The name Andy Allo evokes one’s curiosity. The title of her second album, Superconductor, set for a Nov. 20 release, sets one’s mind on a journey of wonderment. The album’s single “People Pleaser” closes the deal. Unknown to the world, for now, Andy Allo is a delightful bottle of funky energy, consciousness, realness and joy. Picked to be a back-up singer and guitarist for ‘The High Priest of Pop’, Prince’s The New Power Generation band must have been thrilling enough. Sharing the stage with the man himself, for the past year, must have brought on continuous waves of natural highs. Being asked by ‘The Prince of Funk’ to executive produce her upcoming album must have slowed down, if not stopped her heart beat.
Born and reared in The Republic of Cameroon, this Sacramento-based songbird’s soul-stroking vocals commands that listeners be present as she draws them into her musical web of lyrical ecstasy. Soul music lovers are no stranger to Andy as with her 2009 UnFresh release, she gifted the world with heart stirring songs clearly birthed in an organic environment. From this 12-track album, she delivers moving creations such as “DreamLand (feat. Blu)”, “I Want Love”, and “Come Home To Me” clearly exemplifying her wide vocal range. With Prince’s full support of her upcoming album, Superconductor, the rest of the world is about to receive an early holiday musical gift.
Andy stopped playing ping pong with Prince for this interview. She claims to have mastered the game which she learned from him and regularly beats him. From beginning to end, the interview was showered with laughter and the transparency of her soul. Andy Allo is the epitome of real and clearly a musical force that many will have to contend with.
Regarding her fan’s anticipation of Superconductor, Andy says “It’s indescribable…it’s like a dream. I don’t want to wake up. It’s crazy but in a good way”. She then jokingly exclaims, “Please don’t pinch me.”
Believing in the continual transference of energy among humans, she hopes to conduct strength and light to listeners through this album. Through time, music has masterfully conveyed the spectrum of feelings, albeit an individual’s or collective feeling of the time and as such, Andy hopes that Superconductor serves as a reminder. A reminder to people, of this time, that “there is good music out there that hasn’t been affected by electronics.” She continues by saying that the album “speaks of authenticity and real instruments especially since it was recorded on analog. It screams depth and a realness that is missing in today’s music.”
The album’s title spotlights Andy’s ongoing interest in energy transfer amongst people. As a conductor of energy, music has a way of unifying people and this album represents a revolution to Allo. She clearly wants to “start a revolution…. changing music. If you don’t like something, change it.” One of the highlights of the past year came with the completion of her current project which was celebrated with a “bunch of cake” and of course playing ping pong.
With the day of the album’s release rapidly approaching, Andy’s raw emotion could be heard as she describes mixed feelings of anxiousness and excitement. “I cannot wait. I’ve been listening to this music and been ready to share it from the moment that it was written. Every day that passes, I’m speechless. I’m like a fan. I’m just waiting.”
As with her first album, an organic atmosphere enveloped Prince and his beautiful protégé during the writing process. “There was no discussion. If we wrote a song together, it happened. Nothing was forced.” Whereas she wrote the songs herself on the first album, this time around, she got the chance to write with another writer… “one of the best songwriters”. And in doing so, “I was really pushed as a songwriter and singer thanks to Prince. I was pushed to be better and given the space to be better.” Together, they co-wrote three of the album’s nine tracks – “Superconductor”, “The Calm” and “Long Gone”.
As with most Prince acts, his choosing of a protégé, is unique. Despite the musical powerhouse’s involvement, Andy Allo is clearly her own individual and definitely brought her own creativity to this second effort. Like those who have left us – Nina Simone – and others still here – Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu – Andy Allo’s music, like the aforementioned artists who have influenced her art, are intentional and speaks to the time. All known for their interpretive style of music and strong sense of self, it’s understandable why they influence her music. It’s also no surprise why she dreams of collaborating with multi-platinum and four-time Grammy Award-winning artist, Tracy Chapman and Betty Davis, the second wife of the legendary Miles Davis, who is widely known for having influenced his musical works.
Regarding “People Pleaser”, as I held back laughter, she says in another voice, “Well, I’ve done a lot of research about this and I believe it is an illness that plagues mankind. And, there’s not a cure yet, but hopefully this song is a step in the right direction”. There was no other name for this song. From inception, it was “People Pleaser”. There is no other name for that. Superconductor incorporates a lot of layers and includes a “blaring horn section and incredible arrangements”. The young lady who picked up a guitar four years ago and now masterfully strokes those strings, admits to growing leaps and bounds since her first album’s release, as a songwriter, singer and guitar player.
“I take my craft very seriously and [am] really focused on being a ‘Superconductor’”, she says. “Being surrounded by musicians 24/7 provides me with the inspiration for the realness in my music. There’s nothing like it.” Although, the video teaser for “People Pleaser” has been released, fans have to wait a little bit for the full video.
The pride can be heard in her voice as she speaks of Cameroon and her hopes of performing there. “I’m excited to see what they will say about this upcoming album.” We all eagerly await the Nov. 20 release of Superconductor. For more information on Andy Allo, music lovers can visit www.AlloEvolution.com, Twitter, or Facebook. Her single, “People Pleaser” can be found on iTunes and Amazon.
by Lisa George
Sponsored by Coco Key Water Resort