by Asha Ladwa | Photos by Anthony Stanley/

Tags: Labrinth

INTERVIEW: Labrinth Talks Olympics, Weird Fans & More!

'Labrinth, come in!'


INTERVIEW: Labrinth Talks Olympics, Weird Fans & More!

Photo: Anthony Stanley/

Labrinth - real name Timothy McKenzie - has been a very busy man indeed. The 23-year-old singer-songwriter/producer has been performing all over the country recently to celebrate the Olympic Torch Relay as well as being part of Coca Cola's 'Future Flames' initiative.

Oh, and let's not forget the debut of his new LP Electronic Earth as well as the video release of his recent feel-good single 'Express Yourself,' sampled from the original song of the same name by Charles Wright.

And between all this, he's managed to squeeze in time to part-take in a BBC documentary with fellow British music artists Plan B and Leona Lewis in an exciting project aimed at youngsters.

Churning out hits with an eclectic range of musical styles, Labrinth is quickly earning himself a reputation as the chameleon of the pop world.

In the midst of Labrinth's hectic schedule, which recently included supporting Canadian rapper Drake on his Club Paradise tour, TaleTela managed to a get a little one-on-one with the Hackney born musician...

You seem to be very involved in this year's Olympics. Tell us about taking part in the Olympic Torch Relay as part of Coca Cola's 'Future Flames' Initiative around the country....

Well, you know, I'm a sports man myself, so I thought it would be good to get involved, especially as the Olympics are in London this time. I've performed and passed through several places including Cheltenham, Bristol and Taunton and the crowd have been absolutely crazy. The weather has been great too so that made it even better. The 'Future Flames' Initiative is pretty important to me as it's helping youngsters around the country achieve their passions and push them to work towards their goals. But being part of the whole process has just been incredible.

Will you be going to see the Olympics live this year?

Well, I don't know, if I can sort some tickets out then know, get in touch with friends in high places..(Laughs)

You performed an acoustic version of your single 'Earthquake' for Coca Cola - how does playing acoustic compare to performing with a backing track?

It just feels normal to be honest, very natural... it doesn't matter what situation/genre you put me in musically, I'm gonna make it work. Especially in my new album Electronic Earth where I've experimented with different sounds. I'm very comfortable playing acoustic.

You recently unveiled the video for your new single 'Express Yourself' - how much fun did you have making this?

It's the same fun as I have making all my other music videos (laughs)... As with all the other videos I've made, I enjoy the creative process of developing interesting ideas and putting it all together. This one was pretty cool.

There seems to a lot of TV and movie references in it, such as The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, Kill Bill and The Simpsons - can you explain the concept behind the video?

The video is all about expressing yourself, letting go, being creative, and has a very old school, funky 90's vibe to it. The whole Fresh Prince thing came about as I used to watch the programme when I was a kid, as with the others, so I wanted to include that in it.

If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

(Pauses to think) Definitely weird, extremely ambitious and hard-working.

Have you ever been starstruck?

I get more star struck by my fans than celebs to be honest!

If we were to raid your iPod, what would be the strangest song/music we would find?

You won't find anything but Labrinth music! When I'm finished in the studio, I usually take all my songs home, so I can listen to them and see how crap/good I am...that's usually what I do.. I tend to keep all my music after recording on my laptop mainly, but I prefer to listen to my own stuff!

What is the weirdest thing a fan has ever done to you?

I usually forget what they've said, but a fan has once licked my face which I found pretty weird...never had that before!

There have been talks that yourself, Leona Lewis, and Plan B are to star in a BBC documentary titled 'Back To Skool' - can you confirm this?

Yeah, we are basically working with some kids from Plan B's old school to give them a bit of guidance and advice, you know? Leona and myself have been visiting our old schools in Hackney to talk to some of the kids, it's been great.

Labrinth performs first night of UK tour...


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