Kieran Alleyne is a name you are going to hear a lot of in the coming months. The Midlands-born RnB artist is only 19 but has seriously impressed After Nyne with the quality of his work.
Not only us – Kieran was signed to Virgin EMI after being discovered by Beyoncé’s former A&R Max Gousse.
Now Kieran has released his debut EP ‘Breaking Good’. After Nyne caught up with him to get the lowdown on his inspirations, the EP and his goals for the next year.
Kieran where did your love of music come from?
I can thank my uncle for that. He was in a R&B soul band and through him I was exposed to such great music. He took me out to gigs and rehearsals and via him I got to hear music from the likes of MJ, Stevie, Prince and Al Green, and thus my love for music was born!
When did you decide this was the career for you?
When I was 13, I got an amazing opportunity to perform on the West End stage production of Thriller Live playing young Michael, when it first opened in London and the moment I stepped out on stage I decided that this is what I wanted to do with my life.
What’s it like for a young artist to break into the industry?
I think one of the main things for a young artist is that there is a lot of pressure (understandably) to prove yourself. That doesn’t faze me because I am willing to do as much as I can and grind for as long as I can, to make my dream a reality. I do think it’s a little harder in the UK for an R&B act to break though, just because the music doesn’t have a huge presence here as it does in the States.
But again I am not one to shy away from hard work.
What was your big break?
I would have to say performing in Thriller Live. My sister saw the casting call in the local paper and at the time I had just let my family in on my love for singing. She brought it to me and I went for the audition and after a gruelling process, I got it! One of the best experiences of my life and a real game changer for me quite literally as up until that point I wanted to be a basketball player.
Who have been your biggest influences?
My top five influences are : Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Usher and Musiq Soulchild.
Tell us a little about the team behind the EP
I have had some amazing opportunities to work with some great writers and producers over the last couple of years and the EP is no exception. My first single Runnin’ Low and my next single Comfortable were produced by and Will Simms. Runnin’ Low was co-written by myself and Shae Jacobs and comfortable by Will, myself, Shae and Dante Johnson.
OMC which is the refix of Notorious BIG’s ‘One More Chance’ was co-written by myself and Shae once again, Rickey ‘SlikkMuzik’ Offord and Max Gousse. My favourite track on the EP ‘Waterfalls’ was produced and co-written by Rickey ‘SlikkMuzik’ Offord along with Andy Love. Then last but not least ‘Throw It Back’ was produced by The Movement and co-written by James Bunton and Corron Cole.
At this stage of your journey, what words of advice would you have for your younger self?
Would I would say is the work that you have to put in and the grind is worth it. So keep going!
Who’s on your list of people you’d love to work with?
Tori Kelly is number one on my list. I think her voice is incredible. Madison Beer, Usher and definitely Justin Timberlake. I would like to a collaboration with Kanye and Drake just cause I think that would be a crazy mash up of styles.
What do you enjoy in your downtime?
Chilling with friends, playing sports. I love playing basketball which incidentally was my chosen career path when I was little. I recently discovered golf which I will definitely be trying to do more often.
What would you most like to achieve this year?
My number one achievement for this year is to be playing festivals and to also make it into the top 10.
The Breaking Good EP is out now.