Aniko Forgo

Aniko Forgo

Getting to know: Andrew Allen

Student Aniko Forgo starts her interview series with a Q&A chat with Vernon-raised pop star Andrew Allen.

By Aniko Forgo

For The Morning Star

Andrew Allen is a singer/songwriter  from Vernon, B.C. He graduated in 1999 from Kalamalka Secondary School. His catchy music and easy to talk to personality are just a couple of the reasons as to why people enjoy his music and why he is constantly gaining fans.

A few of his well known songs include Loving You Tonight, I Want You, Satellite and his most recent single, Play with Fire.

Q: When did you first become interested in music?

A: “My parents put me in piano lessons when I was like five years old. At first I kind of hated the practising, but as I got better, I started to love being able to create my own songs. I’d say that’s when I first realized how much I loved  playing around on instruments and how much I loved creating.”

Q: What is your favourite song to perform live?

A: “It ranges from show to show, but right now I’m really enjoying playing my song Maybe. It’s kind of new for me, but it’s got a vibe and a feeling to it that I just love, so it’s fun to perform live.”

Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring musician?

A: “I’d say just stick to your guns, work hard, and don’t expect anyone to do it for you. It’s a tough road, but it’s worth it if you love what you do.”

Q: What are three of your must- have items when you are touring?

A: “My phone, my grey hoodie, and my guitar (laughs).

Q: What is the largest crowd that you have performed for?

A: “I played two shows a couple years ago that were about the same size. One was at the Kentucky Derby with the Barenaked Ladies, and I think it was around 20,000 people. And one was in San Francisco in the Golden Gate Park with One Republic/Parachute/Matt Nathanson and Michelle Branch that was around 23,000 people… so much fun!”

Q: What are some of your favourite memories from past concerts?

A: “One of my all-time favourite memories was when I performed at the Media Club in Vancouver, and about an hour before the show, I lost my voice completely – full on laryngitis. That part was awful, and I assumed everyone would leave when they realized I couldn’t sing, but instead of leaving, they all joined in and sang my songs for me, and stayed right until the end. It was one of the most meaningful concerts I’ve ever played.”

Q: Do you have a favourite quote or line that motivates you?

A: “How you do anything, is how you do everything. I think it sums up the way we need to treat life.”

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you aren’t recording or performing?

A: “I love paddleboarding; I love going out for meals; I enjoy traveling; and I like reading a good book.”

Q: Who are your musical inspirations?

A: “l’m a big fan of music that has purpose, so anything from John Mayer to Capital Cities. If the lyrics say more than just ‘let’s drink and party and sleep with random people,’ I’m into listening to it. John Mayer definitely inspires me though. He’s redefined himself a few times, and always seems to come up with a new surprise.”

Q: Would you rather have dinner with Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift?

A: That’s a great question! Probably Justin Bieber,  so I could ask him what on earth he’s doing with his life right now. Plus, I bet he’s got some awesome stories.”

Q: What celebrity do you think you most resemble?

A: “Like physically? People used to tell me I looked like Ryan Seacrest, but I think that phase has passed (laughs). I don’t know. Who you think I most resemble?!”

Q: What is the funniest thing that has happened during one of your past concerts?

A: “(Someone’s) dog took a dump in front of me while I was performing. That was funny.”

Ed note: Allen returns to the Vernon Performing Arts Centre for the first time in more than a year for his Home for the Holidays concert, Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 at the Ticket Seller.

“This year, we’ll be doing something just as unique, but with much more Christmas flavour, including lots of local talent once again. I’ll be performing my own original songs, but I’ll also be doing a ton of Christmas songs, in my own way, with the help of a few local choirs, some local artists, and even a special appearance from one of the teachers that helped shape my musical journey.”

While in town, Allen will also be helping with the Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Campaign and will collect donations in front of Walmart Friday, Dec. 20.