Many people can sing. Many people can play an instrument. Some can write music. Andrew Papillon can do all three.
This 23-year-old CSUN student is majoring in liberal studies, but has always had a passion for music.
“I’m the only one with musical talent in my family. It’s really funny. My brother, my mom and my dad don’t have any musical talent.”
Papillon said he’s been singing for most of his life and has been playing the guitar for eight years. Although Papillon has only been writing music for about two years, in that time he has written about 20 songs, all in the acoustic rock genre.
One of the artists Papillon is inspired by is legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix.
“You can’t go wrong,” Papillon said. “Him being left-handed, I’m left-handed. It’s kind of cool to look up to someone who’s left-handed.”
ACDC and Breaking Benjamin are some of Papillon’s other favorite musical artists.
“I’m a varieties person, but mainly rock is where I lie. Classic rock, old rock, alternative, you name it, I like it,” Papillon said.
When writing music, Papillon does not have a strict formula he uses all of the time. He said if he gets an idea for a couple of lines in a song, he will write the lyrics down and come up with a melody later. Or if he gets an idea for a guitar riff, he will play it on his Fender Acoustic guitar and come up with the lyrics after he writes the melody.
“It sounds kind of nerdy, but I use my cell phone sometimes just to write down little notes if I don’t have any paper with me,” Papillon said.
Singing sometimes gives him ideas for songs, but other times Papillon uses a unique method to develop his music.
“Another way I write music is to figure out a melody and write just any random words to the song,” he said. “Then after I do that and figure out how I want to sing it, then I actually put words that mean something.”
Papillon said he would like to eventually sign with his friend’s Christian rock record label.
This singer-songwriter grew up in Orange County, but moved to Camarillo his freshman year in high school. Now Papillon works for the Ventura County Health Care Agency using his years as a liberal arts major with a specialization in business management to do data analysis and consulting work.
Between playing music, working and going to school, Papillon spends his free time skateboarding, playing video games or in the rink playing roller hockey.
“I’m half French-Canadian so (hockey) runs in my blood,” he said.
Graduating this semester, Papillon said this is something he is looking forward to after being at CSUN for five and a half years.