In just a few years he's released three mixtapes, sold out shows worldwide and has honed a unique style all his own. Coming straight outta' Brooklyn, Theophilus London's latest EP "Lover's Holiday", also his debut major-label release via Warner Bros, is a soundtrack for today's musical ingenuity. Mashing a sharp mix of 80's electro-soul and synth pop with smooth lyrical delivery and straight forward rhymes, London's voice is a refreshing glimpse into the future of hip-hop music.
What inspired the tracks on your new EP?
Oh man, it's just international traveling - being in different situations at different times all over the world. This EP is just about modern love - it's about this moment right now. The song titles are pretty much straight forward.
How did you hook up with Sara Quin (Tegan & Sara) for the track "Why Even Try"?
We wrote that track in LA and I wanted to do some work with Tegan and Sara. So, Sara, who's the main songwriter for Tegan & Sara came over and penned out the vocals. I think having her voice along with hip-hop was a great crossover and my fans loved it, so it was great!
Your sound tends to transcend hip-hop a little bit…
It's definitely post hip-hop, man. There's a rawness about it. For me to jump on a funk record like that and turn the shit out, it's like Biggie jumping on "Juicy" and turning that shit out. It's bigger than just some Big Daddy Kane type rap. I listen to all the current stuff and I try to find inspiration from all types of music - I have a whole collection. It's like, you don't just have one type of book in your library, unless you kind of suck at reading, so I've got a whole collection of music that I listen to.
Who inspired you to become an emcee?
Man, guys like Tupac, Biggie - I liked their energy. Jay-Z is a huge influence. I know all his albums word for word. Even though I have these influences, in my mind, my style sounds like some new crazy shit. It's just like when somebody made Frankenstein; There wasn't a Frankenstein before Frankenstein - somebody just made that shit. Like, what's up? Frankenstein's here. My style is like a new idea that I'm trying to bring.
So there's a new album coming out soon to follow-up this EP?
Yeah, the album will be out in 2 months, man. This EP is just a small taste of what I have to offer musically. That shit was small-time. So the album's done and will be out sometime around June, but I can't give an official date. I'm even working on my second record right now. This is personal work, man. This is me engaging with the listener, you know? This is my first offering and I'm pretty psyched, man. I want to keep making original music. There were no samples on this EP. It was straight up people banging' out on instruments. I've put out sample-heavy music in the past, but I was obviously making a mixtape, not an album.
What are your touring plans this year?
We're gonna tour in Australia - we've been holding out on Australia big time and there are a lot of fans out there. I know we're doing a little run through Paris, then Scandinavia. Those Stockholm girls love me, so we've got to go talk to them. "Lover's Holiday" unfortunately is not going to get a huge tour, even though we wanted it. We just want to rush and get this album out so I can put the second album out at the end of the year.
Check out Theophilus London on Tour NOW!!
Wed, March 23rd @ 330 Ritch, San Francisco
Thur, March 24th @ The Key Club, Los Angeles