Coming from Kettering, UK, Alfie Castley has always had a fascination with music for as long as he can remember.
“I’ve always loved doing music ever since I was a baby pretty much, and I’m so glad it has given me a career ‘cause that’s been my dream ever since I was little. Music inspires me to write. I love all types of music,” the London-based artist said in a recent interview with SoundStrip.
Fast forward to today, and Alfie is one of many new faces that TikTok has launched into the spotlight with his hit song, “Teenage Mona Lisa.” A melancholic ballad with an atmospheric beat guiding the tempo, the song tells the story of a teen contestant in a beauty pageant.
“Though she looks the part, it is clear she is not quite suited to that world; behind a false smile she is frequently reminded to wear, she holds a [sense of] sadness and longing inside. We bring the idea of a youthful, contemporary Mona Lisa to life, and intertwine her story with Alfie’s performance with a light romantic touch,” Lucy Chappell, who directed the video, shared.
“It’s about unrequited love and loving somebody who doesn’t love you back. I wanted to convey that message through the song,” he pointed out.
“I thought choosing a girl who was out of place at a pageant was a good way to say in the song that beauty isn’t everything, and there’s more on the inside,” he added.
“Teenage Mona Lisa” originally went viral when a TikTok clip by artist and influencer Adian Adair exploded on the platform generating over a quarter of a million posts virtually overnight. It has sat within the top 50 of Spotify’s Top 200 chart for a solid 12 weeks in the Philippines. In Indonesia the song has remained on Resso’s Top 50 for over 3 months.
“I love Tiktok,” he explains “I think it’s one of the best platforms at the moment, and I definitely will be using it for my future releases from now on,”
With the music video directed by Chappell, Alfie was able to add another narrative layer to the story.
“Making this video was the most surreal experience I’ve ever had and I can’t believe how amazing it has turned out. I can’t wait for everyone else to see it as it’s a very powerful message that’s portrayed in the video and I believe it excellently captures the meaning of the track,” he said.
Armed with his “alt pop but ballady” sound, Alfie hopes to take his newfound success to greater heights.
“I’m always writing, and I can’t wait to get to play live again, maybe even visit the Philippines,” he enthused.
“Teenage Mona Lisa” is now available on major streaming platforms.