British RnB singer, Kieran Alleyene, is on the rise, with his exceptional talent for being an all round performer and with his new single ‘Be Around’ about to drop we got to ask him a few questions.
You recently released the official video for your latest single ‘Be Around’ which is available for purchase on July 5th and actually produced by DJ Mustard. Tell us how that collaboration came about?
So it’s actually really cool, I was signed with a guy called Max Gousse in LA for Artistry Entertainment and he’s very good friends with DJ Mustard and also a writer called Makeba Riddick and she wrote Be Around, and she also wrote so many songs, like for Rihanna and so many people and you know, they wrote on the track and obviously he produced it and I got flown out to LA by Max and went down to the staples centre and met both of them and got a chance to hang out with Mustard and I got shown the song and I was like this is amazing and instantly I had a connection with it like I had wrote it and it felt like it was a part of me straight away and I was like yeah I love this. From that and meeting them, the track came about and yeah that’s how it fell together.
Do you still keep in contact with DJ Mustard?
I try, he is a very busy man, very, very busy man, and obviously he’s out there making tracks for everybody, so he’s out there doing his thing. But obviously we’re on talks for more tracks now towards my album and you know, hopefully when I go back to LA we’ll chill again, obviously its kind of hard, time wise and everything, but yeah hopefully it’s going to be good
The video has a very fun and energetic vibe to it, how was it like shooting the video?
It was incredible, it was incredible. It was actually my first video I shot, and it was just an amazing day because I wasn’t used to it, and to see the energy coming off everybody, you know, it was a massive warehouse, there was people skateboarding around, on bikes, there was music playing, people playing basketball, dancing, singing and there was just a great vibe to everybody and for me, that felt incredible to know that so many people were there to support what I was doing and what my budget was and my whole team came down and they believed in what I was doing as well, so to shoot that was incredible.
In your EP ‘Breaking Good’ which is currently available for purchase on ITunes, we see you collaborate with the likes of Bonkaz and Yungen, who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
In the future I would want to do tracks with you know, towards the big names, Drake, Kanye, Tori Kelly and then also some UK artists like Krept and Konan, even towards Angel, I think Angel is an incredible artist as well.
When you were 13 you starred in the west end musical Thriller as the young Michael Jackson. How was it like touring the world at such a young age?
It was an unrealistic feeling really, because you think people are sitting in school and doing their school work and their homework and I’m sitting in South Africa playing with baby lions and safari parks in the heat and it was just so unrealistic for me because it was like a different world, like I wasn’t the normal kid, like everybody else, I was like “oh ok well, I’m off now, I’m on tour, I’ll see you in like a month and a half” and they’re like “oh..ok, bye” and just like that I’d go and then I’ll come back and they’ll be like “oh, so how was it?” and I’ll be like ‘well this happened, and this happened and I was on the tour bus here’ and, to just get away at such a young age was just incredible, but it made me mature very fast because I was constantly around adults, there was only me and one other young MJ, so it was an all adult cast, I had to grow up real quick and you know, I was treated like an adult, nobody treated me like a kid, so be spoken to and to be dealt with like an adult at that age, you have to mature real fast.
You are considered a triple threat, you act, you sing, you dance, what made you pursue music as a full time career?
So there was many, many elements to why I got into music fully, one would be my uncle’s band was what kind of introduced me to music when I was very, very young, I was about 8. He used to take me to gigs that he’d do and he’d play Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder songs and I was like “yeah I love this” and that made me fall in love with the music, and then when I got to the age of 11 he brought me on stage and was like “do you actually want to sing signed, sealed, delivered?” and I was like ‘yeah course’, went up there and the crowd reacted great and I was like “oh..This is amazing like, I wanna do this” and so that was kind of the first introduction to me performing. And then school talent shows and winning was just such an amazing feeling for me and everything was just building my confidence up and getting out there performing. But for me, when I realised that I wanted to do music for life, was the very first show of thriller, after the first song, when I stepped out there and sang the first song ‘Music In Me’ and just to hear the applause that came through and to see Michael’s brother was there, Tito and he was applauding; it was unrealistic, it was like, this is crazy. So that for me was what made me say, this is what I want to do.
You caught the attention of Max Gousse initially through YouTube, what was your initial reaction when he reached out?
Erm, it was crazy, you got to think, an ex vice president of def jam is following me, like he A&R’ed Beyonce, he found B2K, he did the You Got Served film, like, it’s incredible, he’s reaching out to someone that not even doing anything yet, I was still go backwards and forwards from school and still performing in thriller at the time, and for him to be like ‘ok lets work’, I’m like oh, ok this is serious, he was hella serious and after I did the Chris Brown don’t judge me cover that’s on my YouTube channel, he flew me out to LA, he was like cool I want to put a deal on the table, and within a week I signed. Literally, it was that quick, went straight into working away, firing music, he put me in sessions, I was doing all nighters, four songs a day, I must have done 25 songs in two weeks. Yeah, it was just incredible, just working with stupidly talented people, like it weren’t even like it was the bottom of the league, like they’re top, top producers, like this is mad, like a year ago I was doing Thriller, which is still big, but this is on a next wave. So, it was just such a massive, massive thing to have Max come on board on my project, for him to believe in me like he does, I can’t thank him enough for everything that he’s doing for him and I just want to bring him in more to the UK so he can see when I’m doing gigs and stuff, because he’s from LA, he’s not really seen me perform unless it’s a video, I want him to really come over and be like ok that’s what I believe in right here and for me to be like heres my show, this is what you said you wanted to sign and prove that he made the right choice.
Your debut single ‘Running Low’ gained over 400 thousand hits on YouTube, was you expecting such a huge response?
Not at all, but that song, for me, that has been my favourite song so far. The way the bass is, it’s not even like it’s a complicated song, like the chorus is just a bass drop and then ‘throw back’, it’s not mad, there’s no over complicated lines, easy on the ear, people can catch and them synth is addictive when you hear it and its funny actually, because I think we actually heard the same exact synth line on someone else’s song released in, I think April or May and it has like 5 million views on it and I was like “bruh…you just went ahead and took my thing.”
How would you describe your sound to someone who may have never heard your music before?
I’d say urban, commercial, pop, towards the US but bringing UK vibes as well.
Who would you say are your influences musically?
So it would be, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder
Tell us something interesting that we should know about Kieran Alleyne?
When I was younger, I wanted to be one of them people that could do everything. If there was a sport I couldn’t play, I wanted to learn how to play that sport, if there was an instrument I couldn’t play, I would study and try and learn that instrument. I never did really learn instruments that well, like guitar, I’m ok at, I can string a few chords here and there but I’m not a guitarist. But I wanted to do everything. When it came to sports day everyone hated me because I would do every sport and I was pretty good at it as well, like why do you do everything? So that would be me, I didn’t know how to flip, dance or anything, so I was like I’m going to learn and now I can flip and dance
What’s next for Kieran Alleyne?
I’m just going to be in the studio, recording my music , doing shows, going out there, just getting people to experience who I am, and experience me as an artist and just try and get them to feel what I feel when I’m singing and what I experience when I’m making music.
‘Be Around’ is released on July 19th.