Maybe it’s the positive, DIY attitude that carried the singer through a minivan tour in Canada, a self-booked tour of UK and his famed ‘Living Room Sessions’ performed and recorded in the living rooms of his new fans. Whatever it is that makes Andrew Allen’s harmonies so sweet and his presence so harmonious, the upbeat Canadian singer-songwriter is on his way to the top, releasing an album with Epic Records later this year and getting ready for a summer-long tour.
We caught up with Andrew Allen to talk influences, playing concerts in fan’s living rooms and recording an entire album on GarageBand. Check out the interview, the video for ‘Loving You Tonight’ and get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the video.
Watch Andrew’s Allen’s ‘Loving You Tonight’ Video
Describe your sound in five adjectives.
Fun, upbeat, sunny, happy, beachy.
If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, who would it be?
Tough one. I’d say either Jeff Buckley or Bob Marley. Both had such incredible vibes!
How did you get into music and how has your sound changed since you’ve started playing?
I started playing piano at age 5. As far as getting into the industry, it’s a natural progression when you start getting bored of playing piano for your family and friends and you want to take it a little further. The industry just happens to be there. From age of 5 to now, my sound has changed numerous times. I played in a pop-punk band for awhile until I realized that my voice and persona just didn’t suit it. About three years ago, I finally developed the sound I have now. though it was probably a more grassroots version of itself, but definitely the beginning to what it’s become now.
What was it like to record an entire album on GarageBand?
“Challenging” would be the first word that came to mind. I didn’t own a Mac before that and I wasn’t sure how to work GarageBand, but with some trial, error and perseverance I was able to figure out the basics of it and the final outcome was something I was happy with!
What’s the concept behind the ‘Living Room Sessions’?
The concept was simple, really. It was all about stripping down the walls and the things that held people away from each other. It was about moving right in to the living room to develop relationships with people you wouldn’t normally get to meet. I had the pleasure of traveling throughout Canada and the UK and instead of hoping that people would come out to a club to watch my show, I went into their living rooms and performed where I knew people would naturally love to gather. It became the name of my first record because it was that concept that motivated the recording and the touring.
Your song ‘Amazing’ was used to close the Paralympics Closing Ceremony. How were you inspired by this experience?
This was one of the first times that it really hit home to me that it doesn’t matter what you think your song is about, other people will be moved by it in whatever way they feel. That alone is inspiring — to see what others see in your art! It was incredible to be a part of the ceremony, since these human beings have overcome such adversity in their personal lives and never gave up, then they took it to the next degree and showed they’re also some of the most talented athletes in the world. Seeing this type of dedication is extremely overwhelming and definitely inspiring!
What’s your best memory from SXSW this year?
I loved the vibe of the city, the excitement in the fans, the showcase we had that night — everything! And definitely hanging out in the lounge with the folks supporting. Hands down, the highlight.