Andrew Johnston has had a wide ranging musical career and has experimented with different sounds. 2005’s “Hearts in Transit”, a collection of soft rock hits and contemplative ballads, was followed up just a few years later by “Leaders Factory” an indie rock record featuring many of Montreal’s leading lights in the genre (members of Besnard Lakes and Elephant Stone to name a few). Fast forward to 2017’s “The New Great Game” and Andrew was painting in broad, expressive brushstrokes, inspired by arena filling rock anthems by Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, and produced by Murray Lightburn of the Dears. If there’s one thing that’s always tied together Andrew’s musical output, however, it’s been a belief in the power of music to inspire, motivate, and to be a force for positivity and change in the world. This is clearly evident in the artist’s live shows; rabble-rousing affairs where no audience member escapes from the sing-along choruses and Andrew is likely to end up perched atop the bar by the end of the night.
Andrew’s love of the poppier side of music (as showcased on his albums “Hearts in Transit” and “Wake of the Wonder Years”) came full circle when Andrew was invited to open for two of the biggest names in 80s pop: Colin Hay (Men at Work) and Big Country. Andrew made the most of his Colin Hay opening set by relating an anecdote of driving around in his mum’s Jeep Cherokee Laredo in the 80s singing Men at Work songs. The audience seemed to relate and Andrew got them all singing along.
Since then, Andrew has emerged from the shadow of his heroes to become an artist in his own right. In 2014 his song “Go Get Another Dream” was featured in the film “In Your Eyes” by Joss Whedon’s Bellwether Pictures, and the song appeared on the Lakeshore records soundtrack alongside other artists such as Iron and Wine, and Santigold.
Andrew spent 5 years working at e-commerce company Shopify, where he absorbed deep lessons in running a business and marketing products online. His twin love for tech and music was in evidence when he helped bring Laura Escude’s seminar “The art of designing a live show” to Shopify in 2019. In 2021 Andrew started the label Enabler Records with the mission of combining his learnings from Shopify with his love of music to help artists and be a force for good in the world.