If you missed seeing Prince live on stage, the next best thing is to see Andrew de Silva
(Fan at the Flying Saucer Club for Prince Tribute show)
Andrew de Silva and father Conrad
Andrew and Conrad perform together
November has been month in which Melbourne has serenaded young stars with Sri Lankan heritage, not least of all Australia’s very own home-grown icon, Andrew de Silva, doing a season of Prince tribute shows in Victoria following an interstate season.
Andrew’s vocal versatility with his ability for voice layering and falsetto, has seen him picked to play lead roles in tribute shows, most recently Prince and Marvin Gaye with great touring Australian musicians. He is a much sought after artiste recently replacing an original member as lead singer in the Australian band Boom Crash Opera.
Andrew has many musical strings to his bow with his ability to mix, arrange, compose, write, play guitar and sing in so many genres and able to transcend the music years from Motown to pop rock. He is the whole package, this uniqueness keeping him in demand with producers of stage shows and music gigs, next in line as guest artist doing soundtracks from the The Big Chill at the Arts Centre on 1 December.
Andrew was born into a musical family, the son of Conrad and Carina (nee Brohier) de Silva. Father Conrad is a well-known singer in Sri Lanka and in Melbourne. It is therefore no surprise that Andrew was influenced to start his musical career at the young age of eight. He burst into the musical scene making his debut in professional music as front man and main song writer for the R&B band CDB, winning an Aria with the band for the highest selling single, Let’s Groove, and Platinum and Gold sales for the single and album.
Andrew has overcome many set-backs, including health issues, on his way to living his musical dream of recording and touring today, but his spirituality and determination have helped him overcome them and his journey, he says, has made him the person he is today.
Wife Elle and daughters Yazmin and Jada were so proud of their father when he won the Australia’s Got Talent contest in 2012 performing his own composition Now that I Believe which is all about keeping the faith. A second chance at stardom, he has since produced albums and singles, won many musical awards and backed huge artists like Mariah Carey on tour.
To see him on stage at tribute shows to celebrate the lives of international musical icons, Andrew is able to transcend his packed audiences to the stage performances of these greats gone too soon with his soulful deliveries, mannerisms and costumes. A fan of Prince, his rendition of Purple Rain at a recent Prince tribute show, Purple Revolution, was stirring, with the crowds getting into the moment and giving it up for the moving experience.
As a public figure, Andrew is constantly busy and in demand by big names in the Australian music industry for his abilities as an all-round musician, but in private he is a family man and is never too busy to perform within the Sri Lankan community of his heritage. Recently, during the launch of A Heritage of Song, Book 2, depicting the musical journeys of musicians with Sri Lankan roots, Andrew accepted an invitation to perform with his father and brought the house down with their rendition of the soul ballad When Something is Wrong with my Baby (Isaac Hayes/David Porter) bridging the gap of two generations of professional family singers.
Public opinion is that Andrew deserves huge success in his musical career and, having penetrated the Australian stage as a song writer, live performer and session musician, the world stage beckons Andrew for a third opportunity of stardom. It is a chance for us to share one of our home-grown icons with the world, for which he is more than ready, “God willing”, he believes.
If you missed Andrew’s tribute show, there will always be others coming up to watch out for. Go get your fix – they are not to be missed!