If you haven’t heard of Andrew Laurel, you might not realise how much you’re missing out on great music. Laurel is an  emerging artist with insane vocals. Not only does he sing, but he writes his own songs and composes the music too. Andrew just released his first single “Pretty Boi“. The song talks about one guys love for another and his confusion around whether his love could be returned. This song, a definite queer anthem and dropped just after Pride Month. But it doesn’t matter if you’re a part of the LGBTQ+ community or not, Pretty Boi is an all-round great song. It features Andrew’s smooth vocals, an acoustic guitar and some awesome riffs. The song is the perfect summer song and it encapsulates exactly what it’s like to be young, in love, and free.

[Editor’s note: Portions of this interview have been lightly edited for clarity].

In the Making

Andrew Laurel

ComicsVerse (CV): What was the inspiration behind PRETTY BOI?

Andrew Laurel (AL): I was kind of just bored with what I was hearing on the radio and I wanted to hear a little queer bop so I wrote one. I felt like there should be continuous queer representation in music that doesn’t just pop up during pride month.

ComicsVerse (CV): Is it true that you wrote the lyrics for PRETTY BOI?

Andrew Laurel (AL): Yup! I wrote the lyrics and cord progressions for it too! All together it took about ten to twenty minutes. 

ComicsVerse (CV): What’s your songwriting process like?

Andrew Laurel (AL): For me it totally varies. Sometimes I get a melody first or other times I’ll get lyrics first. However I think maybe a little more than half the time it’s lyrics first.

ComicsVerse (CV): It sounds like songwriting comes naturally to you. How many songs have you written so far?

Andrew Laurel (AL): Honestly I’m not sure, I mean I’ve been writing since I was 16 so it’s hard to count up all the song I’ve written myself. I’ve got some written in my phone, then my song writing journal and then other spare notebooks.

ComicsVerse (CV): Did you Always Want to be a Songwriter and Singer?

Andrew Laurel (AL): Actually, I wanted to be an actor and director. It wasn’t until I was in 3rd grade that I realized singing was a passion that I could really pursue. 

ComicsVerse (CV): That’s a very young age! What happened in 3rd grade that made you change your mind?

Andrew Laurel (AL): I just started to gravitate more towards singing.

Let’s Talk About a Pretty Boi

Andrew Laurel

ComicsVerse (CV): Is the pretty boy from your song a real person?

Andrew Laurel (AL): A few people have assumed so, but it’s not. I wrote it from the perspective of a guy who was crushing on another guy who doesn’t know if they’re queer or not. When I wrote the song a bunch of popular instagram guys were bleaching their hair blonde and stripping down to their underwear. That person was the ideal guy that everyone was crushing on at the time. The Calvin Klein underwear trend became all the buzz around the time time the song was finally released. It was coincidental and lucky.

On Being a Queer Artist

Andrew Laurel

ComicsVerse (CV): How has PRETTY BOI been received among the LGBTQ+ community?

Andrew Laurel (AL): It’s more well received than I could have imagined! It’s almost every other day that I’m getting notifications of someone mentioning me in their Instastories or someone messaging me saying they love my song or that they’ve added it to their playlists. Also, I just recently got my first fan art, which was so cute and done by another queer artist. It was really touching was when a fan DM’ed me saying the song has helped calm their nerves since starting the school year. It’s means so much to see my song impact people in such a wonderful way.

ComicsVerse (CV): That’s amazing! School is starting soon and it can be a tough environment for LGBTQ+ kids. What advice would you give them?

Andrew Laurel (AL): If you’re not yet out, and people don’t know your pronouns or sexuality you’re still valid. You can find that validation, if not in your own schools, then online. Social media and YouTube has helped a lot in my own experience. While there’s no shame in taking ur time figuring out who you are and what you’re all about, don’t allow your ‘The closet’ to completely stop you from experiencing happiness and young love as who you really are. To my trans students; you guys are so unbelievably strong and the community sees that. No matter what anyone says or does know that you’ve got your big gay family to back you up. We’ve made so much progress, but we still have some work to do. Until then, remember you are royalty among homophobic peasants. 

Hopes & Dreams

Andrew Laurel

ComicsVerse (CV): So what’s next for you? Do you have any upcoming projects?

Andrew Laurel (AL): Right now it’s just getting the experience of what it’s like to put out your own music. In the future, I want to do things like more singles, music videos, and maybe an EP. Nothing is off the table. Being unsigned and independent, I have the freedom of choice. That has also come with having to do things for myself, like I’ve always done, but in a professional setting. I think it’s a learning process and my hard work will show once I put out more music out in the future.

ComicsVerse (CV): What artist would you most look forward to working with?

Andrew Laurel (AL): That’s a long list! I honestly want to be able to get a taste of everything or whatever I can get my hands on. For sure, I’d love to work with Sia because her and her backstory really inspire me. Florence Welch, too, because I admire her for instrumentals and writing abilities. For now, I’d love to get the chance to work with small, queer artists. People like King Princess, Claud, Olly Alexander, and especially Greyson Chance. 

Last Thoughts

ComicsVerse (CV): What do you want PRETTY BOI to leave with your fans?

Andrew Laurel (AL): Validation. While I don’t intend for my music to only be for one group of people and hope everyone and anyone can enjoy it, this song in particular is for my queer people. I want them to know that they’re visible and valid and our love stories are every bit as beautiful as their straight counterparts.
Andrew Laurel, thank you so much  for using your platform to represent those who aren’t represented enough! Pretty Boi is available for streaming across these music platforms: Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Tidal, Amazon, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Medianet, Napster, Shazam, and Deezer.

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