Andrew Neil is a unique outsider music artist who has been creating music since 2009 after a head injury from a car crash. Despite never learning to play a cover song, he has written over 400 original songs and released six albums, with plans for two more in 2023. His journey is a testament to the power of music as a healing tool.
Andrew grew up as a recruited high school athlete in Colorado, went to the US Military Academy Prep School, and entered the US Military Academy at West Point with the class of 2012. However, he resigned in December of his plebe year. Shortly thereafter, Neil was involved in a car accident and suffered a traumatic head injury. He also began struggling with serious mental health issues, including bipolar disorder and PTSD. He turned to songwriting as a way to express himself and channel his emotions. Furthermore, he taught himself to play the keyboard and guitar by writing songs, creating his own unique sound.
From late 2009 until the Summer of 2013, Andrew Neil became a recluse and had several short stays in and out of psychiatric hospitals. He spent this time writing poetry, songs and painting surreal images on anything he could find.
In 2013, Neil had a very bad psychotic episode and was incarcerated for seven months before being found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI). He was committed to a state psychiatric hospital for over three years between 2014 and 2017. While hospitalized, he wrote and recorded scores of songs. Upon his conditional release in May 2017, he selected 11 of these songs just as he had recorded them in his room and released his album “Code Purple,” which earned him recognition on the Rankers List of Best Outsider Music Artists.
In 2018, he met music producer Andy Waldeck, founder of the bands “Earth to Andy” and “Killer Deluxe”, and went on to release four studio albums: “Merry Go Round (2018)”, “Freak” (2019) “Sunny Side” (2021)”, and “Alien”(2022). In 2019, while recording his “Freak” album, Neil was diagnosed with a very aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He continued to make music, finishing recording the album despite intensive chemotherapy treatments.
Andrew places significant importance on not only the music but also the cover art for his albums. He feels that visual representation is just as crucial as musical content when producing an album. His brother, Kyle Scott Maternick, is an abstract artist and was responsible for the cover art for two of Andrew’s works, “Code Purple” and “Freak.” Kyle’s understanding of his brother’s struggles with mental health is evident as he was able to move forward and work on these projects despite the psychotic episode in 2013.
In addition to Kyle, another talented artist who has contributed to Andrew’s album covers is Daniel Benayun. He created the stunning visuals on “Merry Go Round,” “Sunny Side,” and “Alien.” Andrew’s albums are available on both CD and in a limited run on vinyl. Each album has a limited number of vinyl pressings, with “Code Purple” being pressed 300 times, “Merry Go Round” also being pressed 300 times, “Freak” pressed 300 times, “Sunny Side” pressed 100 times, and “Alien” pressed 200 times. This adds to the uniqueness and collectability of each of Andrew’s albums.
Andrew Neil’s story is a testament to the power of music and the human spirit. Despite facing numerous challenges, he has persevered and created a body of work that is both beautiful and authentic. Whether you’re a fan of blues, grunge, math rock, or shoegaze, there is something for everyone in Andrew Neil’s music. He may be a reclusive artist, but his music speaks volumes and will continue to inspire and touch the lives of many.