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Rising Stars: Meet Nnedi Agbaroji and Andy Leonard

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nnedi Agbaroji and Andy Leonard.

Hi Nnedi and Andy, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Nnedi: In 2014, Andy, Bobby and I started playing music together as a friendly jam. Bobby and Andy were actually already in a band together and they casually agreed to help me arrange some songs I had been working on. After a few rehearsals, we all decided that we enjoyed playing music together and started playing out as a band. After a couple of years, the band the guys were in went on an indefinite hiatus and that gave us the chance to focus on Trouble.

Over the years, we’ve toured over 25,000 miles nationally with members traveling internationally with our music and in 2018, we were named Best New Band in Austin by the readers of the Austin Chronicle. It’s kind of unbelievable to think how quickly time flies over the last seven years.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Andy Leonard: In 2020, with the pandemic hit the United States and lockdown began, Bobby made the very tough decision to leave the band to spend more with his family who lived out of state. It was really challenging to replace him with a pandemic going on. We got a lot of interest but getting together with people was hard and keeping new people’s interest with no shows on the horizon was harder. We eventually decided that we would move forward as a duo.

There are already a lot of electronic elements in our band and creating electronic drum beats for every song, although time-consuming, gave us the freedom to continue to write and perform by ourselves. It really helped our creativity to have this freedom and new songs began flowing out of us and we are now in the process of recording our first full-length album.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Nnedi: Having been playing together for several years, both Andy and I have found ourselves wearing many hats. I’m the lead vocalist for the band. I also play synth keys and bass in the band for some songs but I think many people would say my signature is my voice. Andy stands as the powerhouse backbone of Trouble in The Streets. With live loops and programmed sequences, he uses his vast knowledge of bass guitar and keys to converge with technology and create a completely ingenious sound. A sound that I like to wrap (pun intended) neatly and securely in text-painted prose.

What makes you happy?
Nnedi: I think as musicians, there are a lot of things that are getting back to normal that make us happy. Playing shows to a live audience who we can tell is also excited to be there is a really great feeling. We are currently working on our first full-length album and that’s another big chunk of our happiness right now. Putting this album together is almost seven years in the making of us playing music together and I think we are both really looking forward to showing the next step in our evolution. One thing that I think makes us both very happy is touring getting to travel and share our music. It’s something that usually comes along with a new album, so I would say we’re very pumped about the next few months.

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Image Credits
Image by Marina Oneill Maria Wanders

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