Andrea Barnett moved to Werribee South 11 years ago after a lifetime in inner-city suburbs and has never looked back. The singer and songwriter has just released her second album and is keen to make a living as a recording artist.
She tells Charlene Macaulay the full story.

 

What’s your Wyndham story?

I’m from New Zealand originally – we came over when I was nine. I grew up in the eastern suburbs, and during my early adulthood I lived in St Kilda and Richmond. I moved out to the west after I got a job at the Australian Electoral Commission office in Werribee.

We love Werribee South – it’s home for us. Living here, you sort of feel like you’re in a country setting, but it’s only 10 minutes up the road to civilisation and the beach is only a walk away.

 

How did you become a singer and songwriter?

I learned piano from a young age and I started writing songs in my early 20s – it just happened. I was in cover bands and they were certainly regular and lucrative, but doing my own songs was a labour of love.

I played in the pubs around the inner-city and I ended up winning a couple of songwriting awards through the Australian Songwriters Association. This was while I had a day job. Then I made a deal with my husband that I would pursue this again, seriously, and I got a grant to record a second album, which came out earlier this year. Now that I’ve got two albums under my belt, I want to get out there, I want to perform more.

 

Tell me about your second album, Seeking Me Finding We.

It’s an acoustic album – just piano and my voice. It’s five songs taken from my first album but done in an acoustic way and five new songs. What I’ve noticed is the focus of my songwriting has changed. It used to be more introspective … now, that I’m more settled in myself, there are other things I focus on, the outside world.

 

Which recording artists inspire you?

I really like Aussie female singer-songwriters. I love Debra Conway, Kasey Chambers, Sarah Blakso, Clare Bowditch, Missy Higgins.

 

Tell me about your family.

I’m married, been with my husband Adrian for nearly 14 years. Our first date was on a leap year, February 29, and we celebrate our anniversary every four years and do something really special. My son, Beau, is eight and he’s a beautiful boy, and I also have a pug, Pepperjack. We really like shiraz!