Alfie Templeman

Headlining our Friday night Good Karma Club Takeover, Alfie Templeman has been hotly tipped by just about everyone with a history of backing the next big thing!

Alfie Templeman

Alfie Templeman knows music. At just 17, this boy wunderkind already has four EPs to his name, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of music history that some veteran artists would envy. He’s been called a “bedroom producer”, and that’s true – all of his songs were crafted at home in the small village of Carlton, Bedfordshire. “It’s kind of boring,” Templeman says cheerfully. “I live in a nice place and everyone’s friendly and supportive, so I’m lucky. But there’s not a lot to do, so that’s one of the reasons I got into songwriting.” But where many young artists create tracks from pre-made samples, Templeman is more likely to pick up one of the 10 instruments he taught himself.

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It started with his father. A builder by trade but a passionate guitarist by nature, Templeman’s dad would fill the house with the sounds of classic rock, while his son banged away to the rhythm on pots and pans. Then one day, his dad brought him along to do some work at a friend’s house. That friend wasn’t sure how to entertain a child, so he put a video of a live Rush concert on the TV. “I was blown away,” Templeman recalls. “I can vividly remember watching Neil Peart play. He became my first musical hero.” He began saving his pocket money to buy “all of the Rush albums”, then set out converting a mate so they could form a band together. Aged eight, using his sister’s toy microphone and an old laptop, Templeman recorded his first demo.

At school, he always felt like the odd one out. “All the boys were playing football, and I hated that,” he says. “I felt like the weird kid because I didn’t want to do sports.” He began going to cello lessons, which he credits for his perfect pitch. Then he fell in love with the drums around the same time he was teaching himself to play one of his dad’s left-handed guitars (right-handed). After that it was the keyboard, mandolin, “a bit of violin”, bass, sitar, harmonica, synths… “One of the reasons I learnt all that was so I could play and produce everything myself,” he explains. “I had to have full control over my first EP. I just wanted to see if I could put everything together so it sounded good.”

It definitely worked. Like An Animal, released by Chess Club Records in 2018, is an astonishing, self-produced collection redolent of Kevin Parker and Mac De Marco. There are hazy, sun-drenched twangs of guitar; swooning, Eighties-style synths; moody, wandering basslines and warm percussion. Unlike many other artists, who might try to compensate for their youth by tackling the “big” subjects, Templeman makes no attempt to hide his age. These songs are about feeling like an outsider, exam stress, and those all-consuming first crushes.

Like An Animal was followed by two EPs in 2019, Sunday Morning Cereal and Don’t Go Wasting Time. The former was infused with heavy funk influences, from the squelchy bass and vocal fuzz of “Stop Thinking (About Me)” to the dreamy psychedelia of “Busy”. The seven-track Don’t Go Wasting Time was an ambitious leap that shone a brighter spotlight on Templeman’s extraordinary range, encompassing pop, indie, rock, Latin and prog influences. It’s all the more impressive upon learning that, around this time, Templeman ended up in hospital, where he was diagnosed with childhood lung disease.

“It doesn’t really bother me, but I’m one of those ‘vulnerable to Covid-19’ people, so I’ve been shielding since March,” he reveals. “It’s been a long summer!” Until the diagnosis, Templeman and his family thought he had bad asthma. You wouldn’t think he had any sort of condition to hear him – or, indeed, see him onstage. “It can get messy,” he laughs. His gigs, including a sold-out London show at COLOURS in Hoxton, are raucous affairs, filled by screaming fans only too happy to catch him whenever he hurls himself offstage. After a string of UK performances last year, including his triumphant Radio 1 Introducing Set at Reading and Leeds festival, he’s eager to get back to it.

And why wouldn’t he be? 2020 has already seen the release of his best EP to date, the irrepressible Happiness in Liquid Form, which has achieved millions of streams – not to mention praise from the likes of The Guardian and NME. Templeman refers to the title track as “colourful sugary disco pop”, but there’s plenty more to love besides that. Writing with Justin Young of The Vaccines fame has instilled a new confidence in Templeman’s songwriting. You can hear it in the cheeky bounce of “My Best Friend” – which will remind listeners of Billie Eilish’s insouciant charm – and the infectious Caribbean sound on “Things I Thought Were Mine”.  

“I listen to everything!” Templeman says, explaining how he came to have such a broad range of references. This is a teenager who will just as happily discuss John McLaughlin and Miles Davis as he would The Weeknd and Harry Styles. “I think some people might consider me as ‘just’ an indie artist, but my music is a broad mix,” he continues. “There are modern influences, but also a lot of prog, classic jazz, funk… I like to play things that people don’t expect, that hit you right in the feels.”

He praises his label, Chess Club Records, for helping him to “come out of my shell a bit” and be the charming, exuberant and driven young man he is today. “I’ve definitely become more open,” he nods. “I didn’t always know how to talk to people before, and I could get pretty anxious. I’d get scared, but everyone’s really nice!” He’s eager to become one of the voices of a generation determined to change the world: “Everyone at my school was so intelligent and well-informed. Young people have more of a voice now than ever.”

Templeman now has his eye on 2021, with a brand-new collection of songs on the way – the superb Forever Isn’t Long Enough – that he describes as “the best representation of what I’m about”. “Each song is different but linked,” he says. The mini-album opens on the thrilling rhythms of “Shady” – produced by Tom McFarland from the Mercury Prize-shortlisted collective Jungle. From there, you’ll be hooked, whether to the strut of “Wait, I Lied” (with nods to Gnarls Barkley and Justin Timberlake), or the gleaming “To You”, which recalls the sound of The Weeknd’s chart-dominating 2019 album, After Hours.

“My mum kept wanting to hear what I was working on, but I can’t show anyone until a song’s finished,” Templeman laughs, thinking of the reaction his fans will have when they hear this new material. He wants to do as many shows as possible when he gets back on the road, performing to a fanbase that now stretches around the world. “I want those new experiences,” he says. “2021 is going to be massive.”

Keeping up with the Beyond the Woods acts!

As the weather brightens (and then darkens again), and covid restrictions are lifted, what have the Beyond the Woods acts been getting up to?

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for Alfie Templeman, with the release of his new mini album ‘Forever Isn’t Long Enough’ on May 7th, already on course for the Top 40 on the Official Albums Chart (fingers crossed!). He also announced dates for a US tour, supporting Chloe Moriondo, and has a socially-distanced show coming up on May 20th.

Master Peace has been keeping busy with an NME Home Sessions video! Alongside his guitarist, Ricki, he performed PNE, Overdrive and PDA against a pastel sky. Watch here:

Baby Queen has been all over BBC Radio 1 lately – Greg James is a big fan! Dover Beach was the Tune of the Week back at the end of April, and more recently has been added to the Radio 1 Playlist, alongside the likes of Wolf Alice, Little Simz, Coldplay and Billie Eilish.
Listen to the playlist on BBC Sounds: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p09gvbnn

Much to the excitement of his local fans, Joesef announced a gig in his hometown of Glasgow. The Barrowland show sold out just one day after general release… and, of course, you can see him live at Beyond the Woods in August!

Luz released a beautiful acoustic version of her latest song, Counting Houses. Give it a listen!

Joesef

Joesef

From the East End of Glasgow, “the prince of bedroom pop”, Joesef, is modernising soul music through jazz inspired lo-fi pop instrumentals, all from his bedroom. Crafting personal, love-lorn songs of heartbreak that evoke a sense of nostalgia, Joesef has been creating a soundtrack to moments of intimacy. 

Calling himself “an emotional sad boy”, the frankness of Joesef’s lyrics are unflinchingly self-aware and are an honest insight into his life experiences & relationships.

Find Joesef on Instagram

Baby Queen

Baby Queen

23-year-old South Africa-born, London-based artist Baby Queen (real name Bella Latham) arrived in the pop sphere barely a year ago but she has already carved her name deep into its fabric as the genre’s new anti-hero.

Since her first release last summer ‘Internet Religion’, a takedown of how social media warps her generation, she has dropped a steady slew of singles that placed her at the forefront of a musical movement. Tipped by everyone from NME and Radio 1 to Courtney Love and Pale Waves, Baby Queen is ready to reign supreme.

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Luz

Luz

By her own admission, the last twelve months have been full of standout moments for the 19-year-old Irish, half Argentinian musician. Luz’s first two singles released earlier this year, have been streamed collectively more than 9 million times across DSPs; she’s received praise and support from almost all of her favourite musicians inc. Ed Sheeran, Sigrid, Julia Michaels, Lewis Capaldi, Dermot Kennedy and Niall Horan and she’s only just turned nineteen. 

During isolation Luz covered Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now on TikTok. Her piano version of this cover has now amassed over 7,500,000 views and led to Dua Lipa reacting to the cover as part of a HouseParty takeover in May, declaring “I love this so much”.

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Master Peace

Master Peace is a 19 year old South Londoner who has managed to captivate the ears of this generation with his own hybrid indie street sound. His combination of infectious hooks and a live show that will blow your mind has quickly solidified himself on the cool kid circuit of London as the new head turner. A fan of artists such as Phill Collins, Tracey Chapman & The 1975 developed the nucleus of his own sound
into one thing – Good Music.

With “PDA” and “Buck Me” being crowd favourites he has the correct
balance of good energy and great songs leaving you believing that the future of millennial music is in very safe hands.

Follow Master Peace on Instagram.

Just Announced: Alfie Templeman To Headline Friday Night

We’re thrilled to be bringing the ferociously talented up-start Alfie Templeman to Beyond The Woods to top the bill of what’s set to be an incredible party to kick off 2021’s festival.

Alfie Templeman

We’ve teamed up with tastemaker and new music champion Abbie McCarthy to bring her Good Karma Club to our main stage on the Friday night. Abbie’s chosen some of her favourite acts to play and we can’t wait, you can check out her lineup below.

And there’s plenty more where that came from, watch this space!

© Beyond The Woods Festival 2021