Beachy Canadian singer-songwriter brings show to Midwest for Veishea

Maggie Mcginity

Canadian musician Andrew Allen describes himself as a “beachy pop, acoustic singer-songwriter.”

Allen has had three top-10 hits in his native Canada, and his single “Loving You Tonight,” which reached No. 6 on the Canadian charts and stayed there for 22 weeks, crossed over into the United States.

“When I released the song ‘Loving You Tonight,’ I felt really strongly that it was a really timely song … that it was fun and it was very authentic. … I really hoped that people would connect to it,” Allen said.

Allen’s musical success was not instantaneous. Early on, he built up a grassroots following by playing all over Canada in a very unusual kind of venue.

“My first album was called ‘The Living Room Sessions’ and the concept of it was just to play in living rooms,” Allen said. “But then I took it really literally and started to perform across the country in people’s living rooms.”

Allen got the idea for this tour by accident when he jokingly told fans visiting his hometown of Vernon, British Columbia, that he could play in their living room. They took him seriously and made the living room concert happen.

“They charged 10 bucks a head and invited 40 of their friends over, and I flew out to Toronto and performed in their living room.”

Allen’s popularity on the tour and since is largely due to his upbeat music and message.

“I just find sometimes that there’s too many negative things going on in the world as it is, so I don’t really need to contribute to it with my music,” Allen explained. “I’d rather lift people up.”

The beachy sound of Allen’s music is a result of growing up in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada, a warm town in a desert chain with many lakes and water activities.

“It’s definitely a very similar vibe to an island, and I think that’s where some of the music has come from. It’s just so relaxed and chill that it’s easy to create fun, feel-good music.”

Allen has been touring off and on since 2008 and loves performing live.

“One of my favorite shows that I ever played was at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco,” Allen said. “It was with Matt Nathanson and One Republic … and it was like 20,000 people there. It was one of the highlights of my career. So much fun to get up on that stage and perform for that massive amount of people.”

Allen knows that not every ISU student has heard of him and his music, and had this to say to students who are on the fence about seeing him perform during Live @ Veishea on April 19, 2013.

“The whole experience of a live show is so much fun, and I promise that I won’t suck. I’ll come out there and I’ll tell a few fun stories before the songs and stuff. The songs are really upbeat; I think it just puts people in a good mood and a good vibe. I’d hate for people to miss it just because they didn’t know the name, so I promise it’ll be a lot of fun.”