It's fair to say that we think Labrinth remains one of the UK's most underrated musicians. To say his talents are pretty brilliant isn't overstating things, seriously. Instrumentalist, producer, singer, occasional rhymer, conductor, collaborator and writer... There's isn't much Mr. McKenzie can't do, tbh.
But everyone will see this eventually. Thanks to the success of his first album, we're sure album number two will shoot Lab's star into even further ascent. A recent cut on the Rihanna album will likely help the Hackney singer see more success in the US.
To keep us busy while he works on Record 2, Lab recently dropped the rather incredible Atomic EP. Featuring the likes of Ed Sheeran, his own artist Etta bond, Wretch, Plan B, Lab's sister Shezar, Maxsta and Lady Leshurr, Atomic is available now on Lab's Soundcloud.
We recently had a chat with Lab about the mixtape and what we might expect from album two.
What are your plans for 2013?
I’ve got the Atomic EP. It’ s more on the dark side of life (laughs). After Beneath Your Beautiful, it’s definitely more dark. I’m like that, man. I remember performing my shows and I’m sure I built up a whole new demographic after that song. There was parents coming to my tour like ‘What the f**k am I looking at right now?’. One minute I’m talking about ‘let the sunshine ‘and the next I’m like ’Sun down I want to sex this girl up’, the next I’m doing a rock song and going crazy. It’s a lot (laughs). That’s the kind of freedom I want to have as an artist. One day - I wouldn’t go as far as Michael Buble cos that’s cheesy. I can’t go that far (laughs). I’ve been trying to do the smile but it won’t work! I need some shiny patent leather shoes for that one.
I love electronic music and I love what it’s been doing but I feel like it’s a bit overused...
So how you think your next album will sound?
I feel more organic at the moment. I love electronic music and I love what it’s been doing but I feel like it’s a bit overused. It’s become very popular and people are raping the sound - when you hear that, it’s time to move on, I feel. I’m getting into the studio and I want to make a new hybrid vibe for myself. I don’t feel like I need to change the industry, I just want to do something new for me. The first album was more of an in-house, studio approach. I almost wanted it to be like a glorified bedroom album, which I know it doesn’t sound like, but when I made it, it was made in a small little box room and I did whatever I could to make it sound as big as possible. So I want to start using live studios and branch out with other writers. I think a lot of people missed the fact that I produced that album and that I was musical on that album. I don’t know why. I think people don’t look that deep. They just see most music at face value so now I want to express the musical side of myself and maybe start getting some of my instruments involved in some of the songs I’m working on.
Who are you tipping for 2013?
Anyone that is passionate and wants to write good songs and express themselves and not jump on a trend. I tip those people to be the hottest in 2013.
My story is me and my life in music...
And for yourself?
I’m a perfectionist in every sense of the word, because I feel a responsibility to tell my story, and make it amazing. An amazing story is a real story, so I don’t want to be fake with anything I do. My story is me and my life in music.