Allan Kingdom's melodic impulses have had as much permanence as his childhood hometown — none. The 20-year-old has drifted from his frigid birthplace of Canada, through dusty winds in Wisconsin, to ultimately touching down in St. Paul, Minnesota. At his disposal are a wealth of influences and cultures intertwined in his music, resulting in a distinctive catalog off which Kingdom has launched an absorbing career to date. The records are ultra-personal while acutely life affirming, both understated and glamorous, all as though crafted in the evergreens but destined for stadiums.
At just 17, the half-Tanzanian, half-South African’s musicianship won him the attention of Plain Pat and Jon Kaslow, two industry veterans that are no strangers to developing young talents into future stars. That dual cosign has shifted the direction of Kingdom’s career; three years later and he’s been stamped by The Weeknd’s producer Doc McKinney, Kanye West’s close associate Virgil Abloh, and is also a member of thestand4rd — an intriguing Minnesota clique outfitted by exceptional outsiders including Spooky Black and Psymun.
Prior to his fusion with the other misfit super-talents, Kingdom initially surfaced during the summer of 2013, after releasing the dazzling, original, and impossibly vulnerable Talk To Strangers. He produced, wrote, and recorded the entire project in his bedroom, an intimidating factoid that left early adopters gushing over his daunting potential.
In the one-year gap between that tape and his follow-up EP, Future Memoirs, Kingdom has seen local success by capturing the cover of Vita.mn, being named ‘Best Hip Hop Artist of 2014’ by City Pages, emerging in front of a massive crowd at Minneapolis’ Soundset Festival, and frequenting performances at legendary local venue, First Ave. He’s also glimmered on a national spotlight, appearing on Complex’s Top 25 Rappers To Watch In 2014 list, and receiving consistent praise from both Pigeons and Planes and FADER.
In short, Allan Kingdom is an enterprising jolt of energy and gusto, a skilled pioneer for the exhilarating new pack of talented youngsters. He’s cosigned by many, and chosen by a reputable few, but most critically, hell-bent on upgrading not just his own life with the music makes, but yours too.