From Bieber to Bees
Andre Burnham ’18’s two passions are music and science, and built a career in the first long before he enrolled at Hamilton. He started working at age 14, with his two brothers, in a band called Burnham. They had recording contracts and songs on the radio. They toured with Justin Bieber. Amidst all that, Andre, the middle brother, would study when he could, on the tour bus, back stage and in recording studios.
He was a seasoned professional by the time he grew tired of the industry and turned his full attention to college. Burnham is now a biology major who spent a summer doing field research on bees, specifically on the impact of local queens on the colony compared with that of queens from California. He is working toward medical school and becoming a military physician to help veterans get the health care they deserve.
That's light years away from life in a boy band, but Burnham learned much from those years that serves him well now. Music is still part of who is, and he’s balancing music with science, still playing and writing songs with his brothers and a sister.
“Being a professional recording artist at a young age like that and having so many responsibilities and people counting on you and the record labels and whatnot, you could say I grew up kind of fast,” he says. “At the age of 16 I was basically an adult working my way through the music business. So it helped me be mature in coming here to college because I was already used to being on my own and making my own decisions and having to have a good work ethic.”