A Conversation With Alfie Templeman

By Jesse Miller and Ceceli Riffo-Drecksel

Alfie in the KCR production studio

We had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Alfie Templeman, a British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. Alfie is 18 years old and has already made a name for himself within the music world. Last Saturday, December 4th, he came into KCR’s live studio to talk with us and we attended his concert at The House of Blues later that night. Here are some of the highlights from our interview with him on-air:

Tell us a little bit about yourself 

“I’m from England. I make music in my bedroom and have been doing it for years now, I started on Bandcamp and Spotify. I did everything by myself – record all the songs and instruments. When I was 15, I was picked up by a label and ever since then, I’ve been doing that and it’s really fun! Now I’m touring the states.”

When did you start making music, what age, and how did you start?

“I started playing guitar when I was about 7, and I wasn’t very good at it for a while ‘cause I was too small to actually hold it in my arms, so I played it on my lap. When I was about 10 or 11, I had a really terrible laptop and got Audacity. I got garageband after that which made it a lot easier since I had built in presets. I eventually started using logic and that’s how I do all of it now.”

You recently just released a song with Chloe Moriondo and Thomas Headon called “Dizzy”, tell us about the process of making that and how the creative process worked?

“It was crazy because when we did it, we hadn’t actually met each other in person, and Thomas and Chloe still haven’t met! We did it all online on facetime which was really weird, you don’t hear of many songs made that way. They would just send them singing to me and I’d put it on a logic file and put it together. I’ve done it quite a few times actually, I worked with this guy called Carpet Gun and did some stuff with them online and stuff. It’s really fun and a good challenge. I like doing it like that but at the same time I’m excited to do more stuff with them in person because they’re lovely people to work with. It’s hard to get the real-life personality across when everything you’re doing isn’t actually in the same room.” 

Tell us a bit about where you were when COVID hit and how it’s shifted your way around writing, producing, and releasing music

“I was at home kind of daydreaming about touring. When we went into lockdown I was back at Bedford in my house with the family so everything was fine. I thought it would be easier to make songs but when I tried to record in my bedroom, I had nothing to sing about. For months, I kind of sat there, thinking, ‘Help?’… I eventually kind of started messing around, not making proper songs or singing about really serious stuff, just making fun stuff to keep me going. I was fed up with watching youtube videos and eating fast food all the time. I tried to do something productive and it took a lot longer. I used to make songs everyday and I don’t do it quite nearly as often. The pandemic has honestly made the songs a lot stronger because I’ve learned to be patient and take more time with them. In a way, I’m actually quite thankful for it. I still put stuff out, so at least I’m doing something!”

What’s your favorite song you’ve ever written?

“Out of all the ones that are out, there’s one called ‘Everybody’s Gonna Love Somebody’ that came out this year. I wrote it when I was 14, actually, but I kind of did it up a little bit. It started off as a disco song, and I wanted to make something very universal and simple. I got a lot of inspiration for it from Tears for Fears and Phil Collins. It was all done in my bedroom and directly through a pedalboard DI. It only took about 2 hours to make. There’s also a song on the new record that’s called “Just Below The Above ‘ that I started when I was 14 as well. It’s very Radiohead-y and has Pink Floyd and Queen in there as well. It’s quite proggy and weird but it finishes the record and I think it’s the best song I’ve made. I’m really excited to put it out there. My new record is a concept record as well.”

What’s the longest a song has taken you to make / finish?

“’Dizzy’ took a while, since we were procrastinating a lot and everything was so busy. Some of the songs on this new record took a while as well actually. I have a song called “Happiness in Liquid Form” that took only about 2 hours. So some of them take no time at all, you don’t know where the time goes. But it’s super fun and therapeutic. There’s no rules and I’ve never had a lesson in production so I have very weird approaches to producing.”

What’s been your favorite stop so far on tour?

“New York was amazing. We went to Joe’s pizza and I really liked the crowd in New York, it was super special. We were supporting Chloe Moriondo so we haven’t done a headline show there just yet. Some girl shouted my name in the streets of New York and someone came up to me at Amoeba the other day… It was really weird. We made a stop in Toronto and it was really cool. It was really cold and so was Boston. Los Angeles and San Francisco have been my favorites. I really like California. I really can’t choose.”

What were your top 5 artists this year?

“Todd Rungren, Genesis, Mac Demarco, Jamiroquai, The Beatles. Space Cowboy by Jamiroquai was my top song.”

What are some of your musical guilty pleasures?

“Genesis, Phil Collins, Charlie Puth” 

What are your biggest influences?

“It changes an awful lot but Hiatus Kaiyote is a great new soul band and the singer is incredible. I’ve been listening to a lot of Leon Bridges and Frank Ocean. There’s also an album that came out in the 70’s, it’s called ‘Plantasia’ which is an amazing record and it inspires me to use my Moog. Todd Rundgren, especially his song ‘Cold Morning Light’.” 

How long have you been working on your next album for? When will it be released?

“I’ve been working on it for 2 years. It’s gonna come out next year. I’ve never worked on something that long but it’s done, mastered, and has artwork. It’s called ‘Mellow Moon’. I’m really excited to put it out. I really enjoy collaborating with others on artwork because it’s exciting to see the finished project.” 

Tell us a bit about your side project

“I have a project called Ariel Days where I do all the art, music, instruments, producing, mixing, and artwork. I started it a few years ago after I got signed! It’s something that I can do completely by myself. I started a label called Haunted Attic Records and I started doing Ariel Days and it started getting a lot of plays. I have complete creative control over everything. The music under it doesn’t suit my other sound so it’s nice to have the option to do whatever I want with that project and just experiment. It’s nice to have options. There’s a lot of artist pages on spotify that I’ve just put random songs on there and not told anyone.”

How would you explain your sound? 

“With the sound of Alfie Templeman, it changes but it’s quite concise. It’s quite colorful and still me. Ariel Days is a bit darker and more honest in places.”

Live performance at the House of Blues Voodoo Room

Alfie finished the last leg of his North American tour here in San Diego at The House of Blues Voodoo Room with openers Rebounder and Alix Page. He brought the room to life with his youthful presence and energetic performance. The colorful sound and sincere lyrics perfectly match Alfie’s playful demeanor. The excitement of playing in front of a live audience exuded out of him. Alfie made sure to connect with the crowd during and after the show. He thanked the crowd for their claps and praise, and even spent time meeting fans once his set was over. We hope Alfie will be back in the states soon as he is set to release another album this coming year.

Be sure to check out Alfie Templeman on Spotify and Instagram!

The Kid Laroi says “Goodbye, for Now” to Music

Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison | Getty Images

Goodbyes are always the hardest, especially when it comes from our favorite artists.

On Monday, Nov. 15, The Kid Laroi dropped his music video for his song “Still Chose You” with fans. After the premiere, the artist announced he’s closing the chapter of the F… Love era.

Photo Credit: Screenshot from Music Video Still Chose You The Kid Laroi

He shared in an Instagram post “To my beloved fans, I hope you all enjoy the ‘Still Chose You’ video! I know that record is a fan favorite, so I felt that it was only right for that to be the video that finally closes the ‘F… Love’ era.” He continued “It’s been a wild year, to say the least. Seeing the impact of the project and hearing about how it’s helped and changed so many peoples lives is f…. Beautiful – but also incredibly surreal. It’s the reason why I do this s—. My life has also changed so much this past year because of it and I owe it all to every single one of you. There is no way I will ever be able to repay you.”

Photo Credit: The Kid Laroi on Instagram

He concluded the statement with, “Last week I went on a small vacation for the first time in a while. During that time I started thinking, and I made the decision that I need to take some time away from everything and focus on the next project, my debut album. I’m going to miss you all beyond words can describe, but I do believe that this is what I need to do to give you all the best music possible. I’ll be back soon, I promise. I love you, Laroi.”

The Kid Laroi did remove all previous content on his social media but kept the note to fans. Many have sounded off in the comments with support of his decision and encouraging him to get the well-deserved rest after a packed year.

For now, we can continue to stream all his current music to hold us over. I can’t wait for new music and to see what The Kid Laroi comes up with next.  

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Which U.S. States are the Most “Vegan?” [A 2021 Study]

Veganism has gained a lot of support in America in the last 20 years, with many people making that lifestyle change for both health and ethical reasons. 

As with most human behavior changes, trends towards veganism have been very different from state to state.

That’s why we had our team focus on researching and gathering data from all 50 states to come up with a definitive list of the most vegan states of 2021.

How Did We Rate Each State?

Our research approach focused on four indicators that we measured for every state, and with that complete data set, we could then rank all 50 states.

1. Vegan Population per Capita

To assess the vegan population of a state, we looked at online search trends published by Google. 

We measured the average monthly search volume for the phrase “vegan restaurants” for each state, as this is the clearest indication of how interested the local population is in vegan dining. 

The final step in this research involved weighing the search volume of each state on a per 1 million people basis to achieve a data set that allowed for clear comparison and ranking. 

2. Number of Vegan Restaurants

The second most important data point in this research involved gathering details about the total number of dedicated vegan restaurants in each state. 

Our team approached this using online resources to gather details from Google Maps, HappyCow.com, and Yelp.com. 

The critical part of this research was that we strictly focused on vegan restaurants and excluded vegetarian ones where we would have had to make subjective decisions about how vegan each restaurant was. 

Weighing the number of restaurants against the population provided a clear objective ranking. 

3. Number of Vegan Meetup Groups

The third part of our research data looked at how many vegan meetup groups are registered in every state to gauge how active the vegan population is in promoting this lifestyle. 

We were able to quantify this data by using online resources at Meetup.com and Google search, which proved to be the most reliable sources. 

In order to be able to compare states of different sizes, we also weighted the data per 1 million people. 

4. Number of Animal Welfare Groups

And finally, we looked at how many animal welfare groups were registered in each state as an indicator of people’s support for animal rights. 

Google Maps proved to have the most reliable information about animal welfare groups and shelters. 

The final step was again to weigh this number per 1 million people to make a comparison between states possible. 

The Top 10 Vegan States in America

1. Nevada

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 942 per 1 million people 

• Vegan Restaurants: 14 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 8 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 4 per 1 million people

The most significant driving factor for Nevada achieving the top ranking came down to very strong growth in search traffic among the local population. And once we added a fourth-place ranking for the number of vegan dining options, we got data that put Nevada marginally ahead of California.

2. California

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 838 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 11 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 6 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 3 per 1 million people

With a slightly lower search volume, and a number of vegan restaurants per 1 million people than Nevada, California still ranks very high with a growing trend in both data sets.

It’s also a state that has a lot to offer vegans who want to grow their circle of vegan friends through organized meetup groups. 

3. Oregon

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 688 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 16 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 5 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 21 per 1 million people

Oregon has a solid ranking in the top 5 for search volume, but it was the third-place ranking for vegan restaurants that pushed it up into the overall third place. 

The one area where there seems to be the most opportunity to gain some rankings is through organized meetup groups. 

4. Hawaii

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 622 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 19 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 18 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 40 per 1 million people

The data point that stood out the most for Hawaii is the density of restaurants. It seems like both locals and people vacationing on the islands have a significant demand for vegan dining experiences. 

Combined with the eighth-place finish for the number of people using vegan search terms, the data supported a strong overall ranking. 

5. New York

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 622 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 9 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 6 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 4 per 1 million people

One thing we noted during our research is that NYC has the highest density of vegan restaurants. However, that density doesn’t continue throughout the state.

The strong overall search trends have supported a top 5 finish for NY, and there are many active meetup groups to find more like-minded people. 

6. New Jersey

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 405 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 29 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 16 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 17 per 1 million people

What stands out the most for New Jersey is that despite only ranking in 18th place for local search trends, it’s the highest-ranked state for the selection of vegan restaurants. 

With 29 vegan dining choices per 1 million people, New Jersey is well ahead of second-place Hawaii with 19 restaurants. 

7. Maryland

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 480 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 11 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 22 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 22 per 1 million people

Maryland made it to the top 10 due to good supporting search trends and choice of restaurants. It stands out on this list, especially when you consider the small population size. 

We also found that it’s one of the better places to get involved with meetup groups and animal rights support groups.

8. Arizona

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 742 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 5 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 5 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 16 per 1 million people

The surprising fact about Arizona’s data points is that it ranks in fourth place for search trends but only in 24th place for the density of vegan restaurants. 

That would suggest that there is significant scope for more vegan dining options to open up and support that growing search trend. 

9. Massachusetts

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 421 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 10 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 14 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 12 per 1 million people

Opposite to Arizona’s data, Massachusetts is one of the top-ranking states for the selection of dedicated vegan restaurants, but it only ranks in 17th place for Google searches.

Massachusetts also ranks very high when it comes to animal welfare activity and meetup groups throughout the state. 

10. Michigan

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 441 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 9 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 4 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 4 per 1 million people

The 10th place is another well-deserved one with a good combination of high search trends and the number of vegan restaurants. 

But what stood out more for us was the very high fourth place for both the number of animal welfare and meetup groups available. 

Here’s the full list of all 50 states in order:

  1. Nevada
  2. California
  3. Oregon
  4. Hawaii
  5. New York
  6. New Jersey
  7. Maryland
  8. Arizona
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Michigan
  11. Virginia
  12. Florida
  13. Rhode Island
  14. Colorado
  15. Georgia
  16. Utah
  17. Washington
  18. Vermont
  19. Illinois
  20. New Mexico
  21. Delaware
  22. Texas
  23. North Carolina
  24. Connecticut
  25. Pennsylvania
  26. New Hampshire
  27. Minnesota
  28. Ohio
  29. South Carolina
  30. Tennessee
  31. Missouri
  32. West Virginia
  33. Louisiana
  34. Maine
  35. Indiana
  36. Wisconsin
  37. Idaho
  38. Nebraska
  39. Kentucky
  40. Kansas
  41. Oklahoma
  42. Iowa
  43. Montana
  44. Arkansas
  45. Mississippi
  46. Wyoming
  47. Alabama
  48. South Dakota
  49. Alaska
  50. North Dakota

Best States by Category

A detailed look at each set of data points provides some interesting insights into where each state is performing particularly well. 

The following is the detailed ranking for the four data sets we analyzed. 

Best U.S. States for Vegan Restaurants

These are the ten best states for the number of vegan restaurants to choose from. 

  1. New Jersey
  2. Hawaii
  3. Oregon
  4. Nevada
  5. California
  6. Maryland
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Virginia
  10. Michigan

While California has the highest total number available in very densely populated areas like LA and the Bay Area, it’s New Jersey that has set a new mark for the availability of vegan restaurants per capita. 

U.S. States with Highest Vegan Population per Capita

This is the list of states with the highest Google searches for “vegan restaurants” per 1 million people. 

  1. Nevada
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. Arizona
  5. Oregon
  6. Texas
  7. New York
  8. Hawaii
  9. Washington
  10. Florida

There are a few surprises in there, including Texas, which would be more famous for traditional BBQs. With Texas not on the top 10 list for vegan restaurants, that could be a good indication that the vegan population per capita has outgrown the number of available vegan restaurants. 

Best U.S. States for Vegan Meetup Groups

Here is the list of U.S. states based on the number of meetup groups per capita.

  1. Delaware
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Connecticut
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Vermont
  6. Maryland
  7. Maine
  8. Hawaii
  9. New Jersey
  10. Massachusetts

The overall rankings favor some of the smaller states, but it’s a good indication that residents of less densely populated states have become a lot more active in getting organized and spreading the lifestyle.

Best U.S. States for Animal Welfare Groups

Based on our research it looks like a lot of the smaller states seem to be leading the way when it comes to providing animal welfare services.

  1. Delaware
  2. South Dakota
  3. North Dakota
  4. Vermont
  5. Rhode Island
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Wyoming
  8. Alaska
  9. Idaho
  10. West Virginia

What surprised us the most about Delaware is that the state has almost twice as many animal welfare groups per capita as second-ranked South Dakota.

Written by: Total Shape

New Music: Bite Me – Avril Lavigne

Photo Credit: Bite Me Cover Art on Spotify

The queen of pop-punk is back and Avril is not messing around.

Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne is back with new music and we’re pumped. She released her new single “Bite Me” which in the music video features Travis Barker on the drums.

The track was co-produced with Barker, John Feldmann, and Mod Sun after the singer announced she has signed with Barker’s label DTA Records.

Photo Credit: Ryan McFadden

She first announced new music on the way following a performance on Barker House of Horrors live-stream and said “Should I drop my first single next week?”

Then teased a snippet of the song on her TikTok where it had over 10 million views in only a few days.

Lavigne is happy with her new label as you can see in the video she is showing off a DTA Records sticker on the guitar. 

Avril shared when she first worked with the Blink 182 drummer, “The first time we worked together was 15 years ago on my new album ‘The Best Damn Thing,’ and I have really enjoyed watching him develop into the producer that he is today. We spent a lot of time writing songs and working on this record together, and signing to this record label DTA gelt like the perfect home for me and my new music. Travis understands my vision as a musician, my creative  process as an artist, and my goals at this stage in my career.”

You can stream the banger “Bite Me” on Spotify and Apple Music now and be sure to check out the music video for this track. I can’t wait to see what Avril releases next.

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA