When it comes to analyzing Labrinth ‘s career , the truth is that he is one of those people for whom nothing seems to be impossible: the London artist is a singer, rapper, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer who has had success as a solo artist for, at the same time, he was working alongside stars like Rihanna, The Weeknd and Ed Sheeran.
Labrinth’s real name is Timothy McKenzie , and he first broke into the music world in 2008 when he wrote, produced and sang on rapper Master Shortie ‘s track Dead End . A year later he was working with British R&B artists Tinchy Stryder and Chipmunk , but it wasn’t until 2010 that he really started to make an impact with his feature on Tinie Tempah ‘s hit , Frisky .
Not bad for a young artist who saw himself in his teens as a painter, rather than a musician, thanks to his upbringing as part of the Pentecostal church.
“I was pretty much the kid sitting in the congregation watching all these amazing musicians: my brother on the guitar, my sister in the choir… basically, I got a master class on how to play, how to express music and how to manage energy. . Little by little, the music bug caught me”.
His house was filled with music, from hip-hop to gospel to jazz, and it’s precisely this mix of influences that makes him such a versatile artist, and the reason record labels began offering him songwriting deals. and production at the beginning of this decade. However, Simon Cowell, the music mogul behind American Idol and The X Factor , saw it differently: he signed him as an artist to his Syco label , making him the first act in six years to be signed by Cowell’s label that had not been a part of one of his reality shows.Labrinth ‘s first single for the label, Let the Sunshine , arrived in August 2010, and soon after, he began working on his debut album for a 2012 release: the single Earthquake (in collaboration with Tinie Tempah ), debuted on the label. UK Singles Chart at number two. Soon after, he began work on his second album, Take Me to the Truth , but although he released two singles from the album’s sessions ( Let It Be and Jealous ), the LP failed to appear after he rescheduled several release dates. Since then, six years have passed before he again released solo work.
At that time, he left London to live in Los Angeles, looking for a change of environment, of people, and a way to rediscover himself as an artist. The city offered him space for that creativity and that instinct that London did not allow, keeping himself busy, collaborating with artists such as Tinie Tempah, Ed Sheeran, Stefflon Don, Giggs, Nicki Minaj, Noah Cyrus and The Weeknd , for whom he also worked as a producer on the album Beauty Behind the Madness. Additionally, he formed the supergroup LSD with Sia and Diplo .
“ Sia and I were writing for my album a few years ago. I’m a huge fan of her voice and creatively she’s a beast. I have known Diplo for several years. I saw it at the Brit Awards, and we had talked about working for so long… When we got the chance to do LSD, we jumped at it, and it’s one of the most creative projects I’ve ever been involved with. We dress up in crazy costumes, mess with Sgt. Pepper visuals ; we have created animations for the band. You can be brave and be out there. It feels like you’re not the leader, so it allows us to get as crazy and fucked up as we want. And that works for us.”
Most recently, Labrinth was appointed as scorer for HBO’s popular teen series Euphoria, co-produced by Drake and starring Zendaya , in arguably his most ambitious work to date, working closely with the creator of the series, Sam Levinson , to get the sound and content just right for the various themes he has written especially for the show.“[Sam] got the way my brain works musically, and I got the way his brain works musically. I didn’t even get to see the show before we started working together, he just got what I wanted to do musically, and it turns out it was for this amazing crazy HBO show,” Labrinth told Variety in June. The result is a score packed with unique sounds and mixes of genres to address the needs of the scripts and characters, and yes, he has a favorite.
“I think the thing that resonated the most for me was Zendaya’s character, Rue. The anxiety thing, you can experience even without the use of drugs in many different things, especially in the music industry. That’s a massive thing that I’ve experienced, even having someone talk to me about mental health and depression, all these things. It was really nice to see that perspective represented on screen.”
Although he hasn’t confirmed if he will return to score the second season, Labrinth has nothing but wonderful things to say about the experience of writing the music for Euphoria, saying that composing for the show has challenged him creatively like nothing he’s done before in his career. life with genres I had never worked with before.
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