Self-Taught Outsider Artist Andrew Neil and How Music Helped Him Battle Mental Illness

Andrew Neil
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Andrew Neil is a maverick in the world of music. He has climbed his way to the top of the Outsider Music Artist Rankings with the release of his album Code Purple, the only album to have ever been written and recorded in a state psychiatric hospital. 

As an “Outsider Artist,” Andrew has been compared to the likes of Daniel Johnston and Syd Barrett. His struggles with mental illness, including Bipolar 1 and PTSD, and later a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer, have been defining factors in his life. Despite spending time in jail and a psychiatric hospital, music has been a source of solace and a way for Andrew to navigate the pain of his illnesses.

His musical odyssey started in 2009 when a car crash left him with a traumatic head injury. This was the spark that ignited his passion for music as he poured out his innermost emotions and battles with mental health through his songwriting. To date, Andrew has crafted over 400 songs, including 11 recorded pieces from within the walls of a state psychiatric hospital where he spent three years.

Andrew’s musical style is a product of self-discovery, not formal training. He boldly ventures into uncharted territory to craft a harmonious blend of grunge and blues sound. In 2018, he crossed paths with music producer Andy Waldeck and released his debut album Merry Go Round to critical acclaim, with airplay on college radio stations. He has since released more albums, including Freak and Sunny Side, showcasing his musical influences from iconic bands like Nirvana and RHCP.

Andrew’s music is authentic, heartfelt, and easy to listen to, setting him apart from many artists in the industry today. He places equal importance on both his music and the cover art, collaborating with his brother Kyle Scott Maternick and abstract artist Daniel Benayun on various albums. The cover art, much like the music, is an expression of Andrew’s experiences and emotions.

Andrew’s albums, including Merry Go Round, Code Purple, Freak, Sunny Side, and Alien, are available on CD and limited-run vinyl. With only 300 pressed copies of Code Purple, MGR, and Freak and even fewer of Sunny Side and Alien, these albums are truly one-of-a-kind.

Andrew’s music is gaining recognition on a national and even international scale, and he is currently working on an Alt-Country album, In the Country with Andrew Neil, set to release in late summer 2023.

A book titled Kind of Hurt is being written about Maternick’s journey and how music played a significant role in his life, with the publication date yet to be determined. Andrew Neil’s music is a true reflection of his heart, and it is a refreshing departure from many artists today.

Despite his reclusive nature, Andrew continues to perform and share his music, reaching out to connect with those who share his struggles with mental illness. Through his music, he has transformed his trauma into a source of inspiration, hope and healing for others. Andrew’s journey as an outsider artist is a tribute to the strength of self-expression and the unbreakable human spirit.


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