It’s rare that a band gets their name from an instant messaging service, but for local alternative rockers Andy Is Typing… WhatsApp gave them the lightbulb moment they’d been looking for. Drummer Kelvin Ngan, 21, told Young Post, “We were struggling to come up with a name for the band. While we were discussing it, we saw Andy [Cheung, the bassist] typing something, but he was too slow. The app kept displaying ‘Andy is typing …’ and we were still waiting. We thought it could be a cool name and we took it as it is.”
All the members have had previous experience performing in other bands and busking before they formed a little over a year ago. For guitarist JKY Cheung in particular, busking proved to be a great way for him to hone his technique and get to know his bandmates better.
“I gained experience and developed chemistry with Kelvin, which paved the way for me to join the band,” the 23-year-old said.
Kelvin – who studies at HK Polytechnic Uni alongside Andy and JKY – stressed the importance of maintaining strong relationships within a band.
“Having a deep connection is a must. Open communication is very important – being able to express opinions without holding back is the best way to achieve good teamwork and a harmonious music making process.”
This approach clearly works: the four-piece band recently reached number one on the Hong Kong iTunes Rock Chart with their debut single Take A Break, and none were more surprised than the band themselves.
“It was unbelievable,” Kelvin admitted. “And it’ll motivates us to go even further in future.” The future already looks promising for the group, who have a new cover ready for release in June, and a follow-up single and debut EP due to drop in September – when the band hopes to break into the Hong Kong Top 50.
Heavily inspired by bands such as Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Mr Big, JKY explained how important these acts have been to them.
“We’ve learned a lot from these bands. We want to make songs that have a good balance of emotion and technique – stuff we’ve learned from them.”
The singer continued, speaking about creativity on a more personal level. “Our songs are based on our stories or emotions. I might think of a core sentence that’ll eventually become the chorus of the song. The instrumental parts have to match the lyrical theme.” When asked if he had any pearls of wisdom to budding song writers, he offered, “Write what you feel – it’s hard to write a happy song when you are down, for instance.”
When prompted for their career highlight, lead guitarist Manping Cheung, 21, agreed with bassist and City U student Andy Cheung, 22, that: “Wake Up Festival at Taiwan last year was our first performance overseas, so that was really memorable.” Meanwhile, Kelvin reminisced about winning two Parsons Music Awards (Drum Legend and Band Legend). “That was, without a doubt, a huge moment for us. It was an amazing opportunity, and it definitely gave us a huge boost of confidence.”
They may be known for Take A Break, but Andy is Typing... look far from stopping anytime soon.