31 Days of Women: Ingrid Andress

Credit: Lauren Dunn

Editor’s Note: In celebration of Women’s History Month, You Sing I Write is highlighting female country artists and songwriters throughout March.

Rising singer-songwriter Ingrid Andress has made a name for herself within the country genre over the past several years. Following the success of her No. 1 debut single “More Hearts Than Mine,” Andress is nominated for three Grammy Awards at this Sunday’s ceremony for Best New Artist, Best Country Song for “More Hearts Than Mine” and Best Country Album for her 2020 major label debut Lady Like.

Today, Andress released the music video for her latest single and title track of her 2020 album “Lady Like.” The empowering female anthem is set to a stunning backdrop as her powerful words come to life on screen. The video and an excerpt of my Chartbreaker feature from Billboards Dec. 14, 2019 issue is below.

Growing up in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Ingrid Andress treated music as a hobby instead of a potential career; she and her siblings would perform impromptu at-home musicals for their parents (to rave reviews, of course).

Then in 2007, when Andress was 16, her family was in Boston — her father, a major league baseball trainer, was coaching the Colorado Rockies, who were playing the Red Sox in the World Series. While on her way to Fenway Park one day, Andress passed Berklee College of Music. “I had never heard of it before,” she recalls. “We went in and I was like, ‘Oh my God, there’s a college for music? I have to go here!’”

After graduating from Berklee in 2013, her songwriting professor, songwriter Kara DioGuardi (Kelly Clarkson’s “Walk Away,” Carrie Underwood’s “Undo It”), urged Andress to move to Nashville. “At the time, I wasn’t ready to be an artist,” Andress tells me. “When you’re in your early twenties, you’re still figuring things out.”

A year after the move, though, Andress signed her first publishing deal with DioGuardi’s Arthouse Entertainment/Sea Gayle Music/Universal Music Publishing, through which she formed her circle of songwriting friends, including Michael Pollack (Maroon 5’s “Memories”). “I was sticking with people [on my level], instead of feeling like I had to write with Max Martin to get a hit,” says Andress. Soon she was flying out to Los Angeles for sessions, and expanding her roster of collaborators. “Even though Nashville is primarily country, it’s still a songwriting town,” she says. “Learning how to write here helped me to be able to go into a room with Akon, or a boy band, or anyone.”

Being a songwriting chameleon has benefitted Andress in more ways than one — she says that working with such a wide range of talent taught her the do’s and don’ts of being an artist herself. “There was a huge difference in working with artists who knew who they were, versus the ones who are told what to do,” she says. “That really helped me keep a north star in what I’m doing. I’d never want to be in a situation where I’m just like, ‘I don’t know who I am.’ I feel like a lot of artists have a tendency to get caught up and just say yes to anything their label wants, but there’s so much value in keeping your own perspective and being able to write about it.”

For more of my interview with Ingrid Andress, visit Billboard.