Rising artist Theodor Black chats about skateboarding, the song that hypes him up in the club, reconnecting with a lost cousin, and much more.

Welcome to Fresh Face, a quick-fire interview series spotlighting the best rising talents in today’s youthful music scene. From biggest pet peeves to party tricks and death row meals, we’re stripping things back from the formal Q&A format. Think of it like speed dating, but with some of the freshest music makers worth discovering.

South London-based artist Theodor Black has been hailed as the next creative force in London’s alternative scene. Following the path of artists such as Archy Marshall and Jeshi by incorporating hip-hop and indie sounds with introspective lyrics, his new single “LOOP” was released on the 9th December.

 

Black’s previous project ‘Garçon’ was an honest portrayal of his experience as a young black male in the UK. The project itself marked a new era for the artist, describing how “the sounds and textures in Garçon are a bit more refined and mature,” he says, “I guess I’m at that stage in life now where I’m bored of beating around the bush”.

 

With his new project, Black demonstrates this intention, carving out a distinct sound alongside trademark striking visuals.

 

We caught up with him to answer the questions we really want to know. Dive in!

If you could invite three icons to a dinner party, dead or alive, who would it be?

I’d invite Gil Scott Heron, Jean Michel Basquiat and the late Virgil Abloh.

The biggest misconception about being a musician?

Shit ain’t always sweet.

What’s the wildest thing that’s happened to you lately?

Unknowingly reconnecting with a distant cousin in the most profound way. My mum owned a hair salon in New Cross in the ’90s and his mum would come get her hair done when we were babies, and she’d obviously bring him with her and apparently, we used to play together or some shit like that. Anyway, our parents lost connection for time but somehow, for some reason, we reconnected this summer, but we only found this shit out a few months ago. Crazy right?

If you were transported back to 2019, what’s the first thing you’d do?

I’d find the version of myself from that period of time and tell myself that everything is gonna be okay and that in the year 2020 a strange deadly virus from a faraway land will disrupt the earth and cause everything to grind to a halt. I’d also tell myself that in the year 2021 Kyle Wilson will turn pro for Palace and that I should value every moment and everything that I will experience because these moments all pass by too quickly. I think in this situation I’d be wearing some kind of disguise; if anyone reading this has any recommendations for disguises lemme know.

Three things that inspire you outside of music?

Skateboarding is a big motivator for me outside of music, I kinda feel as though both have become merged into one entity My friends and family are also huge motivators, I reciprocate to peoples energy and my people always show me mad love they provide a reason for me to want to work harder, and lastly, I’d say a lot of postmodern art definitely makes up a huge part of my field of inspiration.
I really fuck with the neo-expressionism movement, dadaism, Bauhaus and also the countercultural movement from the ’60s.

In a way I kinda feel like the scene that I’ve come up in is a kind of countercultural movement of its own. The music and the art that comes out of this city are different from any other place on earth and I don’t feel like enough people see that. But that’s all about to change.

What song always gets you hyped when you hear it in the club?

“Lean 4 Real” by Playboi Carti gets me gassed! Skepta’s verse makes me wanna dash my drink.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

This question makes me sad. Like even if I had a favourite food I wouldn’t wanna eat it for the rest of my life, I’d grow to hate it and the thought of that makes me sad. Also, variety is the spice of life you feel me so I’d like to kindly request that you allow me to skip this question.

Favourite season?

Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer
Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer
Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer
Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer, Summer!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I’d live in Barcelona, I like how the people out there are living. It’s also close enough to London so I can come back whenever I need to. As much as I’d love to dip out somewhere mad I have ties to this city that can never be broken. I could be living out in Timbuktu and still find my way back to London.

Biggest goal for 2022?

I wanna see more of the Dunya, travel to more places, and allow my music to be my passport. But regardless you gon’ catch me out here. Imma see you all real soon.

Stream Theodor Black's new single "Loop" here:

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