Tone Talk with Intellect Allison

Photo by Digital Kitchen Media

As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Special Edition 2022 – I Belong

Intellect Allison constantly works to remind people of the power of love and how to surrender to that power through art and music — incorporating potent texts such as All About Love by bell hooks and The Spirit of Intimacy by Sobonfu Somé. Intellect strives to embody unconditional love as a daily practice. She wholeheartedly seeks to challenge people to live in their truth and operate from a place of love.

She uses her voice and music to parallel how humans and the universe co-exist. “Every piece of your being is a landscape with diverse inhabitants. We have slowly grown into a war-torn universe as the only war in truth is the one within ourselves.” Intellect Allison’s music reminds humanity of the tools we’ve forgotten: storytelling, music, and fellowship. “Why is it we forget when we look into the sky, we’re suspended in space? To travel, time.” 

What is your definition of tone, and how has it changed over the years?
My definition of tone is a combination of its formal definition: pitch, quality, strength, and feeling. The capacity in which the tone can move you is powerful. My most prominent influences come from the Detroit and national poetry circuits, where I started. Jessica Care Moore and her radical movement for BLACK WOMEN ROCK!, Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, and all the beautiful Black women out here working to live our best lives add to my experience, which I encompass in my overall tone and message that I want to get out through my guitar and music.

Which guitars, amps, and pedals are you currently using?
I use an Epiphone SG electric guitar and a Jasmine acoustic. I’m not using pedals because I love a clean guitar sound.

What about strings?
I play D’Addario or Ernie Ball!

Are there specific recording techniques you prefer in the studio?
I love environments with patience (from all parties) and a harmonious flow free of ego when it comes to studio work. These components are the foundations that lead to the technique I used in the studio to create my current single, “TimeTravel.”

Photo by Digital Kitchen Media

How do you keep your sound consistent onstage?
Spirit leads on stage. Good spirits open the door for communication which is necessary on stage. 

What does your practice consist of?
Prayer, surrendering to the groove, and, most importantly, having fun.

What is your advice for young female-identifying artists who hope to work in the music industry?
Don’t lose yourself to a false perception of a dream. Stay true to who you are.