Nottingham-born, Leicester raised singer, songwriter, actor and dancer Kieran Alleyne has, in his limited time in the musical spotlight, already been earmarked as the UK's answer to Chris Brown (minus the controversy hopefully) and although that particular comparison may be a lazy one, it's not hard to see why. A younger Kieran Alleyne won the part of a young Michael Jackson in the hit West End theatre production Thriller: Live and soon won role on CBBC; the youth branch of the BBC on their flagship weekend show Friday Download and Danis Castle.

In this time, he also began uploading covers of songs by his favourite artists which soon caught the eyes and ears of Max Gousse, once an A&R for Beyoncé at Columbia Records, who left and created Artistry Ent., quickly snapping up the young star in the making.

Now signed to Virgin EMI, Alleyne has already released his debut EP Breaking Good to positive reception and is about to release the first single from his forthcoming album, produced by DJ Mustard, 'Be Around.' Ahead of its release, we have a quick Q&A session with Kieran about his music, working with one of the hottest producers, advice he's received from his peers and industry crushes...

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Tell us about your new single 'Be Around'. What was it working with DJ Mustard?

DJ Mustard is everywhere; he's killing the game! He's found a formula that works and just delivers every time and every time it's a banger! To have him work on my project is incredible and we're already in talks about doing more songs, which is always good. 'Be Around' has club-ready bass line but I wanted to bring the pop/R&B element into it. I feel like it's starting to come back but I just want it to breakthrough again. I want people to think "He's bringing back that R&B smoothness."

How do you write your songs? Are you traditional with a pen and paper or an iPhone guy?

iPhone definitely, in the notes! Although somehow, I always manage to press the delete button at the wrong time, it's so annoying! [Laughs].

What would you like to say to your future self, 10 years from now?

WE MADE IT!!! [Laughs] I want to be able to say "Keep grinding, keep working as hard as you can." The music industry isn't all smiles and laughter all the time, there are moments where you have push yourself that little bit more and there are times you have to remember that there's millions of other people who would love to do what I'm doing so yeah... Keep grinding!

If you weren't a musician, what would your back up plan?

Basketball player, 100%! I used to play for Leicester when I was younger and I was the captain for East Midlands. I think a lot of people think I'd have gone into acting because of my theatre background in Thriller Live but I'd have gone straight to basketball. I'm probably a bit late for Basketball now though! [Laughs].

How did the title of your EP Breaking Good come about?

There is no other reason than I was watching Breaking Bad and I just flipped it, no deep meaning, no emotional tie or anything like that, nothing other than I liked the series and that was it.

Now that 'Be Around' is out, what does the future hold for you?

Well I'm back in the studio making more songs, even though I have so many already! But releasing more so people can hear more of my music and learn and experience who I am as an artist. I'm at Thorpe Park on August 8th supporting Rixton.

Do you have an industry crush yet?

[Laughs] Yeah... It'd have to be Tori Kelly, Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez. I've only had the chance to see Tori at a premiere but I haven't met the other two yet.

Who would be the person you would most like to collaborate with?

It would have to be Tori (Kelly). Not only because I've got a crush on her but simply because her voice is incredible. Or even Justin Timberlake, just because he keeps reinventing himself with every album. When he came back with The 20/20 Experience I wasn't expecting that. He's just on point!

What movie would best describe your life at present?

I saw the Entourage film recently and I want that to describe my life but it's not quite there yet, maybe in a few years. Right now, I'd say The Longest Yard; that team is such an underdog, but they come out to win it all because they didn't give up and they stuck together. So I'm just going to keep grinding and keep going until I make it to the top!

What's the best piece of advice you've received so far?

It was by Rico Love, he said "You don't have to find the most complicated way to say something when writing a song. People don't want to hear that, they want to hear what you felt at the moment." For me, it stuck with me because I was trying to write the craziest things like "looking in the reflection and how it hurts." But in my experience when you just keep it simple, people can relate to it a lot more and perhaps appreciate it much more.


Kieran Alleyne's new single 'Be Around' is available on July 19th.