Andrea René has loved music since she can remember. Since her love affair with music began, she's had the opportunity to learn from Richard Smallwood, glean from Byron Cage, sit under Earnest Pugh, sing in front of Yolanda Adams, receive tips on singing from Tramaine Hawkins and lend her voice as a background singer to Kirk Franklin. Music, specifically Gospel music, is her calling. She often says that God had to create music before he created her.
The daughter of the late Yvonne G. Williams and the late Rev. Dr. John T. Williams, she has singers, pastors, preachers, evangelists, deacons and Sunday School teachers in her family. It was her grandmother who noticed the musical talent within her when at the age of four, she sat on her grandmother’s knee singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. Recognizing her granddaughter’s musical gift, she purchased a piano for her.
At the age of seven, Andrea began piano lessons studying the classical greats including Bach, Brahms and Beethoven. She took private lessons for 10 years. While in junior high school and high school, she was a member of chorus and participated in plays, concerts and musicals. As a member of the final graduating class of Robert E. Peary High School in Rockville, MD, she was honored to sing a solo “Out Here On My Own” from the movie Fame. She even garnered TV coverage.
She joined the Young Adult Fellowship Ensemble of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, DC, under the leadership of David E. Warr and accompanist and Gospel legend Richard Smallwood in 1988. She was a lead vocalist of the choir and a soloist for many Hymns of Preparation at the church, some of which were accompanied by Smallwood. Later after joining Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, MD, in 1999, she was blessed to sit under choir directors and Gospel greats Byron Cage, Earnest Pugh and Ricky Dillard. As a member of the Praise Company, the Youth Adult Praise Team, the Rejoice Choir, the Chancel Choir and The Levitical Voices of Ebenezer, also known as the Levites, she has been called upon to lead several songs. As a member of praise teams, she has sung background vocals for artists such as Kirk Franklin and Jeff Majors.
In addition to singing at her church, she has been called upon to sing for many weddings, anniversaries, funerals and church events. In 2018 and 2019, she sang "God Bless America" at several baseball games for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Also in 2019, she sang The National Anthem for the Washington Wizards (NBA) at Capital One Arena and for the Washington Mystics (WNBA) and Capital City Go-Go (NBA G League) at the Entertainment & Sports Arena, also in DC. A popular "Star Spangled Banner" Vocalist, in 2022, she sang the National Anthem and the Black National Anthem for the Georgetown Hoyas, as well as a performing the National Anthem for the National Cherry Blossom Festival on the grounds of the Washington Monument in DC and the PNC Parkway Classic 5K Run in Alexandria, VA.
She studied Music Performance as a Vocal Major at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD and at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, VA. She is a 2019 graduate of the renowned Berklee College of Music where she received her Bachelors Degree in Music Business. While there, she made the Dean's List each semester and exited the institution with a 3.98 GPA, graduating summa cum laude. She not only has performance and educational experience in music, but she also has an impressive resume in the Gospel music industry, including an eight-year stint at the GRAMMY Awards (in which she helped to make the Washington, DC Chapter the fastest growing chapter in the history of the GRAMMY Awards aka The Recording Academy), seventeen years as a Gospel music publicist to legends (including Gladys Knight and the late Andraé Crouch) and up-and-comers, the creator and on-air personality of Gospel radio news segments, a panelist at numerous events on Gospel music, an interviewer of countless Gospel artists and the recipient of multiple recognitions and award nominations. She's even penned a book called Live The Life You Sing About, just to encourage fellow Levites like herself.
Although she is grateful and blessed for what the Lord has allowed her to do in Gospel music as an industry professional, her passion has always been ministry and creating music that glorifies God. Andrea is a prophetic psalmist and receives songs in her dreams. A singer, songwriter, composer, arranger, pianist, producer and engineer, she released a moving power ballad called “Count It As Done” in summer 2019. The orchestral and gut-wrenching track garnered the singer her first two WAMMIE Award Nominations in 2020: one for Best Gospel Artist and one for Best Gospel Song for "Count It As Done". She also tied for second place for that same song for in the Make Music Montgomery Contest, presented by Montgomery County, Maryland. In October 2020, Andrea released her second vocal single, "Who Do I Run To". Part 80s throwback, part EDM and part CCM, the vibrant song is a reminder that when trouble comes, we need to go to the Lord. She received two WAMMIE Award Nominations for that release as well. She released an uptempo track, "My One True Love," in February 2023, just in time for Valentine's Day. In July 2023, she is dropping a new single, "Forgive Me". The track, a remake of a Donna Summer classic, flaunts jazz stylings. A new album, her first vocal project, I Believe God, will drop in fall 2023.