Taylor Hanson and I sat down at the Spyhouse on Broadway in Minneapolis today to talk with Allan Kingdom:
So Allan, you were born in Canada?
So where else have you lived? What made you come out here?
“My mom’s work. I moved out here when I was younger. I was born in Winnipeg, and then we moved to Madison, Wisconsin. We moved a couple times in Madison, and then to St. Paul, then Woodbury, and then back to St. Paul.”
That’s a lot of moving! You like St. Paul I’m assuming?
Why do you call the Twin Cities, “The Evergreens”?
“Um, just the trees. And I like nature.”
What made you get into music? Is that what you’ve always wanted to do?
“Yeah, yeah, that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
How long have you been doing it?
“Um, I feel like I’ve been doing music my whole life. But I took on Allan Kingdom when I was 16.”
So you took on Allan Kingdom. I know you have other nicknames. King Kyariga, the Northern Gentleman, Peanut Butter Prince.
“haha I just made it up. I made all those up.”
But the Peanut Butter Prince? How did you get that name? That always cracked me up.
“Peanut Butter Prince. That’s just my complexion. I like peanut butter, and my mom has this recipe that’s like a sauce with rice and peanut butter… I just like peanut butter haha”
So you’re a momma’s boy?
“Yeah, hell yeah! It’s like the way to live. The way of life haha”
I was brought up by a single mom. It’s hard not to be a momma’s boy.
“There’s no choice! If you’re not a momma’s boy, you’re gonna be pretty fucked up. I mean, if you were raised by a single mom and you’re not a momma’s boy, I feel like you’re just gonna have a hard time in life haha”
So you’re 21 now?
It’s gotta be pretty nice not having to have that black X on your hand during shows?
“Yeah, that’s actually pretty cool. It’s so weak that we were performing and they made us still have the X. I don’t like the way they do that. They need to change that for the performers.”
So do you have a favorite drink now?
You don’t drink?
“I mean I do sometimes. I guess if I were to drink, it would be Jameson. Dark stuff, you know? I haven’t drunk enough to know exactly what’s my favorite.”
Well you got time, you’re only 21.
“Yeah, I like to just go with the flow. Go with the pace of things”
Are you going to school then? Did you go to school?
“I went to school at IPR, and St. Paul College. It is what it is haha”
How did you meet Corbin and the other guys from The Stand4rd?
“I’ve seen Bobby around town like a million times, and I knew he made music. It was still when I was figuring out my thing, so we didn’t collab back then. But I heard the stuff he did with Corbin. When I heard “Without You” by Spooky Black, I went on Soundcloud to see what he was all about. That’s when I heard Bobby’s production. He was incorporating things I haven’t heard him do before in his own music. I was like, “I really wanna work with you”
I went to the studio, the first time I worked with him. Spooky was there. Then Psymun came and we made a song. It was pretty good.”
So do you produce your own beats then?
“Yeah, yeah. Most of the time in the past, I produced my own stuff. But now actually, I’m starting to reach out to other producers. Cause even though I produced and started doing that, I feel like overall, I like to make songs. You know what I mean?
It’s like, if I have someone to help put it together, I’m not nit picking at everything. I can just have the idea that I just tell them, because I know the terminology, because I produced. It’s just way easier.”
How did you get in with Plain Pat then? He’s your manager right?
You just tweeted him? Haha
“Haha no, no I just stalked his Twitter and found his friends and stuff. I got cool with them, you know? I knew it would reach him. It did.”
Fashion. You’re pretty well known for that around here now. As a rapper, you have a lot of class.
“Yeah, thanks. I don’t know. I just take different Influences from different places. I’ll use some influences from the hood, and I’ll take some influences from the burbs, and the cities, the country, and my mom’s heritage from East Africa. I just put it all together. I don’t really even pay attention to the fashion world, but I do pay attention to what other people are wearing. I pay attention to the colors and patterns and stuff like that.”
Do you have any new projects coming up?
“Yeah, I don’t know when I’m gonna drop it. But I have a lot of music that’s not out.”
How long have you been working on that?
“Like two or three years haha. Imma have something out this year for sure.”