Yokosuka teen’s music interest leads him to prize-winning song
January 18, 2008
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — As if high school isn’t hard enough, Andrew Brenyo just might have to deal with fame as well.
Andrew, who goes by Andreaz, is the national winner of a Boys & Girls Clubs of America contest for writing and recording an original song, and his secret is out — he can sing.
As a regular at Yokosuka’s Teen Center, Andreaz spent his afternoons hanging out with friends and spending time in the center’s recording studio.
Recognizing talent when he saw it, the center’s Youth and Teen Programs coordinator, Geoff Rhinehart, suggested Andrew enter the Club Tech Digital Arts Festivals in the music category.
Each year, the festivals offer the chance to compete in one of five categories: music, photo, movie, Web and design. This year’s theme was “Our Changing World.”
Andreaz wrote, produced and recorded his entry, “I’m Changing.”
Andreaz said he was just trying to write a song everyone could relate to.
“I’ve been writing poetry for about four years, so I already had an idea that talked about how everyone makes mistakes in life,” Andreaz said. “My song is about: Just keep on trying and not giving up.”
Andreaz’s composition was one of 219 submissions judged by a panel of industry experts, including Kelly Edwards, the director of music for Radio Disney, and Grammy-nominated singer-writer Mario.
The message of Andreaz’s song struck a chord as “touching and inspirational,” Mario was quoted in a press release as saying, and on Dec. 20 Andreaz’s song won first place for the 13-15 age category.
“It’s really amazing when you consider that he put the whole thing together in what amounted to just a couple hours,” Rhinehart said.
Andreaz’s prize is a trip to Minneapolis this summer, BGA spokesperson Lakeshia Poole said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.
Poole said Andreaz will meet with representatives from the contest’s sponsors at Best Buy and Microsoft as well as enjoy some sightseeing.
“We hope that [Andreaz’s] win will encourage other students to discover and develop their own talents,” Rhinehart said.
Andreaz will have to wait until July for his trip back to the States. In the meantime, the teen center is planning on producing 100 free demos for Andreaz to hand out, Rhinehart said.
Audio clip:Listen to Andreaz's "I'm Changing"