March 13, 1987 |
Chewelah, Washington, United States
|Labels||ATO Records, MapleMusic Recordings (Canada)|
Allen Stone is an American soul musician from Chewelah, Washington, United States. His website states that people describe him as a soul and R&B singer, yet he sees himself as a "hippie with soul."
Allen Stone began his career singing at his father's church. His father was a preacher and his mother was an OB/GYN nurse. He sang in the church since he was 3 years old. By 14, Stone was leading worship at his church and playing the guitar. The draw of music for Allen was mainly being able to express himself to a crowd of people.
Allen did not discover soul music until he was a teenager. Once he discovered the music, he started collecting classic albums from the 1960s and 1970s. He was 15 when he heard Stevie Wonder's album Innervisions.
When one of his friends became successful in music, Stone decided to become serious about his musical career. Stacie Orrico, a close friend of his when he was a teen, had come out with a record and had become successful. "She was traveling, singing everywhere, and recording," Stone says, "She was just a year older than me and I was like, 'Man that would be so much fun to do, sing and actually have people listen.'"
When Allen was 18, he moved from his hometown to Spokane, Washington, where he attended community college for a semester followed by a year at Moody Bible Institute in Spokane. After that year, Stone had a realization. He stated in an interview with SF Gate, "I learned the history of the church and the conception of the Bible and learned about the religion and really just, like, didn't believe it... I got to the point where it was like, 'I don't believe this is the truth.'"  Not long after, he moved to Seattle, Washington to pursue his musical career.
Stone has been influenced by Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Meters, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Jamie Lidell and James Morrison. The New York Times compared his socially conscious music to the likes of Donny Hathaway, Bill Withers and two of his musical influences Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.
He has self-released two records, "Last To Speak" (2010) and the self-titled "Allen Stone" (2011).
Stone had been touring cross-country for a few years and sold a self-released album on the Internet. However, it was not until October 2011, when his second album was released, that his career began to truly kick off. On this album, he was backed by Raphael Saadiq's rhythm section and Miles Davis' keyboardist Deron Johnson. A few songs on "Allen Stone" were co-written with Andy Grammer.
"Allen Stone" peaked at the number 2 spot on the R&B/Soul charts on iTunes and hit #9 and #35 on the Billboard Heatseekers and R&B/Hip Hop Album charts, respectively. USA Today called Allen Stone a "pitch-perfect powerhouse".
Then on January 3, 2013, he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and sang "Sleep".
Social commentary in music
On Allen Stone's self-titled album, a few songs discuss social and political issues, such as "Unaware," "Contact High," and "What I've Seen".
A live music video of "Unaware - Allen Stone - Live From His Mother's Living Room" on Stone's YouTube account has been viewed over 3,000,000 times. Stone wanted to have a different and weird setting for this video, so they went to his mom's house and recorded it in the living room.
This song has socially conscious lyrics about the economic crisis: "Everyday, the deficit grows/You spend more than you own/Papa always said to me/'Keep a close eye on your authority'" and "Everyday, taxes increase/So is this our land or is this our lease?/Papa said, 'Son, it's the land of the free,'/As he broke his back trying to make ends meet."
- Last To Speak (2010, self-released)
- Allen Stone (2011, self-released - Released in 2012 by ATO Records)
- Deming, Mark. Allen Stone Biography. Allmusic. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
- "A Brief History...". Allen Stone Website. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Stone, Allen. "Allen Stone's twitter account". Twitter.
- Hilderbrand, Lee (30 August 2012). "Allen Stone lost religion - found soul". SF Gate. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Thompson, Erica. "Freshman Haze: Allen Stone". The Juice. Billboard. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- "Allen Stone - Full Performance (Live on KEXP)". Youtube. December 1, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
- Pareles, Jon (10 November 2011). "The Look Said One Thing, The Voice Something Else". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- "Allen Stone - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-08-27.
- "Fall music preview: Under the radar". USA Today. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- "Allen Stone's Soulful Performance on Conan". Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- "Allen Stone performs 'Sleep'". Retrieved 15 February 2013.