Red Light Management

Alfie Templeman

Bio

There are few musicians who can be described as genuine polymaths – and even fewer who can be thought of as such aged only 20. Bedfordshire-born Alfie Templeman, however, is undoubtedly one of them. And after winning critical praise and fans alike with the effortless, sunshine-drenched feel of his 2022 debut Mellow Moon and a colossal 300M total career streams, he returns with an ambitious home run of a second album in Radiosoul. It’s a kaleidoscopic acid trip of a pop record, and a running jump forward for a mind-bogglingly gifted young musician.

Retaining the always optimistic feel of Mellow Moona Guardian Album of the week, which garnered wild acclaim from across the music press, including The Telegraph, NME, and The Line of Best Fit, and saw Templeman described by British Vogue as “a soon to be international rising star” Radiosoul pushes his songcraft further in every direction, a sort of Midnite Vultures for Gen Z. From the audacious title track, whose laid back groove evolves into a full-blown jam, complete with spiralling saxophone, there is the immediate sense that this is bigger in magnitude than anything this artist has done in the past. 

From the frenetic funk of “Drag”, to the positively gothic harmonic unease of “Submarine,” Radiosoul pinballs around all of the transition, change and plurality of the end of adolescence. It’s about the struggles with social media, feeling knackered by touring, learning to deal with anxiety and panic attacks, and moving out of your parents’ house – all while you’re also still trying to figure yourself out. The record consistently puts lyrics about feeling as though you’re floundering – “The future tense is too intense,” he sings on “Eyes Wide Shut” – to sparkling pop backdrops, and it feels to Templeman, therefore, like a document of “an artist waking up from limbo”.

“It was about finding my feet and becoming more comfortable with myself again, and also becoming an adult,” he says. “Moving out of the family home, understanding myself and realising I’ve changed a lot. I don’t exactly know who I am at this stage but it’s normal to feel that way. I feel like even though I’m terrible at talking about my feelings, music makes it easier.” 

Of course, to detail such a complex time of life, it would be impossible to stick to just one sound, so across Radiosoul, Templeman flexes his considerable musical chops, flirting with everything from slacker rock (“Beckham”) to shimmering disco (“Just a Dance,” which features the guitar playing of none other than Nile Rodgers, who reached out to Alfie during the Mellow Moon release). The whole endeavour, however, remains anchored in the principles of pop songwriting for which he has such great instinct and reverence – as is obvious all the way through, but particularly on irresistibly upbeat tracks like “This Is Just The Beginning” and “Hello Lonely”. 

Templeman has a varied musical diet and was inspired when making this album by artists like Björk, Squarepusher, Stereolab and Todd Rundgren (Templeman also collaborated with the Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Famer Rundgren on his record Space Force in 2022). While this in itself is a diverse and esoteric list, what unites all of these musicians – and indeed, what links Templeman with them, too – is their ability to play in and with genre while still sounding exactly like their essential selves, often on the same record. 

This is Templeman’s MO on Radiosoul, as he takes us through “a day in the life of me,” with all of the ups and downs that entails: he does, after all, contain multitudes. Though he is only 20, Templeman has been writing and performing music now for over a decade, and has many sides to his musical self. He is by any account precociously talented, almost entirely self-taught and proficient in instruments from cello to synthesiser, and has been learning his craft since early childhood. He began producing music at 10, inspired by musicians ranging from Slipknot to Yes to record onto a “shitty laptop” with a friend, before burning the music onto CDs. 

Born in 2003, Templeman grew up in the sedate village of Carlton, Bedfordshire – where, he says, “there wasn’t too much going on” – with his parents and sister. His father, a builder by trade, had been a self-taught guitarist as a kid in the 1970s, and encouraged him to pick up the instrument, playing him rock and roll by The Meteors and Chuck Berry. 

While he liked those artists well enough, Templeman remembers the day that really ignited his passion. His dad was going to fix a friend’s window, and brought him along. “His mate was like, ‘I don’t really know what to give this seven year old kid to do,’” he remembers. As a last resort, he was plonked on the sofa in front of a DVD concert film by the band Rush. “Watching Neil Peart blew my mind, and it made me want to become a drummer.” 

From there, he took drum lessons and, briefly, cello lessons, which, he says “helped me to learn instruments because I could pick them up and know roughly how to play them.” At 13, he was self-producing using the GarageBand software on his phone, and releasing the results onto Bandcamp and, later, Spotify. By 15, he was signed to Chess Club Records – a good job, really, because the day the label emailed him to ask for a meeting, he had, by his own admission, “just done really badly on a Spanish speaking exam.” 

A few years of intense recording, releasing and gigging followed, before the pandemic hit, stopping Templeman in his tracks. “The last three years of my life had been non-stop and just when you think everything’s going to pay off – I was finally going to do my own real tour and everything I’d always dreamed of – that’s when everything all of a sudden was cut off,” he recalls. “I had a potentially fatal lung problem so I was in my room and I couldn’t really go anywhere.” 

Mellow Moon was made in the midst of this confusing time. “It was a challenge to make an album out of that period because I was just going in so many different directions,” Templeman says now. “It was a time of experimenting but also I wanted to work with a lot of other people and I ended up either producing or co-producing most of that album by myself, just winging it.”

