100% Theodor Black: the lo-fi rapper with introspective bars

The DIY darling’s just released two new tracks. Listen here to see why all eyes are on him.

Alt-rap artist Theodor Black is building hype, fast. Coming up through south east London collective Reservoir, the experimental producer-songwriter first sunk his teeth into his solo career last year. Releasing a succession of jazz-laced, synth-booming singles, his acclaimed debut EP Black Boy Blues grapples with love and identity.

His latest project is a double A‑side featuring the tracks Slow Burns and Anxiety. The lead single, Slow Burns, is an angsty cut which preaches self-preservation, while Anxiety is a hazy and mellow remedy to Slow Burns’ hard-hitting snares. The track is complemented by a stunning visual, directed by his girlfriend, and emulates Slow Burns’ urgent inflection.

Check it out below before getting the 100% lowdown on this rising musician.

10%: Where were you born, where were you raised and where are you now based?

Born in south, raised in south, still in south but I’m moving to Dalston in a few days. I really don’t want to leave but I feel like it could be a good change in environment and energy type shit.

20%: At what point did you realise you’d be able to do what you love for a living?

I guess people around me started doing well so I was like, Yeah, I could definitely do this.” Also when I released some of my first tracks, everyone was like, Dude, you’re like actually talented.” And I was like, Oh shit, yeah people like me, I should genuinely pursue this.”

30%: What’s a piece of advice that changed your life?

My mum always tells me that no matter what’s going on in life, to always take care of home and I’m sure that’s also got some deeper meaning than when the yard is free.

40%: What kind of emotions and experiences influence your work?

I don’t know, my work is very spontaneous. This year it’s mostly been love. Love is basically a really big part of what I write about and not just love in the sense of love for another person. Love for yourself and love as an emotion as a whole.

50%: What can you tell us about your next project?

It’s gonna be fire.

60%: Break down your typical day at work …

Wake up – usually quite late. Go downstairs, make some food, sit and watch Netflix for a little bit while I’m eating. Leave the house, go see friends, come home and go to the studio till like 2 – 3am. Probably go skate as well.

70%: What can artists do to help save the world?

Artists can be more honest. I feel like if artists were more honest, it would definitely help make some sort of change. I feel like bare man are all talk, no walk. I’m tired of all the flexing, follow through what you talk about.

80%: How did you celebrate your last birthday?

That was bare nice, you know. I went for Morleys for lunch, you know how it is, it had to be done. Then I went for tea with my girlfriend and after that, we went to Telegraph Hill in Brockley. Chilling in the park, bare friends came and then we went to my friend’s yard and chilled there and got up to a bit of mischief.

90%: Biggest pet peeve?

People that chew with their mouth open.

100%: No.1 holiday destination?

Barcelona. Hands down best city I’ve ever been to. The siestas … need a little bit of that in my life, too.

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