Andrew Andraos

CEO and Founder of Andersonation

Andrew Andraos, CEO and founder of Andersonation is an award winning music entrepreneur, record producer, composer and operatic singer, who is also deeply rooted in the global music industry and the U.S. music business. Andraos is a driven entrepreneur with a vision to develop the music industry and grow the music business in the United States. With 10 years of industry research and 6 years of collaborations with award winning producers and musicians, Andraos knows what the music industry is missing, and how it could be developed. Andraos has been working with artists from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, the European Stage Authors and Composers, Broadcast Music Institute, Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Sound Exchange, Kobalt Music, Tunecore, CDbaby, and Empire. He has collaborated with award-winning artists like Ye Huang of Mike Stern and Arturo Sandoval, Tina Cole, Poo Bear, Wynton Marsalis, Lexxi Saal, and Emilia Ali to name a few.

Circling back to his education journey, Andraos was honored by several institutions and organizations for his extraordinary ability in composing and producing music by the time he was just 12 years old. He is a Summa Cum Laude Berklee College of Music alumni, and currently attending Northeastern University for his master’s in Creative Practice Leadership. He studied with renowned musicians and producers like Gary Catona (Andrea Bocelli, Whitney Houston, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Usher, Katy Perry, Pharell Williams) and took a masterclass with Hans Zimmer of Gladiator, Interstellar, The Dark Knight, Inception, The Lion King, Blade Runner. He also holds multiple certificates in Audio Production, Film Scoring, and Oriental Music Production.

As a music entrepreneur and CEO of Andersonation, Andraos partnered with U.S. companies to offer artists impacted by the coronavirus pandemic advance funding ranging from $3k to $20M with no-fees. His work has been praised by international publications including The Associated Press News, Business Insider, and Entrepreneurs Break. Andraos is also a member of The Recording Academy (Grammy Pro) and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishing (ASCAP).

Andraos’ ultimate goal is to revolutionize the global music industry in a way that improves the quality of art people can consume by transforming the ways in which creatives create and distribute music.

Where did the idea for Andersonation come from?

Being surrounded by music experts from all over the world, and having been in collaboration with several top charting and up-and-coming artists from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Asia and North America made me realize the struggles that music creators face in their everyday life. I believe artists should have the freedom to release the music they want without being controlled by a label or ruled by contracts. It is very unfortunate that some artists lose control of their vision when they have to bend to strict regulations of labels, and they themselves, along with the industry as a whole, miss out because of this system. Andersonation was founded on the belief that artists are the industry, and they should be the ones defining it. This is why our slogan and motto is: Andersonation is The Nation of Music Freedom.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I tend to work 24/7, however, that does not always work. Unlike the majority, I don’t start my day with coffee, but with something chocolaty instead. My workday is usually split between digital marketing, music promotion, production, composing, and singing.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Generating new ideas never stops for me. There is always something to develop or grow in the world around us. While conducting exhaustive in-depth research about music in everyday life, we discovered how music can be connected to you even when you are not listening to music (what?). If you close your eyes, any moment, and focus on your surroundings, you realize how music is following you everywhere you go. The noise you hear is music. The voice you speak is music (prosody). Everything relates to music, and this is what I usually do when generating ideas. My process starts with developing a business plan tailored to people’s needs, generating minimalistic but creative marketing strategies, sharing it with the world, and growing it accordingly.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Meet Glimpse! It is such a powerful tool that any entrepreneur can benefit from to discover trends before they take off. They pull data from various sources and help me get inspired.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Being in the habit of always researching, learning, and expanding my knowledge into every facet of life and business, regardless if it is music or not, has helped me tremendously in growing personally and professionally. You never know when paths will cross. For instance, you could be in the music industry, and end up working with healthcare professionals on music therapy, especially in these unforeseen times when people’s mental health has become a priority to anyone. Learning about different fields will always be an opportunity for growth, and this is what I would recommend anyone to do.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Never let a grade define who you are. Follow your passion, and let your professors talk about your achievements.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

“Nothing is impossible” as long as you dedicate yourself and life to it. I don’t like when people say I “hope” will come true. You can hope, of course! But hope will not come to you. Keep on hustling and everything will come your way.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I never surround myself with people who spread negativity. Negative vibes will only lead to doubting yourself or losing hope in some cases. Being surrounded by positive energy plays a vital role in not only success but in mental health as well.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

To me, the #1 strategy for any business to grow and succeed is collaboration. Collaborations instead of competitions. Most business failures happen when companies switch their mindset from innovating to competing. I always try to embed the spirit of collaboration within all that we do at Andersonation, so we can all grow together.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Andersonation was hacked by an anonymous hacker who spent tens of thousands of dollars fraudulently on our website. This definitely had a negative impact on the company overall, however, it actually served in growing our business. It showed us our weaknesses and an area in which we needed to grow. This “adventure” led us to embed advanced machine learning technology and high-security measures to determine early fraudulent activities, which made our clients more secure and comfortable to spend even more on our website.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

New chocolate ice cream brands and flavors. I will be a loyal customer, I promise 😉

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Amazon Halo. It is a fitness wristband that reminds me to be nicer to my body. P.S. No, this is not sponsored.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

LinkedIn! I use it to connect with industry professionals. Highly recommended!

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuk is a fantastic self-motivational read. It has been an inspiration to me personally and professionally.

What is your favorite quote?

“Aspire to climb as high as you can dream” – Anonymous

Key Learnings:

  • Entrepreneurship is not about creating a business, it’s about finding what the world needs, and filling the gap.
  • Music is surrounding you all the time, you just have to close your eyes and listen to the music of nature and human interaction
  • Hide your plans, and let people talk about your achievements
  • The echo of life is what you do, the source of it is who you are
  • Don’t follow the crowd, walk alone