By contrast, Radiosoul is much more an album based on the collaboration that inspires Templeman so much – indeed, his taste for working with others has only grown more voracious. He has recently featured on tracks by Dom Valentino (“Young Folks”) and Boy Pablo producer Bob Junior’s “No One Does It Better Than You”, and also co-wrote and produced Chloe Moriondo’s breakout hit “Dizzy” back in 2021. In allowing Templeman the space to join forces with similar musical minds, then, Radiosoul feels like an artist operating at full pelt. Between February and July 2023, after emerging from a hectic post-lockdown touring schedule, he enlisted producers like existing collaborators Will Bloomfield and Justin Young (of The Vaccines), and Dan Carey (Fontaines D.C., Wet Leg, Foals), who coaxed new textures and ideas out of him.  

Carey in particular pushed Templeman to experiment and have fun, and his philosophy of “‘Look, don’t overdo it, just trust yourself, allow the imperfections to come out, because that’s a real key part of you’” as Templeman remembers it, was an important influence on Radiosoul as a whole. Instrumentally, Carey also encouraged the darkness that feels particularly apparent in the record’s final few songs, in contrast with its more carefree beginnings. At the end of “Beckham,” for example, the producer’s Swarmatron modular synth “really helps to create that anxious feeling,” Templeman says. “It’s got eight voices and they make a shepherd’s tone. It makes you feel really uneasy.” 

Another player in the making of Radiosoul was the legendary musician, producer and songwriter Nile Rodgers, who lends guitar-playing to the album’s disco earworm centrepiece “Just a Dance”. As a child, Templeman was captivated by the Chic and Sister Sledge that his mother would play in the car, and even before the two were connected after an interview with the DJ Clara Amfo, he knew that “Just a Dance” somehow had to make its way to Rodgers’ attention. “I’ve had that hook in my head for four or five years, and I was like, ‘I need to show this to Nile Rodgers,’ even before I met him,” Templeman says. 

“That song came together so effortlessly because I just played it to Nile and I knew he was really going to like the riff,” he adds. “When I saw one of my biggest guitar and songwriting heroes play the riff that I wrote, it was mind-blowing. I can’t tell you what that feeling is like, it was insane.”  

The track is one of many crowning moments in a career-best piece of work for a young artist who, by his own admission “is in it for the long run.” It is clear to hear as much on the purposefulness of every track, each one reaching further than ever towards new sonic frontiers, be they hyperpop inflections, Zeppelin worship, or any number of places in between. 

“I think this is still one of the small steps going towards the big step,” Templeman says of Radiosoul as a whole. “I’m 20 for god’s sake. I very much hope I don’t peak now!” 

Instead, he hopes most for longevity, and that whatever comes next simply takes him to another phase of more fully realised self-discovery and musicianship. Radiosoul, therefore, is the journey, rather than the destination, Templeman says: “I feel like this is the perfect bridge to take me to the next place.”

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Contact

Agents (North & South America)

Agent (ROW)

Tour Dates

Oct 11 2024
The Atlantis
Washington, DC
Oct 12 2024
Music Hall of Williamsburg
Brooklyn, NY
Oct 14 2024
Brighton Music Hall
Allston, MA
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Oct 16 2024
Teragram Ballroom
Los Angeles, CA
Oct 17 2024
The Independent
San Francisco, CA
Oct 19 2024
Pabellón Cuervo
Ciudad De México, Mexico
Oct 31 2024
Saint Luke's
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Nov 01 2024
Manchester Academy
Manchester, United Kingdom
Nov 02 2024
Boiler Shop
Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Nov 05 2024
XOYO Birmingham
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Nov 07 2024
Cambridge Junction
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Nov 08 2024
The Waterfront
Norwich, United Kingdom
Nov 09 2024
Thekla
Bristol, United Kingdom
Nov 11 2024
Tramshed
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Nov 12 2024
Concorde 2
Brighton, United Kingdom
Nov 13 2024
The 1865
Southampton, United Kingdom
Nov 14 2024
Metronome
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Nov 16 2024
Live at Leeds In The City 2024
Leeds, United Kingdom
Nov 18 2024
O2 Forum Kentish Town
London, United Kingdom
Nov 28 2024
Tolhuistuin
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nov 29 2024
Luxor
Köln, Germany
Dec 02 2024
Cassiopeia
Berlin, Germany
Dec 03 2024
Molotow
Hamburg, Germany
Dec 04 2024
Botanique
Bruxelles, Belgium
Dec 05 2024
Point Éphémère
Paris, France

News

03/19/2021

ALFIE TEMPLEMAN ANNOUNCES SPRING 2022 HEADLINE TOUR

18 year old rising star Alfie Templeman has today shared details of a Spring 2022 headline tour - including his biggest show to date at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire…

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02/19/2021

ALFIE TEMPLEMAN NEW SINGLE “EVERYBODY’S GONNA LOVE SOMEBODY”

ALFIE TEMPLEMAN SHARES BRAND NEW SINGLE & VIDEO ‘EVERYBODY’S GONNA LOVE SOMEBODY’  ANNOUNCES NEW MINI-ALBUM FOREVER ISN’T LONG ENOUGH - OUT 7 MAY ON CHESS CLUB RECORDS Listen to ‘Everybody’s…

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12/07/2020

ALFIE TEMPLEMAN LONGLISTED FOR BBC MUSIC’S SOUND OF 2021 & CONFIRMED FOR TOP OF THE POPS TV SPECIAL NEW YEARS EVE

ALFIE TEMPLEMAN  LONGLISTED FOR BBC MUSIC’S SOUND OF 2021 CONFIRMED FOR TOP OF THE POPS NEW YEARS’ EVE TV SPECIAL Listen to Alfie Templeman HERE The longlist for BBC Music…

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