Bring on the Funk: Interview with Musician Andy Allo Molly Franken

Let the introduction begin! HelloGiggles, meet my friend, Andy Allo.

I feel really lucky to know and have a friend in so many talented, creative and gifted people. I also can’t emphasize enough how many amazing women this includes. Andy just happens to be one of them. She’s musically inclined, a doll to look at, and possesses a quirky wit that may leave some a step behind. Andy is currently exercising her singer-songwriter chops but she’s also an actress (you may have seen her on BET’s The Game). In the past few years, her world has expanded exponentially. She self-released her first album, UnFresh, in 2009, met and started touring with Prince and the New Power Generation in 2011, wrote and just newly released her second album, Superconductor, at the end of last month and continues to hone her artistic and musical skills. She’s living the dream of a million artists and is in the amazing position to be mentored by one of the greats. Her music is a bit of funk, a bit of soul, a bit of rock. It’s hard to pin her down into any one genre or category but that’s just the way she likes it.

I can’t wait for you guys to learn more about her so let’s get to it.

Molly Franken: Give us just a bit about your background to get people up to speed. Born in Cameroon, moved to the States and….

Andy Allo: …my journey continues. I am a singer-songwriter. An Artist.

MF: Any musical talent within your family? 

AA: My mother plays the piano and my father writes poetry. My siblings sing, draw, paint, write and design. So there’s lots of talent not just musical.

MF: When did you first pick up a guitar & what made you want to?

AA: It was almost 5 years ago. I joke a lot about my sister being a motivating factor since I’m a tad competitive but actually, I had been a songwriter for quite some time and I yearned to put music to my words. I gravitated towards the guitar as it seemed like the perfect instrument to accompany myself with and it was easy to carry and play anywhere.

MF: You’ve been touring with Prince & the NPG (New Power Generation) for the past two years. How did that come about?

AA: Long story short: We were introduced through a mutual connection, The Africa Channel, who had done a special on my first album, UnFresh. We played music together a few times and then I was invited to join the band on tour. The whole experience is quite surreal and I’m loving every minute of it. Super blessed.

MF: You also have a new album of your own out. Name & where can people get it?

AA: Superconductor. It’s available online on iTunes, Amazon, Googleplay etc. For physical, we have a limited gold cd disk available on Amazon as well. I’m really excited about releasing the music on USB and creating an entire experience for the audience.

MF: What’s your favorite place you’ve visited & why? 

AA: Hmmm… I have quite a few favorites. One of them is Paris. I love the culture of Europe overall but it’s simply beautiful there in Paris, plus I’ll never forget performing at Stade De France. That was my first stadium performance with 50,000 people. Epic.

MF: Is there somewhere you’d still like to go? 

AA: Outer space. I often imagine what it would be like looking at the earth from above it. Prince and I are studying how to build an anti-gravity machine.

MF: Does this new album have any underlying themes?

AA: One theme that runs continuously through this record is energy. From ‘Superconductor’ to ‘The Calm’, ‘Yellow Gold’ to ‘When Stars Collide’, many of the songs talk about something or someone that harnesses and carries energy. Energy and authenticity.

MF: What do you want people to know about you? 

AA: The best way to know me is through the music…I’d like them get to know me in their own way, organically, with nothing forced.

MF: You’ve always worked in both acting; (The Game) & music, do you think acting will make a re-appearance at the forefront in the future?

AA: Definitely. I love and live for expression through the arts. It’s something I look forward to exploring more.

MF: What’s your favorite part of performing? Least favorite? 

AA: My favorite part of performing would have to be just being on stage and experiencing it with the audience because each night there’s a new energy, the set list could be different so we, the audience and I, are taking that journey together. And my least favorite would be when it’s over. The stage feels like home to me.    

MF: What are you listening to right now? 

AA: Other than this amazing new album called Superconductor, I love Bossa Nova so I’ve been listening to Stan Getz & João Gilberto a lot lately.

MF: How has your outlook changed in the past two years? 

AA: Well, I stopped using phone and email for a while which allowed me to put energy into expanding my knowledge of spirituality and consciousness. My outlook is one I feel will continue to evolve as I grow and have different experiences.

MF: So you’ve cut down on the use of technological interaction pretty drastically; ie no cell phone, no email. How has this affected you? 

AA: I have slowly begun to re-introduce technology into my life but when I first started touring, the phone I had wouldn’t work overseas so I just left it behind and because of traveling so much I didn’t have a chance to check emails frequently. Technology has its pros and cons. There have been times when I was driving and since I didn’t have a phone…no GPS. That’s fun. You learn to rely on your instincts and stay in the moment. No distractions.

MF: What’s on your to do list that you have yet to complete? 

AA: Hmmm…this might sound odd but college. I’d really like to get my degree…finish what I started. And get my parents a house. Cliché maybe, but I promised them when I was about 11 and I haven’t forgotten. 

MF: One thing you make a point of doing every day. 

AA: Other than eating, it would be honing my craft. Music is a vital part of my existence so playing the guitar, singing, writing, are all things I can’t help but do throughout my day.

MF: If you could pick the brain of 3 people, past or present, who would they be?

AA: Wangari Mathai, my father’s father and Maya Angelou.

Andy’s album can be bought on iTunes or Amazon.

You can find out more about Andy on her website at www.alloevolution.com or follow her on Twitter at @andyallo.

Image courtesy of Andy Allo

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