew Miller’s solo records, it feels like an orchestra is playing–it’s beautiful.  

 

This list could go on for a few more paragraphs, but I want to wrap it up by talking about my influences from Chicago.  I really discovered the Chicago music scene near the end of my junior year of high school, right at a time when I needed some fulfilling music.  I basically spent the last month of that school year listening to Surf and The O’ My’s, and I haven’t looked back since. Just about everybody in the scene here is unbelievable and they are the main reason that I’m pursuing music here.

What does a typical day in the life of Bedows look like?

Normally, I get up around 8:30, have a cup of coffee and breakfast, listen to some music, then practice for a few hours.  At around 12:30, I’ll either go for a workout, run some errands, and give either Eddie or Iz Burns a call, as that’s usually when they get up.  I’ll then chill for a few hours, and then make my way over to the Twins’ house where we’ll have a session or hang out and then I’ll go home, read and repeat the process.

 

About a year or so ago, you released the widely acclaimed “sweet asl”. How did that project come into fruition?

“Sweet Asl.” came to be quite simply, actually.  Eddie, Iz, and I had just graduated from high school and we wanted to spend the summer making music, and Eddie said one day that we were going to be making a tape with Kaina.  It was just four people who wanted to make music that summer, and everyone did their thing. The way it all developed was pretty natural, and that’s what made it what it was.

Photo Credit: Michael Salisbury

 

In your mind, how are “Spin” and “Spin pt. 2” different from your previous work?

I think over time, the music that I have been making has grown more honest to who I am.  As I grow as a person and improve my skills as a musician, it becomes much easier for me to tap into my emotions and express myself through the music.  While a lot of the production on “Sweet asl.” is very cute (a lot of Eddie’s doing), “Spin” and “Spin pt. II” are a little sad and jazzy, and the newer music with Elton and Burns Twins is more complex and more of an overall experience.  “Sun Shower”, and the work with Elton in general, was more a learning experience than anything else–at least for me. Going through the ups and downs of this process, I learned that the most important thing is “what am I getting out of it?”  And the thing I am taking from that experience is the mindset that I want to be enjoying the things I am doing and making decisions in my life that reflect that.

 

What’s in store for the future?

As for the near future, there is more music coming and I think that the purpose of it is even clearer than “Sun Shower”–which I am very happy about!  I haven’t totally decided which direction to go in the long term, but I am planning on just learning as much as I can about music for a bit and trusting that I will figure out which path to go down in time.

 

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