UNLIKE the music scene abroad, it’s not often that you see a young girl playing an instrument in a band and on stage in Fiji.
And it is even more unusual if she has a bass guitar strapped to her body – that is almost as tall as her frame.
For Andrea Nryn, however, it was to be expected.
She was literally surrounded by rhythms, melodies and instruments from the moment she was born.
“My parents often had the radio on around the house and I had lots of little toy instruments growing up,” the 29-year-old said.
“My brother loved music and used to collect CDs.
“I was around nine years old when my brother, who was 15 at the time, got his first guitar. I remember sneaking into his room whenever he wasn’t around to play with it. I don’t know if I would have gotten into making music in the same way if it weren’t for him.”
Andrea explained her early introduction to the bass guitar and the reason she loved the instrument.
“I always loved how understated the bass was compared to other instruments in a band. I used to jam with Jasmine Duxbury during recess and lunch breaks in high school at Yat Sen, so when we decided to put a band together, it was finally my chance to switch to bass.
“Honestly, people thought it was cool that I played bass and would love to just have a chat more than anything.”
When she was introduced to guitarist Ben Masirewa and the other members of his group – 4 Quarters – she found an outlet for her creativity.
“Ben and the boys from 4 Quarters would spoil me by saying my bass is bigger than me.”
Andrea’s instrument of choice is one that many would envy. It is like the Rolls Royce of bass guitars.
“I play a Fender P-Bass that I picked up from a collector in Suva – apparently it’s been floating around since the ’80s.
“But I also love the sound and feel of a Fender Jazz, which was my first bass, so I float between the two depending on my mood.”
When it comes to musical influences, Andrea says she is an indie/psychedelic rock girl at heart.
“But I also love all sorts of electronic music, jazz, hip pop and rnb, metal, pop, anything by Hans Zimmer. I’m currently listening to the 1975, Paramore, Polyphia and Tame Impala a lot but this could change in the next five minutes.”
Music is not the be-all and end-all for Andrea, she is also absorbed in her studies and is currently half way through her PhD in Psychopharmacology in Melbourne.
Before joining 4 Quarters with Ben Masirewa, Andrea’s first band was called ‘Who Ate The Pie’ and it was formed with Jasmine Duxbury while they were attending Yat Sen Secondary School as 15-year-olds.
When asked what the future could hold for her musically, Andrea said anything was possible.
“I will definitely be visiting home and jamming with the boys soon but I’m not sure if I’ll play publicly until we’re doing our original music.
“Not sure when that will happen but it’s something we’ve always wanted.”