A couple of years ago we first discovered Saint Paul, Minnesota’s Allan Kingdom‘s unique brand of self-aware melodic rap music, and following his journey since has been thrilling. As fans of the work he’d been putting in online, from collaborations with Plain Pat to a joint project with Spooky Black, Bobby Raps and Psymun as The stand4rd, the moment that he appeared – seemingly out of nowhere – on-stage with Kanye West at the Brit Awards to perform ‘All Day’ is iconic. It pushed the underground, Internet favourite, into the mainstream for a moment, giving him a taste and propelling him forward.
But where many would be tempted to capitalise, possibly to the point of losing what was unique about them in the first place, Allan Kingdom played it cool. He returned to his hometown to put the finishing touches on his Northern Lights project which he released in January of this year in celebration of his birthday. While that moment may have changed his perspective forever, he’s remained level-headed and is taking a slow-and-steady wins the race approach, staying entirely independent and grinding hard to get his music to more ears.
And it’s working. Northern Lights is one that we continually find ourselves returning to, it connects with people from the headphones to the stage, something that he paid particular attention to during its creation.
On a rare off moment in London town, we caught up with him to discuss his story so far…
How’s London been so far?
London has been treating me well.
You played DJ Semtex’s Arrival Night earlier this week, how was that for you?
It was good. The energy in the place was dope. It was packed. It was cool to see people really connecting with my music in a new place.
I noticed that you were working with Cadenza last night as well. How was that?
That was great. We connected right away. That was my first time really being able to listen to his music, and I find that it’s usually the best. We were just being creative and came up with a lot of ideas. We’re going to get in the studio together. I’m going to take some time out in London and work with him probably after I’m done with my tour.