King Castle is an alternative, funk-infused, indie pop artist hailing from Basingstoke. He released his highly accomplished debut single ‘Dracula’ in February of this year and it’s clear there are high expectations for this new act. With a track record of acclaimed live performances, BBC Introducing support and recognition from the blogosphere world, it’s no wonder that King Castle has come out of the gates so strong with this first release. ‘Dracula’ has an up-tempo, feel-good warmth to it but with gritty vocals and a bass line flare giving it the edge. Put this on and get ready for a lyrical feast, wrapped up in soulful melodies and delivering a big band punch.
‘Dracula’ is a pretty attention-grabbing title for a song and I love the concept. Can you tell us more about the track and how it was formed?
I named the track Dracula because it was the closest character comparison I could think of to describe a narcissistic individual that is quite literally draining the life out of you. I write about first hand experiences using brutal honesty in hope that my tunes connect with people that have struggled or who are still struggling with a similar situation and can maybe help them feel a little bit more human and supported by knowing they are not in it alone. And that there’s a lot of people they can reach out to and that it’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to ask for help when you are feeling low.
You are amongst a new group of artists releasing their debut tracks in the midst of a pandemic. How’s that experience been?
The honest answer is that, although it’s been easier to find extra time to create, it has been tough going into recording studios, this is why ‘Dracula’ was completely recorded and produced at home. I find that the pandemic has made it tough putting out content because the internet is being continuously flooded with endless new content to cure peoples boredom, BUT… equally more people have more disposable time to listen to our new tunes, so it’s like a lose, win, lose haha. I guess it’s an odd time all round and the most important thing is that we all have our health and the best we can do is to keep our fingers crossed, follow the rules and stay positive while it all blows over. GET US BACK ON STAGE! 🙂
You’ve already had the opportunity to play some impressive support slots at sold-out shows. Were you playing a lot as King Castle before you decided to start releasing?
I have not performed live as KING CASTLE yet, but have performed some killer shows along the years. I am really looking forward to performing this style of music to an audience, the energy is going to be insane! All gig dates will be announced on my social media as soon as they are confirmed. Keep an eye out 😉
What made you decide to begin sharing your songs in 2021? Have you thought about releasing music before now?
I’ve been releasing music for a few years and ghostwriting on a few other artists tunes. I felt it was time to finally put my own tracks out for people to hear.
I am a strong believer that productivity breeds positivity.king castle
Got to ask, how have you found the multiple lockdowns and pandemic life?
The first few months were crazy for everyone, I feel like I’ve got nothing to moan about really because all of my friends & family are ok and we’ve all managed to keep productive and busy to make the time pass by less painfully. Obviously, all of my events were cancelled and my income was damaged, just like everyone. BUT, I am a strong believer that productivity breeds positivity, so I just kept busy, kept creating and hopefully will come out the other end a better person.
What can we expect from King Castle this year?
Depending on how this mad little world unravels, I will be putting out a new tune every month on all streaming platforms and I will be booking up some new tour dates as soon as I am able to. I will also be recording a music video with all my mates as soon as I’m allowed within cuddling distance of them haha. The future is bright for sure!
What’s a song or album you always return to?
Brand New Bass Guitar by Jamie T – From his album ‘Panic Prevention’
Jamie T is a king, I’ve been lucky enough to see him live on multiple occasions and his music always reminds me that the story is more important than the beat and to not overproduce my tracks. His music is insanely catchy, well written and very humble. That is everything I would love my music to be.
Can you tell us about life as an indie artist in Basingstoke? Have you found any collaborators or music pals where you are?
Haha… Where do I start with Basingstoke?… It’s a very weird and wonderful place and as cliche, as it sounds, the people really make it what it is. It’s got a bit of a bad rep as it can be a bit dodgy at times but I live in the heart of it and find that there is more good in this town than bad. Fortunately, Basingstoke has a HUGE network of creatives and it’s always been so easy to collaborate with really talented individuals. I am definitely going to collab with my fellow Basingstokers.
I’d tell my future self to slow it down a bit.king castle
Is there any piece of advice you’d give to your past, present or future self?
I’d tell my past self that although a party is great, keep money aside to invest in music, you can have the best music in the world but if you don’t have the money to get it produced properly or marketed properly. Then it is a very hard industry to survive in. Present self would advise me to hit the gym cause lockdown hasn’t been kind! I’d tell my future self to slow it down a bit, life isn’t about continuously chasing your grave. Take time to stop and enjoy the moment cause you only get to live them once.
You talk about the likes of Loyle Carner, Jamie-T, and Alex Turner as being influences of yours. What is it about those artists that you’re so drawn to?
I love the raw honesty of their lyrics. Artists can produce the funkiest beat I’ve ever heard BUT if the lyrics don’t deliver a message or a story, I will lose interest very quickly.
Can you remember what first got you into music? Was there a person or experience that made you think about making music yourself?
My Uncle ‘Al Black’ used to tour Scotland as a resident Musician in a lot of venues and I remember being very young and attending a couple of his shows. I remember looking at how much he loved it and how much the audience loved it and from that moment I was obsessed and consumed by music.
I accidentally ended up in Mama Mia the movieking castle
Is there anything you want to share about yourself that people might not know/expect?
I am a huge believer in helping others and am a creative coach for other artists around me. I’m also a graphic designer and use it as an extra way to make some cash on the side whenever music is quiet (LIKE DURING A PANDEMIC) haha, my life’s been crazy though! I accidentally ended up in Mama Mia the movie by walking on set to buy a pint from what I thought was a real bar in Skiathos, Greece. Ended up meeting the whole crew and spent a week with them all, haha life’s genuinely been mental.
A dream for your 2021?
Get out of lockdown, get on the stage, meet some new people, catch up with old people. See people succeed while hopefully succeeding myself.
Make sure to connect with King Castle:
Introducing » Artists We Interviewed
This coverage was created in collaboration with Musosoup as part of the #SustainableCurator movement.