For an 18-year-old, this British singer-songwriter certainly has accomplished a lot of things in his life. Alfie Templeman learned how to play the drums at the age of seven and eventually self-taught himself how to play the guitar and the bass. And then when he was only fifteen, he released his debut single ‘Like An Animal’ and has been on a roll ever since.
His latest single ‘Shady’ was released last year and it’s such a bop. I had the chance to speak to Templeman about the new track, working with Tom McFarland and how he has been able to release new songs back to back.
So to begin, 2020 has been a totally unpredictable year for all of us. How are you coping with the pandemic? What have you been doing to keep yourself busy?
It’s been a weird one for sure. I’ve just kept making music and tried to think of happier memories to get through it.
Your latest single, Shady is a fantastic song that certainly gets me grooving. What’s the inspiration behind this alternative track?
Thank you! I just wanted to make something that sounded ‘shady’ and low-key. The lyrics aren’t really about anything, in particular, more just trying to make sense of the world at the moment.
Do you think you can tell us about Shady and how it reflects where you’re at in your life right now?
I guess it correlates with what’s going on at the moment as I’m often confused by this whole pandemic! It’s almost like I’m trying to find an answer through the singing.
I would love to know what your work style is. Can you take us through your songwriting process?
I don’t really have a particular way of making things, but I tend to store ideas on voice notes whenever I think of something whether it’s at 4 AM or at lunch. I’ll just rush to my phone, think of it and hum it out. Later I’ll record the melody and add chords and rhythmic ideas around it until it sounds like a song.
You worked on the track with Jungle’s Tom McFarland, what’s the experience like to work with him? Did you gain any new knowledge, lessons etc?
It was great working with Tom. I took a lot of Inso from him in terms of synths and plug-ins and just ways of producing that I hadn’t tried before. I still use a lot of his techniques to this day.
Being busy in general, how did you manage to get Tom McFarland to collaborate with you on Shady?
I have no clue really, I guess it’s cause Jungle were once on the same label as me- Chess Club. So he must’ve heard me and liked what I was doing.
While you have just launched the new track, it wasn’t too long ago when Forever Isn’t Long Enough came out as well. It seems like you’re always moving forward with new songs at a quick pace. So at the moment, are you working on a new song or anything of the sort?
I’ve got 500+ songs in the bank, I just tend to move on from them quickly and end up putting more and more out there! But actually, I listened back to a lot of my work and I’m proud of all of it, so I’m sure there’ll be old and new songs of mine released in the next few years.
Are you planning to shoot a music video for Shady? If so, do you have a direction or any kind of vision for it?
Nah, no music video for that one. But I do have a lot of music video ideas panned for future songs. You’ll have to wait and see though!
Amongst your other songs, what makes Shady different?
I guess I haven’t made a song so low-key, apart from My Best Friend. It’s to got tons in it so it doesn’t feel overproduced. I like songs that have less in them because you can pay more attention to each part and get more creative with each thing you lay down.
Hopefully, once the pandemic is over, you could do a show here in Malaysia for your local fans. Nevertheless, can you share with us what is it like to be at an Alfie Templeman concert and what can fans expect from your set?
I would love to! We just have fun at the shows, it’s all about making the audience go nuts and really enjoy themselves. Lots of funny covers in there too.
You got a real headstart on your music career which is quite an inspiration for the young, talented singers out there. How would you advise these singers to follow their dreams?
Definitely just do your own thing. It’s hard to stand out but not when you let your ideas flow. The stuff you find cringe is normally the stuff that’s actually really unique and cool.
What does music mean to you?
Music is my life and without it, I would be very bored. I’m lucky to have it, it makes me extremely happy.
What set you on this path of becoming an indie/alternative pop singer?
I don’t think I really am now, especially in these next releases. I’d rather just be genreless and make all kinds of different music. I never set out to be indie, its just my indie songs that kickstarted my career, but I’m ready for a change now.
Which song of yours resonates to you most on a personal level?
Probably ‘Forever Isn’t Long Enough’ as it’s about who I am today and how my past got me there.
Finally, how are the preparations for your spring 2021 debut headline tour coming along? Especially with the whole pandemic situation.
Honestly, we’re just hoping things will get better soon, fingers are crossed and we’re excited to tour in general as soon as it’s safe to do so.