After taking his first drum lesson at the age of seven and teaching himself guitar, bass and production as a 13 year old, Templeman has conquered more in four years than many aim to achieve in their adult careers. He’s already netted huge streaming numbers with tracks like ‘Yellow Flowers’ and ‘Stop Thinking’, and his latest release Happiness In Liquid Form only looks to make those digits multiply.
To explore the process of the young teen dynamo, we hopped on the phone for a yarn to Alfie to find out all about his new EP and how he goes about recording in the confines of his bedroom studio.
Tell us all about ‘My Best Friend’ – it’s got such a distinctive, almost spooky feeling to it. How did you go about writing this one? Were you trying to invoke a specific feeling at all?
Glad you like it! It’s just another classic ‘Alfie T messing around with a bass guitar’ song! I definitely wanted to make it kinda spooky, which is why it has that descending note thing going on. It’s also in B-minor which is my fave key because it sounds so dark.
You’re said to be quite a spectacular multi-instrumentalist. Tell us a little bit about your musical background – how did you get into music and start playing al these different instruments? Is there anyone else on your new EP, or did you record it all yourself?
Yeah I just have this habit of playing as many things as I can because music is my hobby. My dad’s always enjoyed playing guitars as a hobby so I caught on and then ended up liking it too much! So I started making CDs when I was like 7 of me playing drums and guitar and I learnt onwards from there. It’s all trial and error. New EP is pretty much me as always. I had help from Nick Hodgson on ‘Obvious Guy’ and Justin Young & Will Bloomfield on ‘Happiness In Liquid Form’.
You’re also a bit of a gun producer. What software are you using? Is there any gear you think is really unique to your sound?
Awh shucks thanks! I use Logic Pro X. I don’t really use presets though. I record real drums most of the time, and have analogue synths and my own analogue pedal board I built for my guitar sounds so it’s not like I’m just chucking presets on stuff, although Logic is awesome with them!
Do you have any big influences that shaped the way you play or produce music at all?
In terms of modern – Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker is a huge influence and so is Mac DeMarco. My fave is Todd Rundgren, I’ve looked up to him so so much ever since I was 13. I found him through a mate.
‘Happiness In Liquid Form’ has this crazy cool combination of genres – it’s almost like jangly, indie rock with this slick disco-funk vibe. Can you tell me a bit about how you approached this track?
Cheers! I just thought of some random old chords and messed around with them with Will Bloomfield while Justin Young sorted a bunch of the lyrics. It all came together real quick and we had a complete song in 4-5 hours.
What do you want listeners to get out of the Happiness In Liquid Form EP?
I just hope the fans like it to be honest. They’re a cool bunch and I don’t wanna disappoint. Fingers crossed, ennit?
Alfie’s new EP Happiness In Liquid Form is out now.