Allan Kingdom born in Canada and a transplant to Saint Paul, Minnesota has reached a level of success in hip hop that many artists only dream of and he is just getting started. Allan is an emcee and a producer. In 2014 Allan was named “Best Hip Hop Artist of 2014” by City Pages a newspaper out of Minneapolis and he was also on Complex magazines “25 New Rappers to Watch Out For in 2014” list. Over Allan’s career he has dropped 4 mixtapes, 1 EP two albums and numerous guest appearances.
In 2015 he was featured on Kanye West’s single “All Day”. This feature gained Allan a Grammy nomination and to be a part of live performance in 2015 at the 2015 BRIT Awards. Check out the performance with Kanye West here:
Since the success as a feature on Kayne’s song Allan has dropped his first full album Northern Lights in 2016. This project has been a success and widely embraced by his fans.
Listen to the album from Allan’s Soundcloud:
Minnesota is known as a mecca for independent hip hop and more recently it has even more activity within the hip hop scene. Minnesota has many outlets for creative artists hone their craft. One of such is the Institute of Production & Recording also known as IPR. Allan Kingdom was a student of IPR. This is a testament that Minnesota is becoming a place for artists to break out.
Allan is also a part of the hip hop group titled Thestand4rd along with other Minnesota hip hop artists Spooky Black, Bobby Raps, and Psymun.
As a major Minnesota hip hop representative Allan continues to make major moves in the music industry. He is currently on tour in the United States and will be launching a European tour soon.
Recently Allan took a quick break on his tour to talk with Marrio Grimm of HipHopClub for an exclusive interview. During the interview they talked about life after his success of working with Kayne, the tour and taking it to the next level, influence on his sound and more. Check out the interview here:
Marrio: Can you describe how your life has changed as a musician since working with Kayne West and releasing northing lights?
Allan Kingdom: Yeah. Its changed because everything I have been doing is the same shit but it’s just bigger. You know what I mean? Because everything has been a gradual progression from like you know having being from MN and having to gain fans here first. I kind of got to go through everything at smaller levels first and build it up to that moment. So like I would say the biggest thing that has probably changed for me is my confidence in myself you know because its like something that was on my checklist because I dropped a project that people like and now I am doing my first tour. I think it just has more to do with how I approach my music now and my confidence level.
Marrio: So are you currently on tour?
Allan Kingdom: Yeah. I am on tour right now. We just are in MN right now.
Marrio: Any other cities you plan on touching down in on this tour?
Allan Kingdom: Well yeah we’ve been on tour for about two weeks we have 30 states, we’ve touched 14 already tomorrow is our 15th in Chicago and then we go to Indianapolis, then Arber Michigan then Toronto, Montreal, Cambridge all the way down to the east then Texas and we end in Florida.
Marrio: What should your fans expect from you from the rest of 2016?
Allan Kingdom: I would say doper shows and better shows. Because the more resurges I get I want to make sure the production is up and everything, more new music and more visuals just new everything and I am more creative so yeah. And also we will be in Europe touring. I am doing my first Europe run starting May 14th.
Marrio: So how do you come up with the concepts for your music videos?
Allan Kingdom: It usually comes when I am writing the song cause when I make the song I like see something in my head visually. Either I am writing a story or I am talking about something so it usually comes with the song. I already have the idea a lot of the time when the video needs to be shot. Sometimes it comes from life experience or maybe a show I saw or something like that.
Marrio: How would you breakdown your art form as far as sound?
Allan Kingdom: I would say that I feel like I concentrate on what is most important for that moment. So if I feel like there are some messages that I think need to be said like in general in the world then Ima just work on writing it. You know what I am saying? I am going to just write a lot and I am going to let someone else take care of the production because I’ve already built my own sound. So like other producers can listen to what I have already produced and give me what I want and I can just direct them. But sometimes I need to evolve my sound and I will go in myself and spend hours messing with different sounds and beats and stuff. And it all depends if I am working on a project or just for a feature but I just like to take things as what is necessary for that moment.
Marrio: Does have a South African and Tanzanian family background have any background on how you create your music?
Allan Kingdom: Yeah, definitely because at the end of the day if you grew up playing jazz music and listing to jazz music even if you are making a hip hop song instinctually you are going to make jazz decisions. You know what I am saying? And its not bad or good. It’s just what it is. So I think that me having the background of the music that I grew up with having the African music I instinctually go to that even if I am writing something that is more farther away from hip hop or I am writing a verse it’s like I go back to the harmonies of the rhythms I grew up with.
Marrio: Are there any artists in the Twin Cities who you would like to work with?
Allan Kingdom: Yeah. I just work with whoever is up and coming and that I like. Like if I haven’t worked with them I just haven’t had time yet or I haven’t heard of them. Everyone else that I have worked with I love working with like Psymun, Bobby Raps, Spooky black, and Finding Novyon, it’s an interactive community to be in right now.
Marrio: Do you have any upcoming projects with anyone that you just mentioned?
Allan Kingdom: Not projects but music yeah. Its all just creative right now.
Marrio: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know before we close out?
Allan Kingdom: I think we covered everything haha. All my music is online so check it out.
Marrio: Thank you so much for your time.
Allan Kingdom: Yeah. No problem.
Stay up to date on what Allan Kingdom is up to on the following links: