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Senior in the spotlight

OHS's very own, Andrew Wall

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Living like a rockstar does not happen overnight. Roads to Nashville are often long and hard fought to achieve the career of being the next big singer/songwriter, but every star we see today had to start their career somewhere. Today’s world is full of various social media platforms where creative teens can showcase their talent and for OHS senior Andrew Wall, there is no shame in showing off what he’s got.

Over the course of about a week and a half this past month, Wall uploaded two songs he wrote to his Instagram account (@awall295031). The videos created quite the buzz around OHS accumulating more than 1,300 views as kids could be seen singing along to Wall’s first song made public “Paradise,” on their smartphones and devices. “Paradise” was the first song released by Wall on Instagram – the video features Wall both singing and playing an acoustic guitar in this preview of the full song which was later released on YouTube in the following days. In the following weeks, Wall released two more of his original songs with “Fly” amd “Alright”  uploaded to his Instagram.

The videos show off his talent, but what they do not show is hours and years of work to rise to such level. The acoustic guitar is not an instrument featured in the OHS band or orchestra, meaning private lessons are almost vital when learning how to play, but not for Wall. “I had interest in learning guitar when I was a freshman. I got my first guitar for Christmas and went to a couple of lessons, but they weren’t helping so I decided to teach myself. I used YouTube and online tabs (written music for guitars). When I started I was awful, but after three years of hard work I consider myself a competent guitarist,” said Wall.

In all of Wall’s songs, the guitar playing is accompanied by his voice, something he has always had. Wall began singing in elementary choir at St. Mary’s. In his high school career, Wall has used his voice in the concert choir, being a caroler and playing key roles in various musicals, as well as singing solo at special events in town. Wall commented on how singing has shaped his musical life saying, “These experiences have really sharpened my vocal skills and have helped me become the musician I am today, joining choir was one of the best decisions of my life.”

It was awesome to hear people were getting enjoyment out of what I was doing. I thought I would get a few views and a comment or two, but that was all. I was shocked by people’s reactions.”

— Andrew Wall

As far as songwriting goes, it is something fairly new to Wall, but one would not know it without asking him. Listening to how fluid and creative his songs are, it is hard to believe he has only been doing this on and off for roughly a year. “My first attempt at songwriting was in my junior year (of high school) when asking a girl to homecoming. I didn’t really write again for about a year, but picked it up again this winter- I didn’t think it would go anywhere, I mostly shared songs with family and a few friends,” said Wall.

Wall’s most popular song, “Paradise,” is the fourth song he has written and first shared as he thought he liked it enough to share. With a large following and support from the OHS student body, Wall was encouraged to release full version and the other songs in his arsenal.  Wall said, “It was awesome to hear people were getting enjoyment out of what I was doing. I thought I would get a few views and a comment or two, but that was all.  I was shocked by people’s reactions.” The inspiration for his style of music is derived from current artists such as Jason Mraz, Shawn Mendes and Ed Sheeran, but ultimately comes into his own by writing creative original songs.

Wall’s buzz is not over as he will be releasing a new song on April 29 in his live NHS talent show performance, this one about graduation and growing up. He will also continue uploading more of his work to his YouTube channel.

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The student news site of Owatonna High School.