Interview | Kieran Alleyne

The 19 year old from Leicester known as Kieran Alleyne has been making headlines with his musical talent. Kieran, who regularly showcases his skills on his own YouTube channel, also has a growing number of fans at home, including 1Xtra DJ and music industry tastemaker MistaJam, who says of the multi-talented Alleyne: "He’s a new artist who is going to be BIG star and a triple threat who can dance, sing and act. I can’t wait to hear more from him.” Therefore it felt only right that we sit down with him to get his thoughts on his debut EP and learn a bit more about the R&B artist.


1. Kieran, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself in case they are not aware of you just yet?

Well I am 19 years old. I was born in Nottingham and raised in Leicester. My career began when I was cast in the musical Thriller Live in the West End. I did the show for 2 years. Afterwards I took up my solo career and been grinding ever since.


2. Can you describe your sound in 3 words and explain why those words are most appropriate?

Urban, R&B and Soul


3. You caught a lot of fire off the back of releasing ‘Runnin Low’ which received a lot of plays on 1Xtra amongst other stations, can you tell us about the ‘Runnin Low’ campaign and how that song helped build your fan base?

With ‘Runnin Low’ it was more of the first look into what I really love doing in the studio.  I just wanted to get that across to people that ‘this is me’. Luckily people have really been feeling it and are sharing it around.


4. Looking at your YouTube channel you have published a lot of cover videos over the past two years, covering songs from the likes of Trey Songz to One Direction, was doing those covers how you received attention from Universal to get your deal with Virgin EMI?

It definitely helped get me on their radar, because i have videos that show me as a singer dancer and free runner. So I believed it helped lock them in!


5. How much would you rate the use of YouTube as a platform to get your talent out there as an aspiring artist?

I think it’s such a vital platform for an artist, as it lets people see who you are, what you are listening to, what you are capable of and what you like to sing. It’s also an easy way to share what you are doing with friends who aren’t in the music scene and may not know what you are up to or what it is you actually do on a day to day [Laughs].

6. Who are the artists who inspire you the most and why?

Whoa! That is hard because there are so many. I do have to say my top two are Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Plain and simple – these two are just legends. They have really helped me find my voice and my love for singing. Without them I don’t think I would be as in love with music. As for my love for dancing, it has to be Justin Timberlake. Without him I would've never started dancing and working on my full performance.


7. You seem to be an all-round performer who can sing and dance in a similar fashion to Chris Brown, Omarion or Usher, do you think being able to dance as well as sing is what will set you apart in this competitive industry?

I'm hoping so.  Personally I really want to be able to bring a full performance to my audience so that they are entertained throughout my show. I have some crazy ideas for when I do live tours!


8. You’re coming out on Virgin EMI the home of Krept & Konan, MNEK, Emeli Sande, Professor Green and MOBO Best Newcomer 2014 winner Ella Eyre. How does it feel to be on the same roster as those talents and who are you rating the most on Virgin EMI?

It feels incredible! Every artist on the roster is amazing and stupidly talented.  I’ve just got to live up to the bar now too.


9. I think you were down at the MOBO Awards last year….how did you enjoy the evening and what was your favourite part of the night?  

I really enjoyed the whole evening, especially when I got the chance to meet Tori Kelly. [Laughs] I love her! There were just so many talented people in the same room and I loved getting to meet them all. I really enjoyed Krept & Konan’s performance and I really like what they are doing right now. I think they are going to take over the urban scene worldwide very soon. Looking forward to the new album.


10. Do you see yourself performing on the MOBO Awards one day and do you have aspirations to win an award?

Of course! I am hoping to be nominated next year and after that, the sky is the limit. I want to be rocking that stage as soon as possible. It will be a massive achievement if I get there so I’m going to keep pushing.


11. What does MOBO mean to you and what are your favourite memories of watching the awards from when you were younger?

MOBO to me means people showcasing their music. Music that may not be exactly what’s mainstream at the time but are recognised for being great artists. My favourite memory would be Jessie J performing ‘Do It like a Dude’ in 2011. Her voice was just incredible.


12. In the UK, RnB has seen tough times for the male acts. What is it that makes RnB a tough genre to crack in the UK and do you think your style of RnB has what it takes to change this trend?

Yeah I think it’s just hard to breakthrough as it is not necessarily always mainstream and a lot of R&B songs couldn’t be played in club raves where so many tracks trend these days. I’m hoping that I can bring a new wave of R&B to the table and to the masses and start a real movement.


13. Your new single ‘Comfortable’ is sounding really fresh; can you tell us the story to that song and the creative process behind it?

I was in the studio with Shae Jacobs, Dantae Johnson and Will Simms and we were going through ideas. Will played the synth for the chorus and straight away we were all on the same vibe and everything fell into place. Next he played the bass and straight away we started writing. Within 4 hours the track was done!


14. What do you do in your spare time away from music?

I like to practice dancing, parkour, gymnastics and like to go to the gym. I also love to play basketball on off days too as I’m a big fan of the sport.


15. Finally can you tell us something which would surprise people about you?

Until I found music I had my heart set on being a pro basketball player… even though I knew I'd never be tall enough to play [Laughs].

Check out his recent single 'Comfortable' from his debut EP Breaking Good!


Mike Hale