Meet Your Neighbor – August 2023:
From Los Angeles Indie Band to Calm Meditation Music in Orinda
The Orinda News - July 26, 2023
Musician, singer-songwriter, composer and producer, Andrew Heringer has a studio in his home in the Orinda hills where he records his own music, as well as music by other artists.
What brings a professional music producer, singer and songwriter from the bustling Los Angeles scene to the peace and quiet of the Orinda hills?
As a founding member of the indie band Milo Green, Andrew Heringer, age 38, has toured North America, appeared on The Tonight Show and had his music featured in popular television shows like NCIS and Grey’s Anatomy.
Read on to learn why he made the move to Orinda and what he’s up to now.
Tell us a little about your life and your work?
I’ve always known I wanted to do music. I feel like it was a divine intervention when I was in fifth or sixth grade. I was playing music and it’s almost like I heard something say, “This is your path.”
After graduating UC Irvine as a theater major, I started driving around playing music anywhere I could – coffee shops, street corners and farmers’ markets.
I started the band Milo Green with some friends from Los Angeles. We immediately got a record deal with Atlantic Records and the group just took off with a momentum of its own.
We toured with The Civil Wars band, which had just come off a tour with Taylor Swift. They had the best fans in the world. It was absolutely a dream.
How did you get your music in movies and TV shows?
Milo Green got very lucky that a company under the Atlantic Records label placed music in a lot of TV shows. After leaving the band, I set up my own relationship with them. They had requests for certain types of songs and they would plug my music into shows.
Why did you start Dawson Records?
I wanted my own label to produce both my music and also for other artists. Now is a really cool time for distribution. Prior to the last five to 10 years, it was very hard to get your music out into the world. With streaming and the Internet, there are now companies to help you get out there so you can be your own record label. It’s been a big part of my business model to own my recordings. I can put them online and I don’t have to cut in a record company.
What brought you to Orinda?
My fiancée Carmen and I moved here about a year and a half ago. I grew up in Placerville and I love the way Orinda feels – being in the trees and hills. But I like to drive to Oakland and San Francisco and see friends who are touring and playing music and having access to that culture, too. That’s an incredible thing about Orinda.
Before the pandemic I couldn’t see myself living anywhere but L.A., but that time really changed me – and what I was working on. I started doing a lot of ambient, sleep and meditation music. All of a sudden there were a lot of people looking for music to calm them in this stressful time of uncertainty, so I started to release music under the moniker of Sound Bath.
Sound Bath is streaming on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music. The services pay differently. It’s a fraction of a cent per stream, but when you have enough people listening, it starts to work. By the end of the pandemic, I had freedom to live wherever I wanted with the streaming income and working independently producing and creating music on my own and with other artists.
Any advice for musicians starting out in the business?
I think you just make things and there’s a learning that comes from the repetition. You learn by doing it and doing it and doing it and over time, a path starts to unfold. There’s no way I could have predicted my journey. I started off as a guy singing and playing guitar, and it turned into being in a band and making songs for TV shows and then making ambient music.
Persistence and determination are key to making a life within something you love doing.