Andrew Neil

Sustaining a head injury in a car accident in Apr 2009 changed Andrew Neil’s life. Shortly after the accident he had his first Psychotic episode and his Mental Illness troubles began. However, another element entered his life after the head injury; that was Music. In the fall of 2009, Andrew started writing songs on the keyboard without ever having any music training. In Apr 2010, he picked up a guitar for the 1st time and taught himself to play enough to begin writing songs. Since the accident, Andrew has struggled with depression, Bi-polar disorder, but music gave him a source of inspiration, hope and purpose. Since the late fall of 2009, when Andrew began composing songs out of the blue, he has written nearly 350 songs.

During the period between the fall of 2009 and Jul 2013, Andrew had written nearly 250 songs. Initially, He began composing his melodies (i.e, "Headed to Mars", "Blessing", "People Think", etc) on the keyboard. In April 2010, Andrew picked up an old Yamaha classical guitar that was sitting around the house and wrote a song the next day by fretting the low "E" string. It was called "Fire is Born:". Never looking back, Andrew continued writing songs by ear, never really learning basic chords or scales. He played what he heard in his head. It was rough but effective with his lyrics. His Lyrics reflect his struggles with themes of loneliness, loss, abandonment, and past loves, yet in many of the songs there is this glimmer of hope that seems to seep through the melancholy lyrics.

In the summer of 2013, Andrew began to have significant issues with psychosis. In Jul 2013, after a short hospitalization, an incident occurred during a bad Psychotic episode which landed him in a jail cell for 8 months. He was acquitted, Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI) and committed to a State Hospital. He would be there for three long years. During the first year and a half of his hospitalization time he kept himself busy by writing numerous journals of poetry and songs. During this time, he wrote and recorded 70 songs in his hospital room. Although not perfect recordings, they were effective in conveying his melancholy lyrics. Eleven of these songs were selected for inclusion on the Album “Code Purple - Andrew Neil”, which was released by Tree Heart Records on 10 October 2017.

Andrew Neil's songs provide a window into his very soul, yet they are very relatable to many who listen. There is a wonderful raw, unpolished innocence in his writing. His Lyrics, at first were generally melancholy, reflecting the realities of living w/ severe depression. During the last months of his hospitalization, his lyrics still had that melancholy feel, but began to take on a more positive and upbeat tone.

On 1 May 2017, Andrew Neil was "conditionally released from Western State Hospital and moved into a Group home operated by the State of Virginia Social Services Board. He has made remarkable progress in that he understands his illness and has learned how to manage it. He continues to write prolifically and has begun to perform live at venues in the Charlottesville area.