Andrew W.K. was born Andrew Wilkes-Krier in Stanford, California in 1979, before moving to Michigan at age 4. He began piano lessons promptly at age 5, studying at The University Of Michigan School Of Music Pedagogy program. By his early teens Andrew had already exhibited great enthusiasm and talent for both music and the visual arts. He spent his high school years playing drums and keyboard in an almost endless variety of short-lived, but passionate groups, all centered in southeast Michigan's explosive cultural scene. By the age of 17, Andrew had graduated from high school - one year early - in an effort to dedicate all his time to his creative endeavors. He was accepted to The School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago, but instead chose to move to New York City in 1997, at age 18, to pursue his vision alone.
Upon arriving in New York, Andrew found odd jobs in art galleries, department stores, avant-garde fashion boutiques, selling opera tickets, and as a gumball machine salesman; anything to support his real interest: making the most exciting music he could. He pursued this goal day and night, putting all of his abilities and resources into the writing and recording of his own material. Shortening his name from Andrew Wilkes-Krier to Andrew W.K., he set out on a mission to get his music heard not only in New York, but also around the world. Without a band or even a partner, Andrew began performing solo concerts anywhere he could get them. Using only a keyboard, drum machine, and his voice, Andrew played shows up and down the east coast. He vowed to play any show, any place, any time, and wound up performing everywhere from coffee houses to basements. Quickly the word spread of the energy and raw excitement of Andrew and the music, and soon he found himself performing for larger crowds. After performing several shows with friends and fellow New York performers, Fishcerspooner, Andrew was invited to play 2 engagements at a popular Belgian Arts Festival called Over The Edges. This was only the very beginning of a fast and wild ride.
Andrew signed a recording contract with Island Def Jam Records/Universal Music, and began the recording of his debut full-length CD. Titled I GET WET, the album's release in 2001 caused a widespread and diverse wave of reaction, landing Andrew on the covers of international music magazines, like the UK's NME, which featured him not once, but twice on the cover of the same issue (adding an additional page to accommodate the double image). More press followed, catapulting Andrew to overnight exposure in the international music world. Magazines worldwide praised the originality and undeniable intensity of his music, and articles in GQ, Rolling Stone, Spin, Q, Mojo, New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, Jane, The New Yorker, FHM, Playboy, Oui, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Alternative Press, i-D, The Face, Dazed & Confused, Bizzare, Newsweek, The New York Post, Stuff, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, and dozens and dozens and dozens of others, the world over, all agreed that the A.W.K. style had made a mark in the wide world of music.