By Chadwyck Moore
[March 25, 2016]
Born in Winnipeg, Canada but based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Allan Kingdom began recording music as a Christian rapper at a young age. These early recordings with a fellow churchgoer inspired a young Allan Kyariga to pursue music. This passion led to Kingdom’s first CD released at the age of 10. The CD was a Christian rap album which was the first of many to follow.
His first release as Allan Kingdom was Trucker Music, where Kingdom displays the seeds his eventually grew into what would become his defining sound.
Kingdom’s music reflects his ambition, ranging from boastful remarks, to soulful crooning; he shows no fear to experiment with melody. Kingdom often combines his rhymes with a soulful croon that he occasionally incorporates into the instrumental itself. Able to rap, sing, and produce; Kingdom presents himself as a complete package. This range of sounds present in his music is likely from the recording process of Kingdom.
Instead of beginning songs with a set plan, Kingdom instead chooses to allow life to influence his work. Citing African influence from his mixed Tanzanian and South African Background, Kingdom also claims Lionel Richie, Kid Cudi, and Kanye West as influences.
Kingdom continued to craft new sounds with his latest release Northern Lights, which combines spacey melodies with experimental instrumentals and creative rhymes. Kingdom dances across topics such as relationships, the state of hip-hop, and boasts collaborations with Gloss Gang and D.R.A.M, best known for his hit single “Cha Cha”. Kingdom currently has four releases under his belt, which includes his work with Thestand4rd; a Minnesota based Rap/R&B collective. These earlier releases had Kingdom showcase his ability to experiment with his sound, even rapping under different aliases such as The Northern Gentleman and King Kyariga.
Always one to craft addictive melodies with infectious rhymes, Kingdom came to prominence after catching the ear of influential manager Plain Pat, known for managing Kanye West’s early career, who then promoted Kingdom further. Kingdom even attracted the attention of DJ Khaled who made contact with Kingdom through his work with TheStand4rd. Kingdom even caught the ear of West himself, who featured Kingdom on his Grammy nominated best rap song All Day.
Even with these high profile connections, Kingdom has chosen to stay independent and not sign to a record label for the time being. These cosigns and accomplishments reward his ambition as Kingdom excels in the active five years of his career. These active years have moved kingdom from being City Pages best “Hip-Hop Artist of 2014” to a nationwide tour.
This nationwide tour is scheduled to make a stop soon at Santa Barbara’s own Velvet Jones. Possessing finesse with words, a sense of melody, and the blessing of musical veterans, Allan Kingdom presses forward claiming more to his flock with each release. All Kingdom needs is the crown.