From Cameroon to Los Angeles, jamming with Prince to acting in upcoming film “Pitch Perfect 3,” Andy Allo is a multi-talented force to be reckoned with. Prince got it right when he predicted that the songstress-slash-actress would “be leading her own revolution soon.” We spoke to the star about her musical beginnings, cracking jokes in “Pitch Perfect 3” and recent EP “One Step Closer.”
The Untitled Magazine: You are from Cameroon! Tell us what it was like growing up there and how you ended up working in Hollywood.
Andy Allo: Growing up in Cameroon was really simple and fun. I was surrounded by a wonderful sense of community and love. I was the kind of kid who loved being the center of attention and putting on performances for my family—I would create full on soap operas and characters. My journey to Hollywood has been interesting. I moved to Sacramento when I was about 13 and always knew I wanted to be an artist. I also learned that Los Angeles was the place to be to pursue that, so after a year of college I decided I needed to be in Hollywood. I was in L.A. for only a year when I met Prince and then joined his band. After touring and living that fun crazy life, I made my way back to Los Angeles and it’s only been a few years now that I’ve lived here. I still feel new to the city.
Untitled: Can you tell us more about how you got into music and ended up worked with the legendary Prince?
Andy: Music has always been a part of my life. My mother started teaching me piano and I started singing and writing poetry when I was very little. Fast forward and in 2009, I released my first album, “UnFresh,” and the following year, I was featured on the Africa Channel’s musical artist TV program. A year or so later, I got a call from the network because they started working with Prince. They said they wanted to try to introduce us at a concert of his. I went to the concert ready to enjoy the music and wasn’t expecting to meet Prince but they really made it happen. I met him that night, we played music, jammed for a few weeks after and then he asked me to join his band, The New Power Generation. It was a crazy ride and to think on it now, I can’t believe it. We constantly made music and went on tour in Europe and Canada. I learned so much about myself and was so incredibly inspired. Prince set the bar high, and making music and spending time with him taught me how to keep the bar high and keep pushing to be better in every way.
Untitled: You will be featured in “Pitch Perfect 3” opening December 22nd. How did you get involved with the upcoming third installment of “Pitch Perfect?
Andy: Around the end of last year, I received a call that “Pitch Perfect 3” director Trish Sie wanted to Skype with me. We had an amazing conversation about the upcoming film and what the character would be like. I was really excited and wasn’t sure where it would lead but then a few weeks later, she offered me the role of a rival to the Bellas. It really has been a dream come true and feel so happy to be a part of the “Pitch Perfect” family.
Untitled: Can you tell us about your role in the film?
Andy: I play Serenity and I’m part of the rival band, Evermoist. My character throws a lot of shade. Getting to be the vocal villain in this movie was so much fun. I loved playing the bad guy and giving the Bellas a run for their money.
Untitled: What was the best part of working on the film?
Andy: The best part of the film was coming up with jokes on the fly. There was a scene I was shooting with Ruby [Rose] where we were supposed to be bickering and we just improvised jokes back and forth. We couldn’t stop laughing and even the crew were trying to hold in their laughter.
Untitled: You released a new EP this year as well! Can you tell us about that?
Andy: I released an EP titled “One Step Closer” earlier this year. It’s a 4-song EP that is very personal and vulnerable. The songs are about my journey the last couple years and I also included a cover of Johnny Cash’s song “Man In Black.” I wanted to make a record that was inspired by my acoustic style and the singer-songwriters I love listening to: James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and Bill Withers. I just released a Christmas EP which I put out as a free download. It’s my gift to everyone who has followed me or who is new to the Allo journey. I had a lot of fun recording it and am so excited for everyone to hear it and get in the holiday spirit.
Untitled: How do you juggle both your acting career as well as your musical career?
Andy: I have no idea how I do it. It’s not easy, and seems to be getting harder the busier I get. But I guess I balance the two just by going with the flow. When one is slowing down, I focus a little more on the other and vice versa. So far, that’s been working for me so fingers crossed it keeps flowing like that!
Untitled: You funded your last album through PledgeMusic, can you tell us about the experience? Would you recommend crowd funding to other rising musicians?
Andy: PledgeMusic was a really cool way to involve my fans and give them an inside look at recording and creating an album. It was also very fun creating unique rewards for those who pledged, but I think I got a little ambitious with some of my rewards. When it came to fulfilling, I didn’t realize how much work it would be! But with that said, I would definitely recommend crowd funding because it creates a much stronger bond with those who support you.
Untitled: Do you have any advice for young women pursuing a career in entertainment?
Andy: Absolutely. I think some of the best advice I have received is to have integrity and know your worth. There’s a lot of rejection in this industry and a lot of people who will tell you who you should be. In order to succeed, you need to know when to walk away from something or someone and also when to ask for more than you’re being given. Having strength in yourself and valuing what you bring to the table is very important.
Untitled: Do you have any projects in the works for 2018 that you can tell us about?
Andy: Yes! I’m currently filming a movie titled “#TwoMinutesOfFame” in which I’m acting opposite Jay Pharoah and it’s hilarious. Every day is so much fun and we just laugh the whole time. I can’t wait for people to see it!