It’s been a satellite kind of year for Vernon’s Andrew Allen.
His music has not only reached the stratosphere on both the Canadian and U.S. airwaves, Allen has had some time to coast along, see a lot of the country, and also relax in his own little part of the world.
After a busy winter, where he toured the U.S. with Dia Frampton, runner up on the first season of music reality show The Voice, Allen spent a lot of time writing and recording and has just released his latest single, aptly titled Satellite.
He is also gearing up to play his biggest show to date in his hometown when he kicks off the inaugural Vernon Community Expo with a concert at the Wesbild Centre Oct. 19.
But more on that later.
Allen is coming off what he describes as “the best summer ever,” and it, thankfully, included some much needed R&R.
“Me and (wife) Julia decided to chill out and not worry about anything. We ended up paddleboarding and enjoying time with friends,” he said. “We spent July in Vernon and August house sitting for friends in Kelowna.”
Not one to rest too long without his guitar in hand, Allen also found himself travelling around the country to play a few gigs from Vancouver to Toronto, where he opened for Lights as well as Backstreet Boy Nick Carter at the Canadian National Exhibition.
“I had just done a show for frosh week in Missouri and flew to Toronto three days before the show… It was great to see some of the sights.”
Allen plans to spend more time in Canada touring on the release of Satellite.
“The song is different from what I’ve done before. I wrote it to sound quite folky, but the recorded version has this pop sound to it,” he said. “It’s not a sad song. It’s about a relationship where the guy is saying to the girl ‘you are going to be amazing and go to the moon and back, but I have to let you go.’ I feel you can hear the soul in the music. I was thinking of friends and relationships when I wrote the song.”
Allen once again worked with Vancouver producer Ryan Stewart to record Satellite.
Stewart, who has made hits for the likes of Carly Rae Jepsen and Victoria Duffield, worked on Allen’s previous single I Want You, as well as his chart topping songs Loving You Tonight and I Wanna Be (Your Christmas).
And speaking of Jepsen, known for her über hit Call Me Maybe, Allen has performed with her on a number of occasions, including here in Vernon back in 2010.
“When she came off Canadian Idol, Ryan thought she sounded good,” said Allen. “He is a big reason for the sound she has now. He’s also done the same for (Warner Music artist) Laurell and my Christmas song. We work with him for his pop sensibility. He lays down cool beats with the singer-songwriter in mind… He’s also this nice guy. He’s a family man, so at 6 p.m. when he says it’s time to go home, it’s time to go home.”
Satellite has already been sent out to radio stations across the country, and can be downloaded off iTunes as of Monday.
Asked all the time by his fans on Twitter and Facebook, and by this reporter, when his full-length album will drop, Allen admits he is not entirely sure.
“Part of the reason I am releasing Satellite is to build the finances for the album. I also have a new management team, and (record label) Sony and me are still good friends. They were the ones who sent me to L.A. to write the song.”
Allen is looking forward to perform Satellite and his other hits to hometown fans at Wesbild Centre. It’s his first time playing a big arena show locally and it should do well, as his last concert at the Performing Arts Centre in January sold out with more than 200 names on the waiting list for tickets.
“I am super excited to have another show lined up here in Vernon, and this time, at the Wesbild supporting an incredible cause. The last hometown show I had at the Performing Arts Centre was so much fun, and I was honestly blown away at how fast the tickets went, and how supportive the community was. Vernon really knows how to get behind one of their own, and I’m forever grateful,” said Allen. “(Wesbild) is a big room. I’ve brought in a producer for the show and a set designer. We also have some neat ideas to bring in local dancers and visual artists. We’re taking it to a five dimensional level, not just singing.”
Sponsored by Durali Villa and Sun FM, the three-day Vernon Community Expo will feature more than 100 local businesses offering information, samples and prizes. Other entertainment is scheduled along with a boot camp on the Sunday by fitness guru Tommy Europe.
All those who enter Wesbild Centre will also have the opportunity to make a donation to support the Sun FM Have a Heart Radiothon, which raises money to provide much needed medical equipment for women’s and children’s health services at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
Tickets for the Oct. 19 concert with Allen are $25 for general admission and $28 for floor seating, now on sale at the Ticket Seller box office. Order online at www.ticketseller.ca or phone 250-549-7469.
More information on the Vernon Community Expo is available at vernoncommunityexpo.com