Exclusive Q&A: A Conversation With Theophilus London About Love, Life and Antarctica

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsWhen you look at the hip-hop scene at it stands now, with artists like OFWGKTA and LMFAO on the rise, you can feel the genre shifting a bit both in terms of music and artistic vision. Taking a more wild and eclectic approach to not only music but fashion sense is becoming a running trend. With that in mind, the up-and-coming rapper Theophilus London is riding the wave with his unique blend of influences, that read off like something from an indie rock band, and his eye-catching sense of style. This has led to widespread success with his debut release Timez Are Weird These Days getting significant buzz and landing high-profile performances like at this past year’s Cannes Film Festival. Taking some time out of his busy tour schedule, this budding rap star sat down to chat with us about topics ranging from his Tumblr to listening to actress Milla Jovovich cover Prince.

OS: In the past, you’ve voiced displeasure about mainstream rap. Do you feel it’s something you still try to stay away from?

TL: In a sense of [it] being played out, maybe. But, there’s a lot of mainstream rap.

OS: How would you describe the difference between your approach and a regular hip hop artist?

TL: I work off of references. I idolize producers and try to sit down and work with producers on brand new sound. We talk about favorite artists first and foremost and develop a brand new sound. I really can’t say I’m different from other rappers because I’m not in the studio with them or in their creative process.

OS: You announced on Tumblr today that you got Michael Jackson to DJ some of your shows. How did you find him?

TL: I found him in New Orleans. He was hanging out a window. I asked him if he wanted to tour and he said yes. Really glad he came out to tour with us.


UTG: 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part One' Soundtrack

Here’s an unpopular opinion for you: I love Twilight. Shamelessly. I appreciate its badness the way others ridicule it, and see elements of truth in every character flaw that people deride. Not to imply that I take it seriously or anything, but people are really way too harsh on it considering how useless it is, and ought to lighten up. Further, the movies “ which haven’t always managed to do the story justice “ are gorgeous pieces of fluff that may do nothing for you aesthetically but ought to always endear you aurally. Each film in the franchise has come complete with a terrific artists’ soundtrack, treading a fine line in the hip and stylish and dexterously mixing the more maligned (Paramore, Linkin Park) with the indie elite (The Killers, Muse, Death Cab For Cutie).

The soundtrack to Breaking Dawn, which has been released ahead of the film’s arrival on 18th November, isn’t always as riveting as I’d like it to be. However, there are obvious reasons for this. The storyline to this picture involves Bella and Edward beginning a new life in wedded bliss, only to have their newfound world of careful order fall apart with the discovery that Bella is pregnant with a vampire/human hybrid. For a variety of horribly unpleasant reasons, this isn’t a good thing, and thus the soundtrack must find a way to interweave hope, promise, and loving ardor with hopelessness, desperation, and uncertainty.

Full Track Listing:

1. The Joy Formidable “ Endtapes
2. Angus & Julia Stone “ Love Will Take You
3. Bruno Mars “ It Will Rain
4. Sleeping At Last “ Turning Page
5. The Features “ From Now On
6. Christina Perri “ A Thousand Years
7. Theophilus London “ Neighbors
8. The Belle Brigade “ I Didn’t Mean It
9. Noisettes “ Sister Rosetta (2011 Version)
10. Cider Sky “ Northern Lights
11. Iron & Wine “ Flightless Bird, American Mouth (Wedding Version)
12. Imperial Mammoth “ Requiem On Water
13. Aqualung & Lucy Schwartz “ Cold
14. Mia Maestro “ Llovera
15. Carter Burwell “ Love Death Birth


Monday, July 25, 2011

I Love The '90s

Remember the ˜90s? You know, people were talking about getting piercings and getting tribal tattoos, and people were singing about saving the planet and forming bands? Ah, yes, Fred Armisen, we do remember the ˜90s. Ever since we heard The Dream of the ˜90s, on Portlandia earlier this year, we’ve been super nostalgic for the decade that gave us flannel, grunge and Tubthumping. And apparently, we’re not alone”from Nickelodeon to SXSW, everyone is jumping on the ˜90s bandwagon these days.

Earlier this month, Nickelodeon announced that they’d be bringing back ˜90s classics including The Amanda Bynes Show, All That, Clarissa Explains It All, Rugrats, Kenan & Kel and Pete & Pete for a Teen Nick nostalgia-fest called The ˜90s Are All That. Sure, the programming block is scheduled to air from midnight to 2:00 AM, which is less than ideal from those of us who require more than 5 hours of sleep a night. And yes, the network definitely left out some choice shows. (No Aaahh, Real Monsters? No Rocko’s Modern Life?! C’mon, Nickelodeon.) But hey, we’d take any of these gems over iCarly any day.

Nick isn’t the only network going retro with their lineup. MTV announced last week that they’re relaunching 120 Minutes, the television showcase dedicated to alternative music. While the two hour music breakdown technically debuted in the late ˜80s, 120 Minutes featured a plethora of outstanding artists in the ˜90s, including Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer and They Might Be Giants. The show was cancelled in 2000 thanks to the success of The Real World and the rest of MTV’s successful reality programming (ugh), but with plans to bring back former host Matt Pinfield the network could redeem itself.

If MTV is looking for talent to feature, and recall the ’90s, on 120 Minutes we recommend they check out Theophilus London. The rapper took the stage at SXSW decked out in quintessential ’90s gear”Bulls championship tee complimented by Air Jordans”and remarked, “This s— feels like MTV in the motherf—ing ’90s, when it was the greatest motherf—ing music network on the planet.” London even sampled Whitney Houston‘s “Always Love You” during his set. So ’90s! And with Dave Grohl talking up his Nirvana semi-reunion (R.I.P., Kurt), it’s almost like we never made it through Y2K at all.

If all this somehow isn’t enough to satisfy you Gen X-ers, rumors have been swirling for months now that Will Smith and the gang could be planning a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion for as early as next year. Now if only we could get Nickelodeon to re-air Angry Beavers and convince Blake Schwarzenbach that it’s time for a little Jawbreaker reunion, we’d be all set.

Friday, March 18, 2011: Buzz Feed SXSW Edition

Because it’s all anyone is talking about.