Alan Serenge, also known as Ally B, is not your average 18 year old. He is ambitious and determined to make a successful future out of the thing he loves most – music. He struggled with anger and bitterness due to his parent’s divorce, but despite the negatives he uses music to make a positive impact.
“I started rapping at the age of 12 in the school playground, using my brothers’ lyrics, everyone thought I was cool but never knew it was my brothers’ songs. Eventually my brother pulled me aside and told me that it’s wrong to rap other people’s songs and take it as your own.”
Alan then decided to take his brothers wise words to heart and formed a group of his own in grade 7, writing his own songs.
“In grade 7 I started writing my own songs, we formed a group and would perform at school, kids were singing our songs like it was a school anthem.” He smiles, reminiscing.
His music career had only begun.
“In grade 8 I recorded my first song, titled, “my girl,” I recorded it with my brother and best friend at that time. It was released the same year and from then onwards I started taking my music career more seriously.”
Alan’s brother encouraged him to not be like others and to strive to be different.
“Back then my brother told me not to make ruthless lyrics because no one wants to hear a 13-year-old swearing. I keep it child-friendly until now. I want to stay away from the things the media promotes and be different.”
He continues to say, “I’ve always wanted my music to tell a story and paint a picture. I always want to tell a story of being different.”
Alan opens up with the real reason he started getting involved in music. He had struggled with rejection and anger towards his father, but it was music that helped him overcome.
“What happened with my dad, made me want to tell my story and express myself through music, I know other people can relate to it.”
He explains the empty promises he had to deal with as a child, “It’s always been empty promises since I was 10. I was promised a future in New Zealand. I would tell all my friends and they’d see me back, as a kid, it was quite sad.”
“He always looked after others it was about others, not us. His wife now and child while my mother, brother and I sister and I were neglected. It was quite sad, because I always looked up to my dad.”
Alan explains the changes that took place in his life.
“My father would work overseas and he would always spoil me while he was still married to my mother, once they got divorced that all changed. I blamed my mother for the divorce.”
“My father’s new family was top priority and my family and I were neglected. I had a lot of anger in me. It wasn’t good for me as a child. I would take it out on others and was always accused of having a bad temper.”
He realized he was blaming his mother without a cause.
“In grade 7 my mom told me what happened and I realized my dad wasn’t what I thought he would be. That was when I turned down the New Zealand offer, my high school life already started and I was focused on my future not the future my dad had promised me.”
Alan and his mother have become closer and formed a great bond.
“In grade 8 my brother went to live with my father in New Zealand. That was difficult for me, because he was the only man I had in my life. I still had my grandpa, but he didn’t teach me what I needed to hear like about girls.
But he taught me about manners. That’s when my mom and I became closer. She played the role of both my father and mother. My relationship with my mom encouraged me to make positive music. I make music telling a story and making it end up positive.”
Alan admits, despite the hurt his father caused him, he would not do the same.
“I have many songs written about him, which I refuse to release, for his sake. Despite it all, I know he tries and I don’t want to hurt him. I only write it for my own personal release, no one else sees it.”
Alan realises that with statistics he could have been another rebellious teenager, but he chose a different road.
“I could have been unstable, on drugs, but I’m out here making a future. Life is not just about today, keep the future in mind. Don’t just think about YOLO because you might make it to the future.”
Alan is currently studying Sound Engineering to take his music even further on a professional level.
“Studying sound engineering is something I love I’m learning how to manipulate sound and that makes me want to do even more with my music.”
Alan’s advice he gives to anyone who has faced disappointments by ones they loved: “The best thing is to forgive. It doesn’t matter how bad it is, once you forgive that person, you’ll feel better. The first person you should turn to, to ask how to forgive, is God. That’s how I learned how to forgive. Once I forgave, it was uplifting now instead of making bitter songs, I can make uplifting songs.”