It’s probably safe to say that singer-songwriter-producer Labrinth gets a lot of questions about HBO’s Euphoria. He’s the man in charge of composing the show’s much-loved score, but he can’t really dish on the show’s upcoming second season.
Speaking with ESSENCE, the London-raised singer, born Timothy Lee McKenzie, says for the show’s first season he just got a little footage and some music suggestions from the show’s creator, Sam Levinson.
“They sent me some footage when I was working on the last season,” he said. “And they sent me temp score, which is music that is kind of in the vein of what they want for each scene. It can kind of give you an idea. The music was so incredible, I was like, ‘Shit, this music’s so insane, I don’t know how I can even come even close to that high-level quality.'”
“And [Sam] sends me stuff all the time. I just get inspired by what he sends me because he’s always listening to some weird-ass stuff that I would never listen to but I get inspired by. It’s really nice to work with him.”
Production on Euphoria has since been delayed due to coronavirus.
But the success of the series has lead to a few fan encounters, which the producer says he’s slowly learning to handle.
“It’s weird, I remember coming to Los Angeles three years ago, I’ve had success in other parts of the world, but here someone was like, ‘Labrinth! You’re the guy that did Euphoria! I need to take a picture!’ And I was just like, oh man. It’s lovely, it’s nice, and it’s nice to share music with people and have people enjoy it. I feel like I’m kind of expressing the best version of myself. I feel pretty happy with where I am.”
The producer’s recent success in the US has long been on the horizon. He’s been working with artists since 2010, having written and produced for the likes of Tinie Tempah and The Weeknd. In 2012, he released his debut album, Electronic Earth. Last year, alongside Sia and Diplo, the producer formed supergroup LSD and dropped their debut album, Labrinth, Sia & Diplo Present… LSD. He also produced Beyoncé’s Grammy-nominated Lion King hit “Spirit.”
Now, the singer-songwriter is enjoying the success of his sophomore album, Imagination & the Misfit Kid, and fatherhood.
“The whole story of the album was just about a kid selling his imagination to a businessman for success. I’ve met a lot of people in the music industry, and in many businesses, that have experienced that scenario. I just wanted to dramatize and create a fantasy version, sonically and lyrically, of my experience and stories I’ve come across.”
The producer added that between the 2012 release of his debut album and 2019’s Imagination & the Misfit Kid, not only did his professional life change but so did his personal life. Labrinth and his partner welcomed a daughter in 2018.
“[Fatherhood’s] made me more focused. And made me a bit more present. I’m always in the clouds trying to find the next idea and I think my daughter makes me really look at life. To see her grow from a fetus into where she is now, it’s so insane. It gives you respect for life. And respect for seeing things that you ignore most of the time. I can’t control where life is going to take us, all I can do is be the best person I can be for my daughter. The best father I can be.”