I was so excited to be invited to Andrew’s brand new gorgeous home overlooking Lake Okanagan in Vernon BC which he and his wife Julia (mostly Julia he laughs) just finished building. Andrew’s home is where he feels most inspired to write songs and I can see why. Walking through the big, heavy front doors, you are immediately met with bright, expansive views of the lake through double story, floor to ceiling windows. Being in the living room feels like you are floating on the lake itself. The house is immaculate, airy, filled with sunshine and bursting with inspiration. Just like Andrew.
There is something very special about Andrew Allen. There is a brightness that beams from his soul that washes over you in a peaceful, calm, happy breeze. And something magical happens when he picks up an instrument and starts playing and singing his songs. You feel as if he is singing the song just for you. It resonates. It connects.
His energy also gives one the sense that at any moment, anything could happen! And anything could. He has risen to the highest ranks of music stardom, only to be suddenly shot down by a seemingly random decision of a high powered (well known) record label executive. He has tasted the sweet nectar of success and taken the bitter pill of starting over and he’s here to tell the tale.
The highs and the lows are fascinating, but I really wanted to get to the juicy tidbits of wisdom he gleaned out of such an extreme life change and find out what drives him now. Thankfully, he was beautifully open and vulnerable and more than willing to share his life lessons.
What risks did you take to achieve stardom?
I found it fascinating that Andrew was never in pursuit of stardom. He said from very early on he knew he was an entertainer. He wanted to entertain, not for the accolades, but rather to connect with people. He said he always felt it was a higher purpose. He said he honestly just wanted to play his music, entertain people and talk to them after the show. And by the way, when you talk to him after the show, you have his undivided, gripped, very present attention. It is impossible not to smile.
As he tells the story, he says he would do crazy risky things like invite record executives to his shows in pubs, and if they came, as they did, he spoke his truth to them unabashedly, as if he had nothing to lose. He believed anything was possible. He said, "the rush of adrenalin of taking the bold leap was better than taking no risk at all."
He and his wife, Julia (who clearly is his Yoko Ono, full on partner in every sense of the word) looked at everything as “one big adventure.”
What drives you today?
A higher purpose, that was the goal. We wanted to see people in a real and intimate way. I realized that music was a universal language that would connect across the board so that was going to be my vehicle to get in front of these people.
Did you have self doubt?
He just laughed, like that was a given. "From an early age, I believed I could entertain, but believing in myself happened as I grew more. At one point I thought I think there might be a chance I could get a song on the radio.
How did you bounce back from being cut from the label? I sensed that this was a big blow to Andrew, but that he would have a positive spin, “I started writing for myself. You gotta just keep doing what you are doing, and in that, I wrote some of my best songs. And when I was in that down spot, I realized the next risk I take has to be bigger than the one I took before.”
The thing that people liked about me, my song writing ability, was developed from being in a peaceful state of mind, I had to get back to that.
What do you think about failure?
I don’t know if I believe in failure…I know I’m afraid of it, but I also know I can’t give up.
Real failure is if you have opportunities and chances and you just apathetically let them go.
What would you say to people who are too afraid to pursue their dreams?
How you do anything is how you do everything
What’s holding you back?
What’s your option?
Do what you are created to do.
Meet people, connect with people on your special level.
Taking risks is the most important thing you can do.
What is next?
This was a very exciting part of the interview when his whole being lit up like he had the biggest secret that he was bursting to share but couldn’t. A new project, a new adrenalin rush, a new way to connect with people and fulfill his higher purpose. “The next risk I take, I’ll be able to handle it because I know what I don’t want.” He was about to embark on a whole new Bold Leap and I can't wait to watch it unfold.
Since publishing this interview, Andrew has revealed his new project Via Barcelonia
@viabarcelonia on IG Check it out!
Special thanks to the talented and amazing Bold Leaper Curtis Allen @solidrockvideo solidrockvideo.com