As his stocks continue to rise, we get acquainted with El Londo, talking 'THANKSLONDO', sacrificing your social life in the name of music and his endless commitment to the scene that's made him.
If you’ve ever heard “Crucked It” ringing around the first eight bars of a song, then the chances are you know who El Londo is. A pivotal figure in the British ‘underground rap’ sphere, for want of a better term, the London producer-pioneer is of wizardry status to many of the scene’s most revered wordsmiths. From legendary mixtapes with Ashbeck to collaborative EPs alongside grime kingpin Capo Lee, the artist’s cooked-up beats into a palatable blend of intricate hip-hop and UK-focused sounds.
Stepping closer towards super-producer status, this month, El Londo released his 15-track opus ‘THANKSLONDO’. Not to be mistaken with vanity, the project’s title alludes to themes of gratitude and self-discovery. Besides, the sheer volume of features shows just how many artists have been indebted to his intricately produced instrumentals over the years. Longtime collaborators like ayrtn, Reek0 and BlazeYL all provide verses in their idiosyncratic tones, while FelixThe1st, AntsLive and Youngs Teflon show the breadth of flows Londo’s beats complement now.
Made across crib and studio sessions, ‘THANKSLONDO’ has been in the works since 2021. Growing frustrated with artists sitting on their music, while implying that there are many collaborations sitting in the vault, the project will unquestionably help to drive forward the scene’s rising popularity. It’s a milestone which illuminates El Londo’s musical metamorphosis from a loyal beatmaker to an artist in his own right.
As his stocks continue to rise, we got acquainted with El Londo, talking ‘THANKSLONDO’, sacrificing your social life in the name of music and his endless commitment to the scene that’s made him.
Congratulations on the new mixtape, ‘THANKSLONDO’, you’ve got a serious set of features on there. When making the record, did you produce the beats purposely for the artists or did their involvement come later?
9 times out of 10, I will start the beat from scratch in the session. If it’s something that was made before, I will adapt it so it suits the artist’s style. Everything I make is tailored to the artist.
The mixtape is made up of songs ranging from 2021 right up until recently, but it still sounds so coherent. What was the recording process like and did the project take on different iterations until it became what it is today?
The recording process over the last two years has been wild. I was studying Audio and Music Technology in Nottingham, so every week I’d travel up to do my lectures, then I’d go back to London from Friday to Monday to run sessions with everyone. I had to make a lot of sacrifices during the process; my social life got pushed to the side and I didn’t sleep in the same bed for more than three nights. I was basically living out of a suitcase so that I could balance this album with my degree.
There were many different versions of ‘THANKSLONDO’; songs were removed and added. I feel that this official version is everything I’d been working towards.
LAUZZA was on hand to produce the video for your track “I’M PISSED”, with Namani. What about his visual style brings out the best in your music, do you think?
I feel that LAUZZA really understands how to execute my vision upon hearing the music. As soon as we made the track, we knew he was the man for the job.
Everyone pulled through for your #THANKSLONDO Victory Lap cypher. Is DJing and hosting sets something you’d like to do more often? It seems like the scene is thriving on it at the moment…
I would definitely like to host more sets but I need to get better at djing first. It’s a skill that every producer should have.
What was the catalyst for your love of producing? Did you have any artists and beatmakers you idolised in the beginning?
I’ve always loved music and when I found the whole underground movement on SoundCloud, in 2017, it really inspired me to start myself.
As well as producing for others, you run the label Cruck Records. What is the ‘Crucked It’ mantra and what does it mean to you?
Cruck directly translates to food. ‘Crucking it’ is when you grab a serious meal. People tend to misuse that term…
If you could have any artist on Cruck Records for an El Londo-produced project, who would it be and why?
I’d love to produce a project for Playboi Carti. I want to bring him back into that 2017/2018 bag he was in.
What fictional character do you relate the most to and why?
Clark Kent because people try to take me for a nerd but they don’t realise I’m actually saving the city.
El Londo rules the world for the day, what’s going down?
You would not want me in charge of the world for a day, I’ll tell you that for free.
Beyond ‘THANKSLONDO’, is there anything else you want to achieve this year? Or any hidden talents you’re trying to pursue?