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Mark Andrew from "American Idol 2015" is one of the top 24 contestants in Season 14 of the FOX reality singing competition. He sang "Soulshine" and "Be Like You" for his audition in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a landscape foreman.

Mark previously one of the top 48 contestants in Season 4 of NBC's reality singing competition series "The Voice." He sang "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan for his blind audition. After both Shakira and Adam Levine turned their chairs around, Andrew decided to choose Shakira to be his coach.

Mark Andrew is a folk/rock/pop singer whose older brother sparked his interest in singing, and he also plays guitar, banjo and harmonica. Mark takes inspiration from John Mayer, Bob Dylan and Ray LaMontagne, and continues to make music to honor two of his former bandmates, who have passed away.

Here is an interview with Mark Andrew for "American Idol":

When did you first start singing?

I first started singing when I was very young. I was most likely singing along to the radio as my parents always had on the oldies playing during car rides. I loved listening to all the harmonies and great singers from the '60s and '70s. Trying to match those singers' tone and hitting the parts was always an entertaining game to play.

What role does music play in your life?

Music is probably one of the foundations of who I am. It defines me in many ways. I dress the way I do because of my musical influences. I look at the world through a lens that has been fashioned by the writing of my idols in the industry and I as many other people live my life with a soundtrack in my head. What separates me from other is that that soundtrack for me is often being created on the spot.

What makes you unique?

Well, everyone is unique. I think what separates me from other artists in the industry today is first and foremost my voice. I do not have a cookie cutter voice by any means and I have learned to use my voice to convey emotion and tell stories, which I believe is a major part of my appeal. I also come from a very eclectic background of musical influences. For example the two first songs I learned to play on guitar were "Knocking on Heavens Door" by Bob Dylan and "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica.

I have also spent most of my life working in the labor industry. I feel like working for a living puts honesty and understanding of hardship into my writing and my singing. I don't connect with artists that sing about fancy cars, jets or expensive trips and the like. I connect with songs about love, heartache and having good times to forget about the woes in life.

Do you have a wish list of writers you'd like to write with? If so, who?

If I had to make a top three… Nile Rodgers (love pretty much everything he touches… "Lets Dance" David Bowie is one of my favs!), Jeff Tweedy, Ryan Adams, and to throw in a dream one Rodger Waters and David Gilmour (Darkside/Wall) era.

What are your top three all-time favorite songs and why?

This is a very difficult question. I would have to put most songs by Pink Floyd in the top for me because of the feeling that I continue to get from the first time I heard those songs when I was young until now. They evoke emotional responses from me every time. If I had to choose I would say "Have a Cigar" is one of my favorite tunes and "Money" both play with interesting time signatures and have catchy rhythms that have stood the test of time.

I would also say " Sunday Morning Coming Down" by Kris Kristofferson. Kris's writing has a huge influence on me and this tune is one of the first songs that caught my attention to his style.

What is your strongest musical strength?

My strongest strength is my singing ability. And I play guitar alright…

What is your greatest musical weakness?

My greatest musical weakness is probably my lack of theory knowledge. It hurts my ability to write and also makes it hard to learn more challenging songs that deal with exotic chords or modes. I also have a extremely hard time remembering words due to a bad car accident I had when I was 18. I was ejected in a roll over at 80 mph and had a pretty bad concussion. Remembering words since then has been nearly impossible.

Who are your top three favorite and most influential artists? What is it about your favorite artists that you are drawn to?

Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, and The Highway Men (sorry only way to put Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon and Cash in together ... their musical style combined influenced me "outlaw country" as a whole. ) I am drawn to the writing! Hands down that's what does it to me. I can connect to the songs. Pink Floyd does it with their musicality and the others do it with lyrics.

If you had to pattern your career after another artist, who would it be and why?

The Zach Brown Band. The reason being is that I love what he does live. He records some big hits for country radio and then has all his other tunes that range all over the place into realms of almost R&B. He surrounds himself with amazing musicians and really puts on a show of great music for his fans.

Why do you think you should be the next "American Idol"?

Well, first off I understand that this is a business and I am here to work! I want to make this my career and make amazing music! I believe I have the ability to bring back what I call "The Good Stuff." Haha, and that would be the music that everyone knows and loves. The oldies if you will. I would bring my old school and roots style music to the pop charts with a modern touch to it of course. I also feel I have the ability to cross genres and make my music accessible to many different listeners. I can do Country, Soul, Pop, Rock … whatever, as long as the material is good I can work with it. I don't think you see too many artists out there today that have that ability. I would also like to think that I could be a great face to franchise and be one of the reasons American Idol can say we make superstars! I can write, I can sing, I can play guitar and I can make people have a great time with live performances. I love being involved in every process of this industry … even the mundane aspects. I am willing to work hard and make some money for myself, my family and the institutions that give me the means to have a career doing what I love. I am willing to work with talented and knowledgeable people to have a successful career. I am not a diva. I have a respect for both aspects of this … the art and the business.




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MARK ANDREW (AMERICAN IDOL): FACTS

Where does Mark Andrew live? Find out here.

Age: ∼30 years old
Hometown: Eden Prarie, MN
Current Residence: Minneapolis, MN





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Season 14





 
 
 
 
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