Andy Allo: When a Little Girl from Bamenda Becomes a Music Star
You probably don’t know her yet. Neither did we before YouTube introduced us to her music. We discovered Andy through the internet and sent her a message through her fan page. After researching her we thought that Andy should be known not only to all Cameroonians, but also to all music lovers.
Andy Allo is probably the most talented up and coming funk/soul artist to have ever come out of Cameroon. I can see you raising your eyebrows… Who? Yes, Andy was born in Cameroon some 25 years ago, and is now touring the world, after grooming her talents under the tutelage of no other than Prince himself! You have heard it very well. Roger Nelson Prince, or the Artist formerly Known as… Prince, whose name turned to a symbol before turning back to “Prince.” This piece however isn’t about Prince. This is about Andy. People in the industry call her a “refreshing songbird with a bright funk soul.” Her peers call her songwriting “refreshing’.
Andy, who was born and raised in Bamenda, the capital of the Northwest Region of Cameroon, was introduced to music by her piano-‐teaching mother at age seven. As the youngest of five siblings, she found her voice by harmonizing with her older sister to songs such as “Sweet Chariot”.
“Growing up in Cameroon, life was very easy and simple” Says Andy. “I was surrounded by Music. Every morning, there would be records playing like Dolly Parton and Miriam Makeba: On road trips, my father and I would listen to Fleetwood Mac.”
Andy, who once dressed up as Prince to open a show in Europe, is very humorous. She has joked about how Prince found her. To a Vibe Magazine reporter, she joked that she responded to a flyer posted in her current town looking for a female guitarist with an Afro to form a band. In an interview part of Direct TV’s Guitar Center interview, she also joked that Prince found her on Craig List.
Actually, it is the Africa Channel (TV Network in the U.S.) that introduced Andy to Prince. She joined and toured with the Prince’s New Power Generation in 2011 as singer/guitarist. She describes working with Prince as Challenging. “You always have to challenge yourself, be on top of your game all the time. She bonded immediately with Prince with whom she spoke about everything from music to life and religion. She describes the experience as similar to “spending time with an old friend”. “We joked around from the time we met. It was such an open space,” says Andy.
Andy performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live
She co-wrote three of her next album’s 9 songs with Prince, who served as Executive Producer for the album and provided musical arrangements for all tracks. These are “Superconductor”, “The Clam” and “Long Gone”. This album, entitled “Superconductor”, is a sophomore effort, which she describe as the beginning of her story. “I have always been interested in superconductivity. Whenever someone or something comes into our lives, there is transfer of energy. Music is one of those things. It has a way of moving and bringing people together that is universal. Her hope is to be part of that movement. And Prince agrees when his states that “we knew she’d be leading her own revolution soon.”
Andy will soon cease to be a secret. For all of you in the U.S. Andy is currently appearing on your TV screen daily. She is starring in the latest Wells Fargo commercial playing the character of Sydney. In this commercial, Wells Fargo helps a struggling artist, “Sydney”, with financial guidance so she could take her dream to the next level. You can watch the commercial, and download the song here. Before then, her song “People Pleaser” featured in the Superbowl episode of the FOX TV show “New Girl”.
If you are unfamiliar with her and her music, you can visit her website Alloevolution.com where you can lean more about her.
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