By: Samantha Eddy
Starting from his early teenage years, Bedford musician Alfie Templeman has had a keen eye for making music and getting creative – whether it’s with style, lyrics, or instrumental diversity. Now eighteen, Templeman has become a rising indie superstar with two albums and multiple singles and EPs on his discography record.
Since he was a young teenager, Templeman has been messing around with different genres of music, the various types of instruments, and has compiled thousands of unfinished songs. The young star can now play ten instruments yet is still experimenting with sounds he finds a liking for. The youngster “started out writing and producing relaxed guitar-pop songs in his bedroom and recording ideas straight to his iPhone – and that’s how he continues to work today,” claims NME from information they gathered in an interview. “I use music as a tool for getting through the days and making life a bit easier, so I’ve got like 2000 voice memos of unfinished songs. I make all of my creative decisions from my room,” states Templeman in the Zoom interview a few weeks prior.
Templeman mentions the various genre-diverse artists that inspire and sort of guide him to cool and interesting ideas for his future releases. Artists such as Tom McFarland and Kid Harpoon (who has worked with musicians Harry Styles and Shawn Mendes) have spent some time in the studio with Templeman, helping him organize his ideas and make solid plans with beneficent advice. “They open up the next level of how your songs can be interpreted and how they sound. One idea can change your whole outlook on the song. I did all these songs when I was 16, 17, so I was still very young and working things out for myself, and those guys just helped me bring out the best in them,” says Templeman in an interview with DIY Mag.
Being brought up in the generation known as Gen Z, Templeman worries that people may have questionable thoughts about his music. “There are so many cool bands around at the moment and they all have very established fanbases, which is awesome. Whereas my fans are quite jotted about. I don’t think there’s anyone who’s going to openly want to listen to an 18-year-old kid: I worry that people are sometimes going to be a little bit embarrassed to be a fan of my music. But I’ve got enough of a following to keep me going, and I often forget that I’m still really young. I’m a perfectionist, so I’m learning to take things slower as I have to make sure that, mentally, I’m doing all right. I enjoy the challenge of my work, but I need my space just as much as any other kid does,” he explains.
With the recent release of his second album, Forever Isn’t Long Enough, Templeman takes in everything he is learning and is very open to advice from fellow artists, while still making sure to experiment with everything he’s got to work with. “I’m constantly trying to change and do the next thing and I’ve already started making the debut album which is completely different to this. I’ve just been tinkering around with different sounds and switching things up. I’m messing around with all kinds of different instruments at the minute, sitars and stuff. It’s got a ‘70s sound going for it at the moment so we’ll see where that goes. It’s all really trial and error and that’s what the debut album is becoming. It’s fun! It’s a bit of a guessing game really to see what I can do and what I’m capable of.” The young artist has also found that having such a great support system allows him to feel freer to work on himself and his music without all of the pressure that usually comes along with being a musician at such a young age. NME states, “Templeman is keen to emphasize that the executives at his label, Chess Club Records, have not once put pressure on him to deliver his debut full-length album, and instead are happy to let him continue drip-feeding extended releases until he is ready.” Sure enough, Templeman is lucky to have an easier start into the music scene than previous rising artists have had.
Templeman’s mini-album Forever Isn’t Long Enough encapsulates genres G-Funk, jazz, and ‘80s synth-pop, making this eight-track release fun and exciting, and capturing “his boundary-pushing spirit,” describes NME. The artist himself sees the latest album like this: “Like a picture frame that hangs up in my room. I can look back at it and reflect while I sit in isolation, awaiting my next journey.”
Due to the rise of the pandemic last year, Templeman felt that he was robbed of some of his best years. “I was getting used to working against the anxiety I’d feel before a show. But then it was suddenly like: ‘OK, now you’re going to go back home for a year, and reflect on every show you’ve done and think about every single person that was in the audience that probably didn’t like you!’ Basically, I’ve built up a wall in my head, and the only way I can climb up over it is by getting back out there. The only thing I want is to see people’s faces light up when they finally hear me playing these new songs live.” With restrictions from the pandemic being lifted and a hopefully more eventful summer ahead, Templeman states, “What has kept me motivated is hoping that things will get better. And now, I’m more hopeful than ever.”
When asked if he would ever turn back just to make music for himself, Templeman responded with, “I think, eventually, there’ll definitely come a time where I’ll hide away from it all for a few years and just make it known that I’m a living, breathing human being that wants to live my life just like most people that listen to my music do. But when I recorded [Forever Isn’t Long Enough], I realized that I had started getting used to taking in all the support – and I think I managed to capture how overwhelming it can be.”
Check out Forever Isn’t Long Enough here!