"I started writing better songs when I finally was, just like, I'm going to write what I feel and what I want," Ingrid Andress says

By Karen Mizoguchi
March 10, 2020 10:30 AM

If you don’t know country singer Ingrid Andress yet, you’ll soon be hearing more from (and about) her.

PEOPLE has the exclusive first look at Andress, 28, and Apple Music’s Up Next short film about her rising star status in music, ahead of the release of her debut album. In the film, which was filmed on iPhone 11 Pro, the “More Hearts Than Mine” singer talks about showing her rebellious side during her teens, using the piano as a healing form of expression and transitioning from playing sports to fully pursuing a career in music.

“I think because I felt so out of place, coming from being homeschooled, it made me overthink and overanalyze everything. When I started writing songs, I was definitely overwhelmed at first,” she says in the trailer, exclusively shared by PEOPLE.

“I felt like I didn’t fit in,” says Andress, who grew up in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and majored in songwriting and performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston. “You have to put in so much work to, kind of, neglect how you feel. I think I started writing better songs when I finally was just like, I’m going to write what I feel and what I want.”

Ingrid Andress
Credit: Courtesy Apple Music

She was mentored by Kara DioGuardi, the producer, songwriter, publisher and former American Idol judge, who was also Andress’ pop-songwriting instructor in college. Then, DioGuardi sent Andress to Nashville on a mission to collaborate with a songwriting colleague, and ended up moving to Nashville, eventually signing two publishing deals, including with DioGuardi’s company.

In addition to her own hits, the ACM New Female Artist of the Year nominee has written songs with Alicia Keys, Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX, FLETCHER and Dove Cameron.

“Every song started in my bedroom or as a thought, and it is now something that a ton of people relate to — and that process is so mind-blowing to me. It’s so humbling. I just love that I can exist in the industry and still be myself — and spread a message that encourages people to be themselves,” Andress says about her country-pop music.

Ingrid Andress
Credit: Courtesy Apple Music

Her debut single, “More Hearts Than Mine,” charted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts, and she has also collaborated with her musical idols, Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman when they invited her to join them on three songs: LBT’s new release, “The Daughters” and a cover of the Dixie Chicks’ “Wide Open Spaces.”

“As a country artist, it means so much to me to have the Apple Up Next platform to share my music with more of the world,” Andress said in a statement. “I believe country music is global, because the stories and the emotions are real and universally felt. Stories that connect all of us transcend any genre, definition, or stereotype.”

Ingrid Andress
Credit: Courtesy Apple Music

Andress is currently on the road on for Dan + Shay’s The (Arena) Tour through April and will travel with Thomas Rhett on his Center Point Road tour in May before joining Tim McGraw’s 2020 Here on Earth stadium tour July through September.

Andress’ debut LP Lady Like is available on March 27.