If I were to ask you the first city that comes to mind whenever I mention hip-hop, I'd highly doubt your first answer would be Tulsa. But if I were to ask you to give me the first name that comes to mind whenever I mention the Tulsa hip-hop scene, I wouldn't be surprised at all if your first answer was Alan Doyle. And with all the work Alan has put in throughout the years to build that reputation and our local scene it's only fair that his name should be at the top of that list. I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Alan and getting to know one of Tulsa's great talents a little better.
Alan said he got started playing music in one of the most unorthodox ways possible. Alan used to spend time playing on his computer when he was around 16. He'd sample the sound bits from Windows 98 and begin putting them together to compose actual beats. Eventually, he started writing lyrics to these very basic beats. As technology progressed, Alan was able to progress as well. With better quality and better selections of samples to choose from, Alan's compositions became more complex and he was able to begin honing his skills. He had began to lay down the pavement for the road he would go down to become the talented musician we know today.
And his story of how he has come to where he is today is as intriguing as any you'll find. Born to a father from Texas and a mother from Indiana in Michigan City, Indiana, his family found a home in Broken Arrow not long into his childhood. Alan went to high school at Broken Arrow South Intermediate High School, then transferred to Jenks High School but did not graduate. This is a fact he will bring up without hesitation in conversation but will also be quick to note that it is something he means to rectify in the future. He has also not let this in any way hold him back or affect his perception of what he can achieve in this life. Eventually, however, life caught up to Alan like it does so many of us and he found himself just trying to make ends meet. He was working two jobs to pay the bills but still found himself coming up short on electric bills, phone bills and finally his rent. Some nights he said he would leave his second job in the evening to meet his friends in hopes of finding a couch to crash on for the night. Sometimes this didn't pan out and he would have to just find a place to sleep near his job he'd wake up and go to. Thankfully, this would not be the case forever.
After receiving a paycheck from both jobs on the same day, Alan took a chance at a casino. And lady luck blessed him that day. He won a handsome sum and was able to get an apartment. And maybe lady luck's blessing continued on for some time after too as not long after this Alan got booked for his first show with many to follow quickly after this. And perhaps it's all of these experiences that make Alan's music so much different and relateable to many of us who listen. To use a worn out cliche, he started from the bottom and now he's here. But here is not in some mansion on the hill. Here is still among the people like himself. Here is a place in his life where he can look back and be thankful. Here is a place that many of us take for granted until we lose it ourselves. And here is home here in Tulsa where he is able to grace us with his fantastic and original style that is keeping our hip-hop scene alive and well.
These experiences helped shape the music that Alan writes. But along with personal experience, Alan says he feels that he's been influenced by a great deal of hip-hop and rap artists from the past and the present. Some of the names he could give us right off the cuff were Bone Thugs 'n' Harmony, Wu-Tang Clan, Public Enemy, Guru of Gang Starr, J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar and Tyler the Creator. He admits there are many others but these are just some of the stand outs that come straight to mind. And if you listen to his music, you can hear hints of these influences but with his own uniqueness that shines through in every track. One great thing about listening to Alan's discography is that you can hear the heart and soul put into each song. No two sound the same. He does not seek to please the masses as if music is a popularity competition. And above all, he stays true to himself through his music.
Nowadays, you can find Alan working at Greenhouse Clothing during the day and sometimes out on the town at such bars as On The Rocks or The Buccaneer Bar. If you see him, go up and say hi. Alan is as pleasant a person to have a conversation and share a drink with as any person you'll find in Tulsa. And if you need to find a few more things to talk with him about, there is so much more than what is in this article on the Interviews section of this site. I'd strongly urge you to give it a listen and learn more about Alan. If it is not already posted, it will be soon. It's a nearly 50 minute interview. In the meantime, you can listen to Alan Doyle's works at the following sites: