Revenge star Christa B Allen is back and making liberating music with her boyfriend
You may have met Christa B Allen as Charlotte Grayson, the young, fun-loving socialite on ABC’s “Revenge,” but you’ll remember her for her intriguing new sound.
Since wrapping “Revenge” in 2015, Allen hasn’t slowed down one bit. She’s switched gears from acting to music and is now focused on channeling her creativity through song and video with her boyfriend, record producer Johnny What, by her side. While What helped guide Allen from acting to music, she’s now a musician in her own right.
The two have since been working together to refine their dark, sexy, “tri-pop” sound. With their newest single, “Scorpio” out now and a compelling music video to match, we thought we’d ask Allen and What our burning questions about their love, their music, and what inspired their first ever music video.
Christa, do you miss “Revenge?” What were your main takeaways from working on the show?
I do miss “Revenge!” Being on that show changed my life in so many ways, and I made incredible friends on the set. My main takeaways were to always remain humble and kind, even after success changes your reality. And don’t get involved in on-set drama. Which I didn’t, thank god!
How is working on a tv show different than working on a music video?
It’s so different! We were in complete creative control of this music video, from the concept to the shoot to editing. If something wasn’t right we changed it, no problem. No one to answer to. Working on a primetime TV show, you don’t get to participate in many of the creative decisions.
You are chosen to play a character, you hope that character is consistently written well, you show up, do your best, and then hope your performance is edited favorably.
How has your transition been from acting to music? Do you plan on balancing the two, or does one take priority for you right now?
It feels less like a transition, more like pursuing another dream simultaneously. And acting very much rewards diverse skills- how much do we love performances where the actor was really playing an instrument or really dancing without a double?
Acting has always been and will remain my priority. But it is so nice to have this creative outlet when I’m not shooting! Inspiration hits but it has to find you working. And I believe various forms of artistic expression sharpen one another. It’s all storytelling.
Johnny, how has it been guiding your girlfriend into music for the first time?
Easy. Christa’s a pro. I wasn’t sure what to expect the first time she got in the vocal booth, but she took my direction in stride. She has so much experience on set that recording music seems a natural progression. She’s also great at writing lyrics. We always laugh a lot and have a good time.
How did “Pour Vous” come about?
Pour Vous came about when we moved in together. Our loft has both aerial and music studios, therefore I now makes music and Johnny climbs silks. Kidding aside, I have always wanted to make music and falling in love with a record producer made that easy.
What was your inspiration behind the video? What do you two want the viewer/listener to take away from it as they watch?
Our inspiration for the “Scorpio” video was strong women throughout history. We wanted to celebrate them and their fearlessness. Also, indignation at the way sexually liberated women are portrayed in film and tv. Have women not been martyrs for years; their rights sacrificed under the patriarchy? We were excited to put a woman on the cross and worship her.
How would you guys describe your sound?
Dark, sexy trip-pop.
What’s it been like working professionally with your partner? Any advice for other people working with friends or spouses?
We were friends for a year before we became lovers. Now we’re partners in everything, including music. Clear, open communication is key. We treat each other with kindness always.
What can we expect next from you?
We have so much music we can’t wait to release! We’re going to continue releasing singles. Every song is a creation we cherish and we want to give each one it’s moment to shine.
“Scorpio” is out now.
For more of Christa and Johnny’s work, click here.