"It was a way to express myself" - Andreescu speaks on newfound love for producing music
During lockdown, Bianca Andreescu quietly turned her hand to making beats - a creative outlet that has helped her process her emotions and stay grounded as she continues her tennis comeback.
Two years ago, as the tennis world shut down as the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Andreescu's dormant Soundcloud account quietly came to life. In contrast to the maximum cross-promotion with which tennis players usually launch new ventures and side projects, Andreescu has so far uploaded a handful of tracks with little fanfare.
"When Covid hit I was like, I can't play tennis, I can't see anyone, what do I do?" the Canadian recalls. "So I made a list of things I could do with my free time now that I had it, and one of them was to do something in music. Singing was not it. So what's the other thing I can do? To make beats, to make music.
"It was a way to express myself, as well, because I was going through a hard time. I was injured, then I was ready to play, then Covid hit, then some other personal things were going on. The songs you hear are based on what I was feeling in that moment."
In the current music scene, Andreescu's inspirations include the Canadian rapper Roy Woods and H.E.R., the Grammy-winning R&B singer. Drake and Lil' Wayne are long-standing favorites, though with true hipster spirit, she prefers their "classic" older material.
"Lil' Wayne's music is too mainstream now, and the same with Drake a little bit," says the 2019 US Open champion. And if she could pick one artist to hear over her beats, it would be the Canadian singer Jessie Reyez: "I think my music would definitely fit a female artist, and she has such a smooth voice."
Growing up, Andreescu played both piano and guitar, and she now creates her instrumental tracks in GarageBand. Her process, which she describes as therapeutic, is a contrast to the self-imposed pressure with which she approaches tennis.
"I'm a perfectionist - but only with tennis," revealed the 22-year old. "Outside the court, ultimately I'm a go-with-the-flow girl. Kind of two different personalities. With the music I did not feel I was a perfectionist. I just let things go as they were."