This Is London: Greedmont Park talks to Rising Star, Theophilus London
Thursday, March 17, 2011 by Team Greedmont | 7 Comments; | Category: Entertainment, Interview
I’m currently taking a psychology class that is aiding me to learn about the human mind and social interaction. A few things are being learned and plenty of my ideas are just being confirmed. She’s crazy, he’s evil. Basically, psychology is a way for me to have some kind of backings to my harsh judgments about people. The bigger picture with me is always pop culture. I apply everything I learn back into popular culture and that includes psychology. My talk with the hipster sensation, Theophilus London, was expected to be a standard interview with a budding electro-rapper. Instead, it turned into a crash-course of fame and what it does some people’s minds.
I don’t know Theophilus London. I do know his music. He emerged with his first mixtape, “JAM!”, but gained steam with “This Charming Mixtape”. He was born into a loving Brooklyn, New York family that nurtured his high energy and creative nature. “It was good. [It was] Very interactive, cousins to play with.” Everything began to blow-up after he released the greatly received, “I Want you”. A hybrid of electronic pop and hip-hop soul, it was an exciting introduction to the man. “Lover’s Holiday” is a finely curated ride through sounds of the woes of love and the fantasies of passion. “It’s a five song album about flying overseas, dreams of going to Paris.” This is London’s first time crafting an effort that is bound to jumpstart him from hipster celebrity to solidified buzzworthy artist. “‘Lover’s Holiday’ is professionally recorded studio album. It’s a very serious production.”
When asking about Theophilus’ new music, he was the most talkative the artist got through the entire conversation. He was stuck between awkward artist and snotty celebrity, which made everything less fluid. Theophilus’ reluctant behavior to deep-dive into conversation made one re-think his all-welcoming persona. When appearing in Atlanta, he interacted with the crowd and stayed to sign items. A gesture of niceness could now be taken as an ego stroke. Does Theophilus love his supporters or is he on a mission to seem like the biggest celebrity that he could be seen as. The only time I felt a true sense of sincerity from Theophilus London, besides when I referred to his music, was when I asked him about love. It was an appropriate line of questioning considering that his music (and growing brand) centers around the four-letter word. “Love is so complex, that’s why I write about it […] I’m still trying to figure out what it is exactly. I can’t necessarily tell you what it is.” Fair enough, Theophilus.
Theophilus London has a thrifty taste in clothes, specifically centered on early 90’s habits desperate to resurrect themselves. When looking at the tall, dark charmer and his various outfits, you know that he knows exactly what he’s doing. Theophilus obviously cares about style. He even is collaborating on a line with another clothing brand to produce hats. When asked about clothes, he didn’t hesitate reminding anyone of gracing magazines like GQ or Elle. He did try to downplay his obvious love of fashion (maybe, to come off as having more substance and less effort). “I like expressing myself through different fits, different colors [...] they care about clothes which makes me care about clothes.” Interesting, I’m not sure who “they” is, however. Supporters? Management? Stylists? Little elves in his head? It’s painfully honest that like most members of the hipster persuasion, that looking good means a lot to him, even if it appears that it doesn’t. Not even when complimented on his high-energy performances does he open up without seeming quite robotic and bland. “I have a routine. I’ve been performing for a long time. I just want to reach out and talk to the people.”
The responses to the rest of my questions seemed to have been lifted from ‘Public Relations 101’. Sure, they were boring and disappointing. But in psychology, one of the first things they teach you is that when dealing with any subject, the majority of the time it isn’t what they say but what they omit. Theophilus London’s calculated responses might be the sign that he is a ticking time bomb. He’s a wild artist on the verge of saying something world-shifting and career-ending. Theophilus London might be a Kanye West put to an electro-beat (oh, wait. That’s still Kanye West). London might be spitfire full of avant-garde views that could bury his career before it’s even properly birthed. Or maybe he’s just a bore or a jerk. Either way, his music does make up for the personality that his conversations lacked. This is London, take him or leave him. Something does tell me, that the world won’t be able to leave him alone if he could only charm his way into their hearts first.
- Myles E. Johnson
(PHOTOS by Naturee Wells)