MINKA, Andrea Nardello
Roots-Rock/Americana band Stella Ruze was founded in Philadelphia in 2014, where bandleaders Brendan Johnson & Katie O’Donnell frequently played dive bars and open mic nights. The band wasn’t formed until the duo was introduced to keyboardist Mason Wallack and trumpet player Alex Styer. They called themselves Stella Ruze, embodying Johnson’s song themes of love lost & found, while paying homage to Styer’s New Orleans horn style, O’Donnell’s vocal harmonies, and melodic piano hooks from Wallack.
As a 4-piece, the band released two studio recordings. In 2016, they released So Here, featuring 8 songs written by Johnson and modified to fit the Stella Ruze mold. In 2017, Stella released a five-song, self-titled EP, receiving assistance from sound engineer & drummer, Matt Muir, and creative direction from Ben Arnold. Stella Ruze performed a sold-out EP release show on October 6th, 2017 at Milkboy Philadelphia with co-headliner Josiah Johnson from The Head and The Heart.
Since the EP’s release, Stella Ruze added accomplished blues drummer Sean McIntyre, bass guitar extraordinaire Ted Mayo, and saxophone player Vince Gleason, a lifelong member of the legendary Mummers group – Ferko String Band. The band has established a passionate fanbase and played shows with nationally-touring acts like Pete Francis of Dispatch, Kuinka, Midnight North, and Blue Water Highway. Stella Ruze performed at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in August 2019 as part of the Philadelphia Folksong Society’s Music Co-Op.
MINKA has been building a fanbase in Philadelphia since 2013. In that time, they have sold out the Foundry @ the Fillmore (capacity 450), Warehouse on Watts (600), and Johnny Brenda’s (250). They have also performed at Union Transfer, Underground Arts, and Boot & Saddle. MINKA has shared the stage with Start Making Sense, Lotus, Vacationer, & Andrew W.K.
“A true multigenerational pleasure.”-UPROXX
“Literally the perfect music for a sensual masquerade party.” –Philly Weekly
“MINKA has successfullyripped out the guts of the music their mothers were listening to while dancing feverishly in 1987 and replanted it 30 years into the future.” -yvynyl
“Quirky and attention-grabbing indie-pop…an experience that nobody should have to miss out on.” –Substream
“MINKA is all about losing your inhibitions and being the life of a party. Known for their infamously hedonistic live performances, the Philly-based indie dance tribe is at it again.”–PopMatters
Philly’s Andrea Nardello has garnered favorable comparisons to Melissa Etheridge and Shawn Colvin for melding pop songwriting smarts with a confessional and literate songwriting style. Nardello’s refined accessibility draws from folk, rock & pop. She can tug at your heartstrings with her softer tunes and get you dancing on your feet with her upbeat songs and powerful voice.
Nardello recently won a contest and had the opportunity to sing with Brandi Carlile at Carlile’s all women’s festival in Mexico and was then named a top “Emerging Artist To Know” by NPR. Nardello has made a nice name for herself in the Tri-State area winning the prestigious Philadelphia Songwriter’s Project Contest and the Tri-State Indie’s “Acoustic Artist Of The Year.” Her songs, “Leave The Light On” and “Home To Me” each won WSTW’s Award for Folk Song Of The Year. Nardello has toured extensively opening for well known artists Colbie Caillat, Brandi Carlile, Gabe Dixon, Emerson Hart of Tonic Fame, Tim Reynolds of The Dave Matthews Band and Ron Pope.
Nardello teamed up with long time friend and collaborator, Matt Duke, to produce her new EP, Human. “For me, “Human” is a collection of songs that explores vulnerable topics. Loving someone when they are broken. Striving to challenge yourself when you are stuck. The final stages of life and all that is unknown. It is truly a soundtrack of my life and the people in it. I always get nervous before releasing new music and my only hope is that anyone who listens can connect to these songs in some special way.”