Alumni moves to Nashville to pursue music


Andy Geels performing at The Sutler, on January 11, 2020

Andy Geels, Class of 2011, chased his passion for music after college and moved to Nashville, TN.

When he finished high school, Andy was unsure of what to do with his future. He created music in his freshman year at George Mason University, but his enjoyment as a performer blossomed his senior year where he participated in a talent show. For the first time, Andy played his original music in front of a larger crowd.

“That was one of the first times I was able to play original music in front of people, and although at the time I was only writing comedy songs, it was still a great opportunity to put myself out there.”

Geels said it took awhile for him to find his niche.

“I had no idea what I wanted to do right out of high school, but it definitely wasn’t music. I think deep down I wanted to be a writer or performer of some kind, but neither of those seemed like real things I could pursue. I wound up going to three different universities and trying on like six different majors before I found anything I liked, and it wasn’t even music,” said Andy. 

After he received his Master’s in English at Radford, he returned to his alma mater to substitute before he decided to chase his dreams as a musician and move to Nashville. 

Andy has received several awards in his career and even been signed to CoffeeLabs Records. His awards include the 2015 Thomas E. Coleman Award for Poetry and 2016 Sea Level Emerging Artist Competition which showed Andy that he was doing something correctly in his music.

“My biggest early influence was Bo Burnham because I wanted to be funny, but once I realized I wanted to be more serious, I started listening to Jackson Browne. These days my influences lean more toward Jason Isbell, Josh Ritter, and Brandi Charlile,” said Andy. 

Since 2014 he has released two EPs and a five-star-rated album named, “A Little Less Broken.”