Steve Andrews is a singer-songwriter and poet also known as The Bard of Ely, a title he was given by Big Issue magazine. Originally from Cardiff, he has been described as a “Famous Cardiffian” and a “Welsh Icon,” although today he is based in Portugal. He has appeared at the Glastonbury and Green Man festivals, been featured on Britain’s Got Talent, and he is known for having a green beard.

Where are you based?

How long have you been making music?
A long time.

What genre would you consider your music to be?

What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
Bob Dylan’s lyrics inspired me to want to be a singer-songwriter too.

What are your biggest musical influences?
Too many to list here but Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond, John Lydon, Roy Harper, Kate Bush, David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Jeff Lynne, Donovan, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Boy George and Bob Marley are some of my favourites.

Are you signed to a label or are you an independent artist?
I am independent.

What have been the biggest challenges in your music career?
Since everything went online and streaming of music began, I would say that getting traffic to my websites has been my main challenge.

How many songs or albums have you released to date?
I haven’t counted them but it is a lot, including compilation albums I have been on, as well as my own releases. I have written a lot of songs too.

Can you tell us a few things about your latest release?
My latest release is a change of genre for me but my lyrics follow the environmental protest theme of my recent songs. I recorded the basic track at Verdelho Studio in Portugal and my good friend Crum, formerly of Hawkwind, added synth overdubs. The music video for this song was filmed in Portugal by acclaimed filmmaker Pedro Augusto Almeida.

Any plans for new music or upcoming projects we should know about?
I have an ongoing “Ocean Aid” project to get concerts happening under this banner. I talk about this in my book Saving Mother Ocean. I have the support of SWND Records and Magazine from Wales, and we are going to make this happen. I also have the endorsement of Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd.