If you're like many, when listening to today's pop music on the radio-in particular hip hop-you have to wonder what has happened to the genre. Except for a few notable mentions a la Kanye West, Jay-Z and L'il Wayne-every other hip hop artists sounds like they want to be those honorables-rapping through the likes of autotunes-not saying much, not sounding like much and the same goes for their live shows. We'll look no further, add to your playlist Brooklyn's own-Theopolis London. And, you are probably asking yourself-who is he-I've never heard him on the radio. It's not fairplay, he's deserves more radioplay and more props as an hip hop artists.
In town to perform at Club Metro on Saturday-Theopolis definitely proved his worth in one of the most unique live shows I've seen-with a mic, a DJ and two live electric guitarists he completely turned out the packed house and had the audience spell bound with lyrical delivery and electric perform. Opening for Friendly Fires-like others in the audience-I kept asking myself why wasn't he headling. So if it's dues he has to pay, those in attendance got their moneys worth.
And earlier in the week I had a chance to speak with him-to see why Theopolis stands alone-and why he loves it that way.
For those that don't know…who is Theophilus London?
For those that don't know-I'm a songwriter, I rap, I sing-and we got an album out right now (called "Times Are Weird These Days".) And you got to listen to the music to check it out and get the vibe. Go visit my website-to know my broad cultures, my travels and the music comes out-it's my point of view in life.
How did you come up with the name Theophilus London?
I was born Theophilus London-the 2nd to my great grandfather. It's not like a rap alias or something-it's my real name.
What was the inspiration for your new single "I Stand Alone"?
Well, I was writing in Stockholm-working with these pop producers there and I was watching a lot of Gaspar Noe flics and he had this one movie called I Stand Alone. So I took that title and wrote the record-that was a bit on the patriotic side-but also spoke to when you have to do something on your on eventually.
And you wrote the treatment for this video based on that movie?
Actually no, I just used the title for the inspiration to write the song to start a whole other thing. The treatment for the video was developed while working with actors from another Gaspar Noe movie. So that's where that came from. The video was most inspired by David Byrne's movie shot in the 80's in Texas.
What can your fans expect from your new album?
It's a 10 song pop record-that dabbles in to modern love and pop culture. I speaks to what is love today….wine and chocolates-those fantasies that are running through my head.
How did you decide to step out and do your own thing not following the trends in the music business?
I'm inspired by hip hop-by no means. But, you know I'm no Jada Kiss or Beenie Seagel-I'm inspired by their raps but more so inspired by the entertainment aspect-entertaining people with music and building fantasy. Creating a soundtrack for life and culture around music. I haven't seen that recently in hip hop so much these days.
I'm savvy that people around the world are into this music and want it. And that's what separates me from the normal hip hop thing.
How has your music been received overseas?
Man, has been insane! I wish I could report back everything that happens. I get standing ovations. Girls chasing me in the street. It's been a funny trip. It's a really big deal in France. I'm just excited and blessed that they receive me so well.
You'll be performing in Chicago at Club Metro-what can we expect from your live show?
It's going to electrifying and real. It's going to be excitement.
And this was an understatement-Theophilus turned it out. The next time around-be sure to check him out-you'll be fully entertained.