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Interview | Alfie Templeman

June 07, 2024 6 min read

“I feel like this album is a completely fresh start”: The BRITISH ARTIST talks RADIOSOUL AND WORKING WITH NILE RODGERS.


After breaking out in the pandemic, the still-only 21-year-old indie and disco-indebted singer-songwriter is continuing the journey with new sophomore record.


Photography by BLACKSOCKS


"This feels like a journey that will make me a better producer, artist and writer – not just for myself, but for other artists as well," reflects a highly excitable Alfie Templeman as he anticipates the release of his psychedelic, genre-defying sophomore album, Radiosoul, out today. Now liberated from the creative constraints of his teenage years, Radiosoulcaptures Bedfordshire-hailing Templeman’s exhilarating and trepidatious transition into adulthood, as he moves out of his parents’ house, seeking to forge his own path.

Despite the changes in his personal life, Templeman is an artist who still values the importance of creative control. Having found initial success with self-produced EPs such as “Don’t Go Wasting Time” and “Sunday Morning Cereal” and later with 2022 debut LP Mellow Moon, the 21-year-old is continuing to champion his own artistic vision, even more so now, as an acclaimed album artist. “I’ve always wanted to have a say in the creative side of what comes together. It’s always been the case. I used to make most of my covers by myself before I got signed. There’s always something I want to add visually, it’s hugely important to me.”

Guiding listeners through the kaleidoscopic emotional complexities of growing up, Templeman uses the narrative of Radiosoul to delve into previously unexplored sounds, blending contrasting genres to craft a truly unique listening experience. "I started writing songs, and each one began to stand out from the others. I just kept going and experimenting with the sound.”

The distinctive musical textures heard throughout the album were a result of Templeman’s ever-strengthening producer instinct, as he enlisted the help of long-term collaborators Will Bloomfield and Justin Young (of The Vaccines), who previously produced Templeman’s biggest hit, “Happiness in Liquid Form”, whilst also flexing some serious artistic merit by recruiting seminal CHIC mastermind Nile Rodgers, to assist him on groove-laden centrepiece “Just A Dance”.

Below, Templeman speaks to us about his surprising breakout in 2020, going for a Nando’s with the legendary Rodgers and stepping out of his comfort zone when meeting fans…



Hi Alfie! We’re almost at the halfway point for 2024. How have the first six months been for you?
So far, it’s been good! Weirdly different to the last time I was putting out a record. Leading up to putting out the first album, things were quite chaotic, to be honest. Everything was happening very quickly, I guess because I had never put out a full-length record before, and it felt quite serious. This time around, we’ve been releasing a song a month from the album, so it’s been really fun and fans have got to love the music in a really spontaneous way.


We’re a few years on from the release of your debut album Mellow Moon, which received great acclaim. Looking back what was that experience like for you?
I think because the first album was recorded mostly during the pandemic and it was very much a pandemic album, it was written and recorded during that time when I wasn’t really going outside. Nobody was. I feel like this album is a completely fresh start and I don’t really think about the reception of the previous album, because this one was recorded in such a different light. So I didn’t feel the usual pressure you would when making a second album, because this was such a different process that you couldn’t compare the two.


Speaking of the pandemic, the first time I heard your music was when "Happiness In Liquid Form" appeared on various Apple playlists, that were on constant rotation at various park gatherings. Do you think the pandemic helped with exposure to your music?
Most definitely, yes! The best year I probably had was during the pandemic, in terms of people listening to my music. It’s strange how that happens, isn’t it? Lots of people were just on the internet so much they were discovering me and it very much felt like being at the right place at the right time. The stars aligned really for me.


You obviously started out very young. Where did your love for music come from?
It was mostly listening to albums. I had a fascination with listening to CDs and vinyl as a kid, falling in love with the idea of making albums and putting together a collection of songs. It started off with bands, then it went to solo artists and then moved on to solo artists like Paul McCartney and Prince who also played all the instruments on their records. I started to get fascinated with how albums got made, so I started to do it myself and piece things together.


The sound on this album is very experimental, it’s unlike anything you’ve put out previously. Was that a conscious decision going into the studio?
I suppose it was conscious. I’ve always loved different types of music and I’ve always tried to go from one genre to the next. I don’t think I’ve really nailed it until this album, where I had more leeway to experiment with different sounds, sonics and genres that I hadn’t before. I’m a bit of a scatterbrain, so I can’t really focus on one place to go to, but all my favourite artists have albums where they jump from one thing to the next and I think that’s quite daring and bold.


You’ve said before that music helps you talk about your feelings. What are you trying to say with this album?
I think the main thing, I’ve matured as an artist and lyricist. My lyrics have become a lot deeper, more meaningful and a lot more thought out and I think that comes from the last few years of my life, going through the motions of leaving my teenage years and becoming an early adult, moving out and experiencing more new things. I think that adds a deeper flavour to the songs, so I guess for me it’s been about me establishing that maturity.


You collaborate with a lot of incredible people on this album, the legendary Nile Rodgers being one of them. How did you get him involved in the album?
That was crazy! I always admired his work and his guitar playing, and one of my songs came out and Clara Amfo, the DJ, said it reminded her of Nile Rodgers and CHIC. I told her, ‘Yeah, he’s a massive inspiration to me,’ and he hit me up. He asked me to come to Abbey Road, which was crazy, and I went down to see him and we had a Nandos. I thought I’d never see him again, but, a year later, I had the opportunity to go and see him again in Miami and we worked together for a couple of days. I wrote a song a couple of years ago that I really wanted to show him, and he started playing it. It was a very surreal feeling seeing Nile Rodgers playing a riff that you wrote.


What does Nile Rodgers order at Nandos?
People ask me and I can never remember! It’s so annoying. I swear he got a medium but I could be wrong.


Ahead of the album release, you’ve got some intimate record store concerts coming up. What’s it like to get up and close with your fans?
I’ve done them before and If I’m honest I was very nervous about it. We sold out most of the in-stores and they’re usually quite small shows and it felt crazy that I had to then talk to everyone close up. Then they happened and it turns out that most people just want to say hello and tell you that your music helped them, which is a beautiful feeling. It’s such a humbling thing to hear. I think this time around, I’m once again getting a bit nervous about that much social interaction and am a bit worried that the same people are going to come from last time and ask if I remember them [laughs].


With the critical success of your previous work, do you carry any high expectations for this album?
I always love albums because they have deep cuts that become my favourite songs. I’m hoping the fans who have always stuck around will love those songs and learn to love the album and enjoy it for what it is. It has a lot of sounds that go back to the early days of what I was doing, just with my laptop at home. I just want people to enjoy it, simple as that!


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