Andrew Teo: Extraordinary Musician and Ace of Bass

Andrew Teo co-founded the band Cynation with Josh Mak, and Simon Lai in 1998. The group scored its first hit with the album “Pandora’s Box” and went on to become popular in the underground metal scene. In 2002 Shah joined the group as guitarist. The band continues to tour and record. They released “Dancing Devil” single in July 2017. Following the new album’s release, Andrew and his bandmates plan to tour in Australia, New York, USA and Europe.

Musician, bassist, and martial artist Andrew Teo was born on September 1985 in Singapore. His father Timotthy, was a sales Manager and his mother, Alice, a consultant. Andrew has two siblings, an older sister, Audrey and a younger brother, Terrance. His sister, Audrey Teo instilled in Andrew the love for guitar and music since the age of 11, while she was taking guitar lessons. After graduating with a BA in Contemporary Music in 2012 from the Lasalle College of the Arts, Andrew Teo went on to work as a Financial Planner by day, and a musician and bassist by night.

“I was forced to learn the guitar by my sister when I was 11. She had taken lessons and forced me to learn as well. Subsequently I fell in love with playing the guitar and music. I met Josh Mak when I was 10 and he introduced me to Simon Lai. I was really interested in Martial Arts and started practicing Taekwondo when I was 10 years old. Josh and I liked roller blading and we started skating together with Aloysius Chua when we were growing up. In school Josh and I were in the school hockey team together with Simon. I played rugby for school as well. At 12 I represented Singapore in a friendly sparring session between Singapore and the Taiwanese National Taekwondo team. I am a Taekwondo Black Belt and I have been practicing Muay Thai for 7 years.”

Andrew Teo is an accomplished martial artist. He has earned the Taekwondo Black Belt and has been practicing Muay Thai boxing for seven years. Andrew Teo developed an interest in martial arts at the age of ten. At age thirteen he represented Singapore in a friendly sparring session between Singapore and the Taiwanese National Taekwondo team.

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Andrew Teo, Photo by NADGE 

Andrew Teo is very talented and gifted musically who plays with skill and imagination. From a young age, Andrew showed love for the music that later defined his life. As the bassist of Cynation, Andrew Teo has a funky style, and is a master of intricate jazz melodies, as well as complex rock arrangements. Andrew’s style incorporates elements of groove from funk music and also the aggressive attack of rock music. While striving to always be in the pocket, he never sacrifices feel and soul for technical precision. His solo performances are jaw-dropping and amazing.

Some of his early bass influences came from Billy Sheehan, Niacin, Marcus Miller, and John Myung. At age 16, Andrew Teo got into Dream Theater and while in college he played jazz. Tim O’Dywer, the Head of the School of Contemporary Music from Lasalle College of the Arts, served as Andrew’s key mentor in incorporating elements of jazz into his style.  Initially Andrew was pursuing a degree in Audio Engineering, but was directly influenced by Tim O’Dywer to switch major to Jazz Music to pursue his passion. His influences in jazz music include Jaco Pastorius, Nathan East, Ray Brown, and NHOP.

“The turning point in my life was watching Billy Sheehan play the bass. I came across a video at our local music store, Niacin’s “Blood sweat and Beers”. Watching him play the bass just blew my mind. His technique and style just spoke to me and made me want to seriously learn and play the bass. I started learning on the church’s Old GnL bass and subsequently bought a Yamaha RBX 4 string bass.

Another big influence was Marcus Miller, for my 15 birthday the band bought me a cd of his, M2. I fell in love with his tone and style. I got into Dream Theater when I was 16 years old and like the way John Myung crafts his bass lines. I bought both of his signature Yamaha basses the Rbxjm1 and Rbxjm2.”

More success for Andrew Teo followed with the release of Cynation’s “Dancing Devil” in 2017. The single gave the band international success and musical acclaim in US, Europe and Australia. Aside for the band Cynation, Andrew Teo has played for other bands including Singapore, Prince Band, and Top 40’s Cover Band.

Today Andrew Teo is considered an ace of bass given his richness, unlimited range on his instrument and his extraordinary skills on bass guitar.

“I like jazz styled basses. I have been using Sadowsky Basses for 7 years. I like the growl and punch of the basses and how they cut through the mix. My influences in jazz music are Jaco Pastorius, Nathan East, Ray Brown, NHOP. I like all kinds of music but when I am alone I usually listen to smooth jazz to help me relax. I like music by Incognito, Fourplay, Casiopea and T-Square. In terms of technique, I like Slap Bass techniques a lot, like Marcus Miller’s style. I just started practicing with a pick as there is more bite and grit while using a pick to play instead of fingers.”

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Andrew Teo, Cynation Bassist

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Photo 20-8-17, 4 16 45 pm
Andrew Teo, Photo by NADGE 
Photo 20-8-17, 4 21 58 pm
Andrew Teo, Photo by NADGE 

 

*Cover Photo Credit: NADGE

 

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