Hip hop and health insurance: a chat with Allen Mask


Band Members:
Allen Mask – vocals

Tech Industry Affiliation: Google


SVR: Tell us about your band. How did you get started? How long have you been playing?

Allen Mask: I have been writing and performing professionally for over 10 years. I’ve studied jazz at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The Berklee College of Music. I have worked for a variety of entertainment companies and start-ups including LiveNation and AEG Live and have performed with major artists such as Sean Kingston and Plain White Ts.

SVR: Who are your major influences?

Allen Mask: The Jazz Giants and 70s Philly Soul artists.

SVR: What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune in the music business?

Allen Mask: My desire is to continue to create, release and tour music that people love and identify with. It is my ultimate goal to at some point support myself completely with music.

SVR: What is your day job?

Allen Mask: I work at Google. They make sure I have health insurance 🙂

SVR: How does your music influence your work or vice versa?

Allen Mask: Work and music often blend together. If you listen to my recent records you will hear references of my time on Wall Street as well as my time here in Silicon Valley.

SVR: Why is music education important?

Allen Mask: Without music education, artists such as myself would not be here. We musicians owe so much of our progress to those who spent years teaching us how to express ourselves through the language of music.

SVR: What was your own experience learning music as a kid? Who flipped that switch in your brain?

Allen Mask: My grandfather was a jazz pianist. Watching him record and perform over the years inspired me early on to take up music and continue his legacy.