A couple of weeks ago, I left work and rushed over to Guitar Center in Hollywood to witness a filming of the retailer’s television program Guitar Center Sessions. The series features seasoned, up-and-coming, and independent musicians performing their latest tracks, and the night I attended, the guest was Andy Allo. This Camaroon-born wonder proclaims herself to be unbound by a specific genre — dabbling in funk, hip hop, jazz, soul, and rock — and has both spirit and sass, but also radiates sweetness with her smile.

I entered the building through the “vintage” room where hanging vintage guitars served as a pretty cool background to Andy Allo’s stage. I found a great vantage point on the balcony, and when the clock ticked down for the start of the taping, it sounded like everyone in the room was holding their breath, as though the microphones would be able to catch every sound. 

Photo courtesy of Guitar Center

Andy, tenderly grasping the microphone, was quite relaxed from the very first song, which exhibited a soul and jazz influence. The way she performed was fun and full of sparks, like there was no holding back, and during the set, she played a cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Love is a Losing Game” as well as “If I Was King,” a song that had a reggae flavor to it. The mellow track “Story of You and I” reminded me of one of those classic Disney princess songs and was performed without drums, allowing Andy’s sultry vocals to shine through. The very last song of the night was “Long Gone,” a heart-wrenching, emotional piece co-written by Prince.

Andy used her arms, wrists, and hands to conduct her hip, fashionable, out-of-the-box band when it was their turn to take the lead, and at one point, she moved away from center stage to let a couple of trumpet players take over with their solos. She had been rocking out all night with her white-and-gold plated electric guitar, and at this moment, she gently swung the guitar behind herself to dance, at which point I winced since, from my angle, I thought the guitar’s head would hit and drag against the floor.

Photo courtesy of Guitar Center

After the performance portion of this episode and a brief intermission, it was time for Andy’s interview with the host of Guitar Center Sessions, Nic Harcourt, who also hosts a show on KCSN and has hosted KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic for a decade. During the interview, Nic asked Andy about her influences, her life in Camaroon, her life experiences, and how she ended up working with Prince, and I don’t want to give all her responses away (but some of them have been answered in other interviews).

Though I’ve mentioned before that her music gives off this mature vibe, through Nic’s interview, we got a chance to see the playful Andy. She sat on the chair like a kindergartener sits on the floor, laughed, and threw in many smiles. Her segment will air in December, but be sure to check out her new solo album, Superconductor, when it’s released on November 20th.

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