Who the f*ck is the Allen Centeno?
Allen Centeno is an alternative singer/songwriter. His music has a dark, ironic, angry and melancholy feel in it, yet it contains hints of love, hope, and strength. He instinctively composes sad cored and, sometimes aggressive, songs.
Heartbreaks and hardships led him to write poems then eventually he started to build melodies for these painful words and he ironically fell in love – he fell in love with songwriting. It became his way of expressing his art.
Allen Centeno honed his talent performing on stage when he was in high school and jamming around with his guitarist with whom he first wrote his very first song. But he had to leave all of it when he moved to Italy. Without anyone playing the guitar for him, he learned the guitar and the piano by himself and started to write songs by ear without even knowing the name of the chords. He then enrolled at CPM Music Institute in Milan, Italy to study Contemporary Music, majoring in Voice. Unexpectedly, right after finishing the first year, he got signed by an indie label and he started producing his debut album entitled “Touch Ground” that was released in March 2015 from which three singles were extracted from (“Who Are You?”, “Touch Ground” and “Bravery”).
Now, with a new found sound but still retaining his sadcore vibe, Allen Centeno pours his heart out and shows his true self. With the released of the single “Dark Water” at the end of 2017, that will also be the title of his upcoming sophomore album, he declares war against homophobia, discrimination, and racism that he himself underwent. “Dark Water” is a new sound for Allen. It’s darker, edgier and stronger than before. Its upbeat electronic-synth tempo comprises two distinct tempos that surprise the listeners. The video for the single represents the society in its full complexity, The black veil, the chains on his neck and the “Dark Water” that goes into his mouth are the metaphors of how he experienced the hardships of being gay and Asian in a foreign land.
On 20th April 2018, Allen Centeno released the single “How To Forget A Fucker” which is the opposite of the edgy “Dark Water”. Sonically, it’s more of a back-to-basics arrangement mixing the acoustic instruments to electronic bass. In this track, he shows his vulnerability and his weakness to love. It’s not the usual “You broke my heart, now I’m stronger” song. No, it’s a song about the truth of a broken heart, of a lost true love and not being able to move on. One suffers and gets shaken from within and affects one’s very existence. The video for this single has two timelines: the happy moments with his ex-boyfriend leading to the argument then reconciliation; the latter, Allen Centeno reminisces his love story while going to desperation and melancholy.
“How To Forget A Fucker” is one of the few videos that depicts a gay love story. A theme that is not yet confronted by many. Instead of hiring a female actress, Allen Centeno fought his fears and featured a boy in his video to show his real story and of the other individuals out there. Gay or straight, we all suffer from a broken heart.
Allen’s shyness comes in the way when he speaks but not when he performs his songs. His deep bass tone dynamically transforms to thin pop-ish sound unto eerie falsetto. His imperfections, ugliness, and darkness are his main artistic traits but these are where the beauty and horror of his music come from.