Labrinth: The Man Behind Euphoria's Intoxicating Music | E197 | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Labrinth: The Man Behind Euphoria's Intoxicating Music | E197".
Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.
My tool manager came back to Stave and he was like, you know you almost killed someone today. Like literally it's like blackouts. Let's build it. I signed to Sam and Cal because my manager at the time was like, it's a bigger check. You're in a label that is gonna prioritize you 'cause you're not like anything on the label. This business comes around it and it says, "We can turn this into money." But I allowed someone else to tell me what my next direction is. Yeah. Everyone was like, "Be a star. "Have an entourage and who you gonna go out with?" And I was like, "What do you mean?" Oh, maybe you're a lawyer. And I was like, "What?" None of this shit means anything to me. I just was like, I'm not enjoying this. I didn't ask myself what I wanted because I was always accommodating what everyone else wanted. When did you realize that something had to change? Well, that's a deep one, no. I was at a place where I couldn't actually talk to people 'cause I had social anxiety. My manager was being weird, our relationship was breaking down. I had no confidence. I felt suppressed. I got diagnosed with ADHD. When I read about what it's like, I was like, "Oh shit, it makes sense." I can't even hold a conversation with someone. Was it prohibiting your life? Yeah, 100% still does today. But I've learned to be aware of it. Let's just do something, just let it go. Euphoria was the first time I felt people actually heard the rawest form of lab. Get into that point with true freedom. What are your goals now? The most important thing in my career is to... Before this episode starts, I have a small favor to ask from you. Two months ago, 74% of people that watched this channel didn't subscribe. We're now down to 69%. My goal is 50%. So if you've ever liked any of the videos we've posted, if you liked this channel, can you do me a quick favor and hit the subscribe button? It helps this channel more than you know, and the bigger the channel gets, as you've seen, the bigger the guests get. Thank you and enjoy this episode. - Lamb, if this podcast has taught me one thing, it's that we're all created by and defined and shaped and molded by our earliest context.
Early Life And Musical Beginnings
Early context (02:03)
So when you think about your earliest context and how that shaped who you are today and the person you went on to be, I'm talking about the deep characteristics you have, the deep passions you have and all those things that were nurtured in those earliest years. What is your early context? What do I need to know about that context to understand you? - Well, that's the deep one now. I, the first thing that comes to my mind is church, family was super religious, not always in the best way. And not that I don't think there's anything wrong with religion, it just was, it was wrapped in a lot of things that I don't always think is healthy. But a lot of, there was a lot of beauty as well in terms of music, worship. And for me in worship was work with energy, like seeing somebody connect with an energy or taking them from their body with a sound or a rhythm, with connection in a church. Like seeing that happen like every Sunday can do something to you and you kind of learn from it. So that was always beautiful and just watching my family 'cause they're like, I don't know how this happened, but just everyone can sing or play an instrument or they have some kind of musical talent that was super inspiring to be around. And then having a massive family as well was, I think, heavily shaped me because I always say this to people what standing in the middle of my house when I was, I don't know, 10, I would have my sisters upstairs singing like R&B records, my brother downstairs with his friends playing like yellow jackets, jazz, music and like, I don't know, like a weather report. And then my other brother, Cyphering in a room with his friends, wrapping and banging on an NPC drum machine. And like being in the middle of that was like, I wanna do all of them. - Wow. - And like it was just insanely inspiring just to be around all of these big personalities that even today when I make music, I'm like, would my sister like this, would my brother like this, would my family feel this? - Where did that come from? That musical household. Who inspired that? Parents, grandparents? - It's weird 'cause on my mom's side, I think it's the church, honestly, 'cause my mom and dad were both in the church and they both went to the same church. My granddad was a reverend at the church and my aunties and uncles used to sing around and kind of do praise and worship and do like a circuit around the country. And that kind of passed down to us on my mother's side. And then on my dad's side, he's a guitarist. He's a, well, rest in peace. He was a guitarist, he was a bass player. And his whole family were also in the musical side of the church, so it'd be like my mom and her family singing and my dad in the kind of playing with the musician. So it was just kind of like always, always around when I was a kid. And I think music has been like, I guess like the other sibling that I didn't know was there, you know, that was related to us. And I think, yeah, I think it was between Christianity and thing, that was the beginning to me because my house was very, very heavily boarded around church, everything. Like literally we couldn't watch TV and without like the TV being turned off when somebody was kissing. So like romance was like, oh, whoa, that's of the devil. And then when I went to school, that's when it was like the kaleidoscope went wild. And it was like, oh shit. All of this stuff exists. I really did feel like that when I was a kid. 'Cause it was so sheltered. Going to central London was like, going to another country to me. Like that's how sheltered it was. And it was like home, church. And then everything else around that was like, I'm in a whole other world. So growing up for me was just like discovering this other universe or other dimension, if that makes sense too. Yeah.
Your relationship with your mother and father (06:39)
What was your relationship like with your mother and father? Whoo! My mother was, like I was saying, the church was beautiful, but also toxic. And my mother was kind of shined from the church 'cause she had children out of wedlock. And like I'm saying, it's very heavily guarded and boarded. So she was kind of disowned by a lot of our family. And she had moved from North London to Hackney and from then on, I don't think I saw my grandparents for years after that, like after she was kind of put out. One thing that happens in Jamaica is because of a lot of them came over here to the land of milk and honey. With race, anything white was better. So my mom was one of the darkest of her family and she grew up with being kind of very, a lot of her life was very shined. Like it was like, you're the darker one of the family. So don't shoot for the stars. Just stay on the ground, you know? And so because she was around a lot of that energy, when she was on her own, she kind of, it's actually made a promise to herself to not do that to her kids. And so growing up with my mom, it was very super supportive. - Really? - She used to teach us, my mom, like I was saying, it was very sheltered around, and very religious. She wasn't taught because women were supposed to be in the house, women were supposed to clean and do a, have a husband and your husband will go and make the money and do all that stuff around her. So she came out of this kind of community and had no understanding of taxes, no understanding how to keep a house, no understanding of the business, nothing. She didn't know anything. And so she literally had to learn from scratch and would study psychology and study transactional analysis and study willpower. And she would teach us and sit us all around the table and be like, what is willpower? And I remember vividly like nine of us sitting around the table. And at the time, we were like, mom, come on, this is so boring. Why do we have to do this? But she would kind of pull us into it and then we would end up having these big conversations about things that we just, we never understood or never got. And she just wanted to make sure she could give us something 'cause she had no money and she was just kind of surviving. She nurtured our music, she nurtured our creativity. And when she was coming up, that wasn't nurtured. It was shut up, sit down and don't get in our way. That was her upbringing. It wasn't just my grandparents. That was very much common. And a lot of the parents of the '60s, it was just like children are to be seen and not heard, you know? And don't embarrass me in front of my friends. That was very much that. And then with my dad, my dad was, he was very much abused when he was a kid by his grandparent, by his stepfather. He was beating a lot when he was a kid and I think that affected him as a man, like as a father and he left home when he was 15. So he wasn't there for me. I didn't see my dad when I was a kid. But I pity his beginning, like 'cause I get why he became who he became. He was super musical and I think that was maybe the most inspiring thing and that's the thing I got from him. I always used to see him playing his guitar. When did he leave your household? He left, how were you? Shit, I don't even remember. That's how long I got. Like I was young, I was super young and I think he came back, well, he must have came back twice because my, I have two brothers and sisters younger than me. So my, yeah, he came, I think he left. I think he left on me. And then my two sisters that are younger than me, Rachel and Jessica, he came back around and they were trying to like kind of rekindle. - Rekindle, yeah, yeah. - Do you not remember the household changing in any way when he left? - I think I was too young, like I was really young. So when I grew up not giving a shit that I didn't have a dad, if that makes sense, I didn't have a connection with him. I didn't know him that way. A lot of my older brothers and sisters were very close and very like, this is my guide. This is, you know, like my kids of like, I'm best friends with my kids. I love, like, we have our own private jokes. We, you know, like, like we have that. I never had that with my dad. So I didn't feel like anyone left. I only noticed how important he was when he died. Like I was like, oh shit, you needed that. And like it was like, it was like, whoa. - You only noticed how important he was when he died. - Yeah, honestly, like, honestly, before then, I was just like, oh, it's just a sperm donor. Like, I don't really, it doesn't matter to me. It doesn't like, it was, and it wasn't even by my mom. It was just like, I didn't, I wasn't bothered about it, you know? But then when he died, I was like, I had kids then. He hadn't met my kids. And I remember my, I was putting my daughter to sleep and she had a bad dream. And I said, I got you, don't wear your hair. And I was like, shit, I've never heard that. And I was like, oh, that's what, like, that's a dad. Like if you get me like, that's how important that part of your life is. And then I was like, also, you inherit things from your parents. Like, and that's not money, that's not wealth. You do, of course, inherit those things. But I think the most important thing you inherit from your parents is memories, even like mental health support. Like, my dad always said this. Like, that sometimes is like petrol in your tank when you're like, I don't know how to get this business of the ground. I remember dad always said this. I remember mom said, don't never give up. Like all that stuff. Like, I didn't grow up with that. Like if you get, I mean, so that hit me when I was like, my dad's gone. And I understood how like, instrumental or a parent can be in your life when those things are around, you know? And yeah, so that's what I saw anyway. But yeah, that's really like my parents in terms of how they affected me. I often like, I think I figured myself out in hindsight by almost by comparison of like comparing me to my peers.
Comparing yourself to others (13:03)
At a very young age, you kind of notice how you're different from your peers, even from your brothers and sisters. I've got four, there's four of us in my family, kids. I'm the youngest of four. And much of how I've understood myself is by realizing what I'm not, you know what I mean? So when you think about like at that young age, under the age of 18, who do we figuring out that you were in comparison to the outside world? Even with my brothers and sisters, I remember coming home with indie records and I remember I was working with a girl and she played me blondie and like, loads of like, like kind of seven E's, eight E's, indie records. I was like, shit, this is fun. Like I always wanted to delve in things that were foreign to me. 'Cause I was like, can I grew up with Graham? I grew up with hip hop, I get it. But it was like, what are these things I don't understand? And then when I would bring them home, I'd be like, check this out. And then I'd be like, okay bro, especially coming from the background of like gospel and like kind of like, you know, black music. And it was weird to come home with music that was so foreign, you know? And so nobody even knew how to compliment me on it, but go like, you're doing your thing, I guess. Like, you know? And I feel like I've seen that happen consistently in my life where I grew up around Graham, grew up around Graham artists. I went to Graham Raives, but I never wanted to make Graham. And I never felt like I was the kind of black guy that I was supposed to be. When I was in those environments, I was like, I was always weird or like, I never knew all the dances. I used to dance funky. And like, I just knew like, I don't know if I'm supposed to be. If I had 16 year old, 16 year old son. - Weird, weird as hell. Just just, I remember my girlfriend told me about how, when she met my wife now, but when she was my girlfriend, she was like, I remember seeing you years ago and you would wear a dew rag. I would be wearing like, you know, those capes like, Marilyn Manson capes, like it was like fucking black like long arse jacket. I would have like, you know those metal fingers. - Oh yeah. - The night fingers. Yeah, yeah, yeah. - Yeah, yeah. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - Yeah. - I'd have a night finger on and it had like a crucifix on it and it was crazy. I don't know why I was wearing it, but I wore it. And then I had like a Dunlop cap like backwards. And then I would be wearing Dunlop trainers. And I was just a weird kid and I would always dress in the most fun, the most ways ever. And my wife was like, it was just so funny. You just didn't give a shit. And I didn't even notice I was doing it. I just was like, well, this is the stuff I'm gonna wear. - But most, I remember being, you know, I was like 14. All I wanted to do was fit in. So all I wanted to do was like wear the outfits that everyone else was wearing and just fit into the crowd and be accepted by the crowd. It's like, you sound slightly different than I could. - I couldn't. - Even if I wanted to wear what everyone was wearing, I couldn't, I didn't have the money. So it was like, what was cool with my family or where our cool was, was that we were creative. And so we found our way of being popular or being kind of loved amongst our peers by our like character and our personality, if you get what I mean. - It was your whole family. - Yeah, all of them dancers, singers, we would dance together. We used to put on, we done a show in school together as a family and put on like a concert. And we had the whole school come and pay to watch us perform. So we were kind of like little superstars in our neighborhood. Like if you get, I mean, as a group. So I remember they used to write articles on us, the Jackson nine and all this stuff. Like, so it was like, we were very like, like kind of, my family was really loved for just their creativity. We never had the money to be those cool kids. Like somehow we like kind of transcended the physical cool like the physical side of cool. 'Cause we definitely didn't have that stuff. - Interesting. Do you know who was driving that? And you're, so you've said like the outside world responded well to it and they kind of embraced it. And so, but was there someone at home driving individuality in your house or was it just the fact that-- - I think it's my mom. - Honestly, and it wasn't my mom and this is my mom didn't get in the way of it. And I think that's one thing, if when I'm talking about things that you inherit from your parents, I could definitely say I inherited that from my mom, is that she didn't get in the way of us being ourselves. And if anything, she would laugh at it or be like, go do you. Like, so like I remember vividly like that being just, my mom being open and kind of seeing my older brother, Jamie, was a producer and a DJ. And he used to make his own sound systems 'cause he got inspired by, you know like dub basically. You know like dub, but at the time everyone was making like jungle, but it all came from the scar dub world, if you get, I mean. And so he used to make, I used to help him make his speakers for his DJ sets and then he would go out into like the festivals or not in here and put on his own DJ set with his friends. And so yeah, yeah, like that, all of this stuff was going on like side by side while I was a kid, you know? - Sounds like a, like a really a nice form of like creative chaos, like environment to be. - Chaotic though, chaotic as hell.
When did you start music (18:40)
When did you start focusing on music, what age? - I don't know because it's just kind of like, I guess in school I had a band called Dynamics and one of the guys that were within it, you might know him, he's a floe, he's a sick producer, he's done little Sims out, he's done so many cool albums, like most of the stuff that everyone's loving right now he's kind of had a hand in. And we had a band in school in Stoknewington. Yeah, that would inspire a lot of stuff. Like we were making out on music, we were like, we're gonna be the biggest band in the world. We used to argue all the time, like we were like, like for rolling stones, we thought we were like rock stars. And in our school, we would give out flyers and make our own flyers and like stick them up around the school, like come to our concert and all this stuff. So we were just very, very like brashy and like, we got this. What age was this? Just was like, when that band started popping. 14. So you leave secondary school at like 16 years old, right? Yeah, yeah. At that point, what's your orientation in life? If I'd asked you what are you gonna be when you grow up, what would you have told me at 16 upon leaving school? Everyone knew I was gonna be a musician. Everyone? By that point. Literally, like I remember leaving, like, we had that in my class from in school, they were like, everyone wrote down, who do you think's gonna be the most successful? Who do you think's gonna be rich first? Who do you think's this? And they were just like, lab. And like Tim, Tim, Tim. And I was like, I didn't even believe it. I was like, okay, cool. I know I wanna do these things, but like, I was super mega focused. I used to get in my trouble just so I could go to the music room. So literally like, my whole existence has been like, I wanna write records, I wanna write records. And like, that's all I do. I was on a mission to write records. And what age did that start? 'Cause I know when it started to, when you got signed and when you released your debut album and stuff, but I'm trying to understand how long you were like, mastery process was. From the first time you picked up an instrument or wrapped or sang a wrote area. But it's weird 'cause of that, my brother Josh, amazing drummer, McNasty, bad boy drummer, he taught me how to play the bass, taught me how to play the drums. And I would see him doing that. So I just copied my older brother. But because I have so many, then I would go to Jamie's room and Jamie would teach me how to use the NPC. So I would go to his studio and him and his boys would be smoking, drinking and like, on a madness. And I would, he kind of took me under his wing for a bit. And I would like go around with him to like, in his world, which was very much more like, was much more like hip hop, urban. - So you got this full kind of-- - Kind of gritty, like more hip hop, like we were listening to Pete Rock, Wu Tang, all that shit. And then my other brother who was more music, like a bit more like instrument, drums. And I would be around his friends that were musicians, you know? - We spoke to someone on your team and they said that we could put any instrument in front of you and you'd play it. And this kind of, like, now I kind of understand where that came from. - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's just like, everything's an instrument to me, honestly. Everything, like this table.
- Yep, the sound of your voice is a tone. Like, I can just hear music all the time. Like, it doesn't stop. And I might be, I don't know, might be like, I got diagnosed with ADHD 'cause I thought I may have had it. And so I went to go check and I was like, when I read about what it's like, I was like, oh shit, it makes sense why I'm so, that's literally just all I do. My life is that I raise my children and make music. That's literally been my life. - You've got diagnosed with ADHD? - Yeah. - It's funny 'cause I was sat here recently. - Yeah. - With an expert on the topic. So it's very front of mind, the topic of ADHD. - Yeah. - And one of the things he said was that, you know, there's been this rise in ADHD and I did the world, specifically in Western countries. I'm only saying specifically 'cause I know the stats. Where I think it's 30 years ago, one in 20 kids had ADHD. Now it's one in nine. And his take on it was that ADHD is an early response. Basically when we were young and there was stress in our household, the child, when the stressful events, learns how to basically turn off their attention as a way to protect themselves. Like switch their attention away from that thing. So, and they've looked at all these studies and really inspired by them where they get 65,000 parents. And the parents who have the most stress in their lives end up having kids with ADHD. - Yeah, makes sense. - And it's just interesting. So it's just front of my thought, you know, it goes back to a childhood, but. - It sounds much stressful. It's not far off like in terms, but yeah. Even talking about it sometimes sounds silly because everyone thinks they have ADHD and everyone says it. So I was like, I hate kind of, I know I hate stuff strong word, but like talking about ADHD, I don't enjoy trying to victimize myself with it. And that's why I checked because I was like, I think it's disrespectful for a person with something that affects their mental health or something that affects them, their ability to do what they wanna do. Or like to just live a life that is supposed to be, I don't know, what is normal, but yeah, you know. And that prohibits them. And I think it's disrespectful to be like, oh, I'm autistic, I'm this without really like kind of knowing. - And was it prohibiting your life? - Yeah, 100% still does today. - What's the symptom or what was the? - Can't finish it. Forget like literally it's like blackouts. Like I'll, even in conversation, sometimes when people say something to me, it would be like, I take in the information and it just kind of dies away. And I'm like, shit, I can't even hold a conversation with someone or keeping up relationships, remembering to get back to people. And that in business, in terms of networking, and I'm not talking about networking for my, using people like, I'm not ladder chasing, but there is a part of it where it's like, your life's, your business is not gonna change if you don't respond. And so I would work with artists and it would be like, lab, you're so sick, I love your shit, please, like, can you write my album? I'd be like, yeah. And then start their record and it would be like, they haven't heard from me. Where's Lab? Why is he, he just clocks out, you know? And it's like, I would just forget I'm doing it and I'll get dragged into something else. - I wonder if there's a relationship between ADHD and creativity, 'cause, you know, I hear a very similar thing from pretty much all of the artists that I've sat here with about and what you've just described there.
Going back to this, all these instruments you can play and all these brothers and sisters that are playing a different variety of instrument and learning different sort of art forms. As it relates to like creativity, how important do you think it has been for your creativity and the art that you've created in your career to have all of these, I remember one person I spoke to talked about creativity is being like all of these different clouds in your mind and then sometimes the clouds hit each other and that's like a new idea. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - But in order to be creative, you have to have as many clouds as possible. - I feel that I think that's in learning like, it's like being able to create variety and your ability to transmit like an idea, 'cause I always look at, I look at creativity as articulating your soul and that's the true form for me. 'Cause you can be creative, but not really tell the truth while you're being creative. You're just like, oh, I'm making something that I think people would like and you can still be creative while doing that where it's like, okay, cool, here's something that I know people are gonna respond to, I'm gonna get a reaction out of you and then there's the other side where I think to me, I believe it's art where you're transmitting and you're articulating the sound or the frequency of your soul to a person and I feel like every soul has a song. Even if it's not in music, like every soul has a direction or a place it wants to go and it has purpose and it's like, I can, and I always ask artists, I'm like, what do you hear in you? Like not, what do you hear outside of you and oh, what's it, Burnham Boys doing this and that guy's doing this and if I mix these together then it maybe makes me and it's like, no, no, no, what's in you? What do you hear, like right here, like just internally? And so for me, I had to do that to find what I wanted to say and I'm still finding it. I'm still kind of like, I guess it's learning how to like be unafraid to be like totally naked because bearing your soul is naked. Like it's like, it's like, if I do this, someone's gonna be like, this is shit and it's gonna hurt. If you're on the process of learning to be unafraid, was there a time that you were taught to be afraid? My whole life, like everything, I'm still afraid now, but I can see it and I think that makes a difference in terms of wherever I choose to be afraid. But before I had no choice, I was just like, I don't even know what this is. I just was like, I'm not enjoying this. I wasn't enjoying my career. So I was like, why am I not enjoying this? And then I was like, okay, I'm not saying what I wanna say. I'm not saying what I feel like saying or what I feel excited about saying. And I feel like my world is being governed by accommodating my periphery. Like my manager says, if you do this, this is gonna gain a reaction. And it's kind of like your inner child says, oh, I want somebody to say he's cute. I want someone to say he's worthy. And so you run towards that energy. Like, and I always always saying in the music industry, it's like a bunch of kids trying to get a pat on the back. That's what we're all doing. And it's like if you see it in your A&R or you see it in your peers and everybody's trying to get that pat on the back like, well done, good boy. And everybody wants to get the good boy. And so we're all running off the good boy. But when you finally realize that, I don't give a shit about your good boy. I don't want it. I want a good boy from myself. I wanna be like, you said it. Like you actually said what was internally going on. And does it matter what people say on the other side? Like, and get into that point where you're like, I am comfortable with what I will receive after I've said what I said from my soul. I think for me is like true freedom is like, okay, cool, I'm gonna say what I need to say. - That's a journey, right? - Yo. - That's just scary, man. - That's a journey.
Doing things you don't want to do (30:13)
So you start, you know, you start out in your career. You're trying to get on your line in the ropes. People are telling you, giving you advice. You don't know better. So you follow the advice. - Church boy in the music industry. - Ooh. - Sometimes the advice pays off so you go, okay? I'm gonna listen to you more. - Yeah, yeah. - And then at some point in your career. - And that's the worst part is when it pays off. - Then you go, then you go. - Because you think it works. You're like, well, I did everything I didn't wanna do, but it worked. So maybe I should do more of this. - What you referring to? - I mean, just like records or like. - What part of your career is this though? - I think, okay, so like with Simon Cowell. And when I signed to Simon Cowell, I signed to Simon Cowell because my manager at the time was like, it's a bigger check. You're in a label that isn't gonna know, is gonna prioritize you 'cause you're not like anything on their label. I was like, yeah, great idea. But I didn't think about it for myself. I allowed someone else to tell me what my next direction is because I don't think I had the strength at the time to even think about what I wanted for myself, if you get them. Same way I owned a restaurant. That was my manager. I was like, you should own a restaurant. I was like, yeah, let's own a restaurant. And then I was like, I don't know shit about a restaurant. I've never cared about a restaurant. And I only realized that later, but it kind of felt like you're supposed to look like a mogul and you're supposed to look important and you're supposed to gather all these things that start to create. - Oh, I'm here and keeping up appearances. That's what it is. - Yeah, what I was hearing from that is like, because you didn't, I was gonna say because you didn't know what you wanted someone else told you what you wanted. But it's more like, part of it sounded like you didn't have the conviction to stand up for what you wanted. - No. - You did it. - That's what it is. I didn't ask myself what I wanted. I never did because I was always accommodating what everyone else wanted. And I still do it now sometimes, but I've learned to be aware of it. - Is that because of, is that in part because of like, when we're coming up, we're a little bit desperate just to get on that we just, we don't have the power yet to say like, I wanna do it my way because we're still trying, we still need the chair core because we're still, think one thing I love about the ADHD is, I don't think about money the same way most people do. So like I've, a lot of my peers in the music industry, they're building a business because they can, like they're going, okay, this, yeah, we're gonna do this. And that's gonna come with that. And they have this whole internal plan. And I'm like, my plan is like, if I can take a sound out of heaven and put it on a fucking computer, that is mad to me. Like that, that is like, that literally lights up my whole soul and I feel so excited. Literally sometimes when I'm making music, I cry because I'm like, it hit me that hard, if you get what I mean. And so like that for me is like, it literally like, I would live for that. That's enough for me. But then, then around that like, taking startups from the clouds or from wherever you want, from the universe, this business comes around it. And it says, we can turn this into money, but you have to do this with it. And then you've got to funnel it and you can only do this in order to get that. And you're like, oh shit, okay, cool. Be a star, what does the star look like? Oh, being a car with the intended windows, have an entourage and going like you're the shit. Okay, cool. But I don't really know how to do that. I'm kind of really a geek like, 'cause that's what I was when I was 16. And then before you know it, you're like, I don't know, none of this shit means anything to me. And I felt like I was being, that's the time I think when you're talking about this place where I don't believe I belong. I was in the music industry and like I was around, I remember like in Psycho, they went, who are you going out with? Like when I was first signed, it was like who are you going to go out with? And I was like, what do you mean? It was like, oh, maybe you're a lawyer. And I was like, what? I was like, what do you mean? And then I was going to send you to this party, JLS are there. You just got like, there's going to be photographers outside the building and be ready to be like, thing, 'cause we're trying to put you around this for SOD. So I was like, oh shit, this is how it works then, I guess. And so being around that, that was instantly like, I thought studying music theory and studying modes and scales was your like, what made you worthy of being in this industry, if you get what I mean. But it became like, no, entertainment isn't craft, entertainment is entertainment. And people will be entertained by anything. So play the game. Yeah, and so it was like, find your way, like just try and lie as long as you can. When did you feel the symptoms of that? So I've seen it with a lot of people who did a very similar thing and they say, I spent a decade like wearing the mask and like wearing the outfit. And then at some point, you know, I remember fun and cotton saying like she's driving to work and she just starts having panic attacks on the moment. She thinks, fuck this, I'm going to my happy place and she launches this brand called Happy Place where she gets to control her and destiny and be herself. She doesn't have to do the like, oh yeah, I'm thinking that she can be the full expression for us. That's a hard word, bro. And it's funny, yeah, we all meet each other. And that's what all the same boy or girl waiting to get the part on the back, good boy, good girl. And then I feel like we meet each other and we're all pretending that we've got it together. So I could have seen Fern and she's like, I'm dying inside right now, but she has to be Fern. I got it together. And like shit, she's got it so well together. It's like man, I'm lying. Like they could see it. Like I'm a fake, I'm a fake. And everyone's doing that, but it's weird. Like, and then it turned you into this person that's like getting kicks out of lying better than the other. Like, so you go to an award ceremony and it's like we sold 50 million or, well, I don't know, five million records this week. How many did you sell? And it's like I'm valuable. You start playing me game. Yeah, people believe in my lie and now I believe in it. And it's like, it starts to create this thing in you where if it becomes successful, like we were saying, it's like if it works and it pays off, then you're like, oh, I need to be in this guy now. I've got to believe in this guy. And so, yeah, it's so funny that when you're saying with fun, I'm like, I would have never known. I would have never known that stuff was going on because I feel like she had it well together. And I was like, I was having panic attacks. What were the symptoms, I'm few?
When did you feel like something had to change? (36:56)
When did you realize that something had to change? I was smashing guitars on stage. And I know rock stars do that. I was a church boy, so that was big for me. And I won show, I was performing, and I was like, I hate this. But I was saying I hate this, but I wasn't saying it in my mind. I was like, I could feel it. I was like, why am I in this front of this crowd? This is not even an audience I wanted to be in front of. What am I doing? They're loving it, but I'm still just like, what is this? And my band, when I was talking about accommodating, my band's eating my ride up before I get into my room because I was accommodating everyone to the point where it was like, like me, please, I'll do whatever I can to make sure you're comfortable in my space, even if it means giving you all my space. So my band was eating at my ride up. Some of the people on my team were taking my stuff from my... You know, like brands, when brands give you stuff, they would take it and give it to their families. Nothing was given to my family, and my misses had actually noticed this. And I was like, no, no, no, I was always making excuses for everyone that was doing what they were doing. Where does that come from in you? Like people pleasing, trying to fit in. It must be my dad. It must be like that my dad, because I think I've silenced my dad's absence in me. So it was just, I have sperm donor, don't worry. And I had this thing in my head where it was like, I don't need this guy, but it's like, I think him not being present is like, what do I need to be for you to be here, if you get me? And I think that happened. And also, I think the music industry helped create some of that as well, where it was like, because before the music industry, I was that guy from my Dura Gwen. I looked wonky as hell, bro. I looked back at some of the pictures and I'm dying. I'm like, who is this guy? But I was confident enough to walk around London, looking like this, like, hodge-bodge guy. And... Super cozy. Because of that. I think the music industry was like, you need to be this and I was like, whoa, how? In order to be accepted. Yes. In order to be. On a young age, you'd learned that like, you had, I guess at some stage, you felt not accepted by your father. Is that what you're saying? I think that where that came from. Yeah, I think there's an element of that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that church as well was there, and where it was like, there was a way to behave. There was a way to be. There was a way to be, to be loved. If you behave this way, this is what you get, you know? Like, God loves you. Yeah, God loves you if you behave like this. Interesting. I'm really intrigued by the idea of like, how we become people pleases. Because, and it typically, even from speaking to Gabo, who literally read a book about this, he says the same thing in those early years when, you know, we were seeking the acceptance or validation from a parent, and we're struggling to get it. We have that battle with them of trying to prove that we're good enough. So that becomes our adult tendency to seek approval and seek trying to, you know, fit into others' expectations. You become an artist. That becomes really prevalent in your life, in your music to the point that you're on stage, performing music that it sounds like, "What is this?" To a crowd. Who made this? Yeah. Do you know what so many of us? So many of us, if we act, inauthentically, for a lot enough time, we build a life around that inauthenticity. We build a friendship group around it. We build a, in your case, a fan base around it, and I dropped it. I was like, "Nah, laddis." And then the pain of keeping up with that expectation and that community you've built around you, that doesn't resonate with who you truly are. That's when you panic attacks and the psychology kicks in and tries to save you. But I think I've spoken to a lot of us, but as well, everyone thinks that by doing you, you're still going to achieve that same success. And that's the scary thing. I think for a lot of people where they're like, "I found myself now. I'm going to make the album that I owe, the piece of craft or work or thing that means everything to me." And it's like, no, it's entertainment. People don't give a shit. Like, you did it for you, just do it for you. And it's like, you have to know that some people may resonate with the true you, or you might have to go and do work and build a new audience. And it's going to take the same amount of time. But people don't wonder. When they're like, "I'm going to be me." And it's like, yeah, you've got 10 views on this one. - Yeah, yeah, yeah. - That's when you jump back on that. - Yeah. - But that's when you remember there was some kind of truth to the game. - Yeah, that's the reality. That's the reality of it. I had to learn that as well. It's like, being you is for you, and you have to do it for you. And you also have to accept the consequences of being you. And even the consequences of the way you do business as well. Like, I don't want to, I don't want to talk all around the world, saying hello to every, and every person, not really connecting with the people I'm meeting. I'm just like, "Oh, I'm famous. Just kiss my ass and I'm going to move over to the next country and do the same." Like, I don't want to do that. I don't, it doesn't excite me. And it drains my energy, drains my creative energy. But if you don't tour, if you're getting a million for every show, or you're getting a half a meal for every show, you're like, "Oh, maybe I wouldn't." - It's hard to say no to that. - Do I want to go do that? And it's like, but then if I go, the true me, that my center says, "No, okay, no, I'm not going to do that." Well, then don't cry about it after. And a lot of us do, where it's like, "I made this decision." A lot of us can do that, you know? But learning to really accept your choices and live and dive by them can help you find fulfillment. And that to me is like money. That's like, "Phew!" You have this gradual feeling building from the sound of it. And then is that day on stage? Was that the turning point for you? Was that the day we... - Yeah, through a guitar in the air, I almost hit a camera woman. - Why did you throw it? - I was pissed. I was backstage. Something happened. My manager was being weird. Our relationship was breaking down. And I had a dependency. It was intense. I had no confidence. I literally, I was at a place where I couldn't actually talk to people because I had social anxiety. And so he was super confident and outgoing. And kind of like, was like someone to lean on. And that kind of went up to my early days in my career. And so our relationship started to break down. And it felt like if I didn't have him saying my music's good, it wasn't. And I kind of looked to him for that. - Like a father figure. - Yeah, yeah, yes. Exactly that. Like I kind of saw him as a father figure. And we had a really close relationship. And then it just started to break down when money started coming in. And I felt that happening. But I didn't know what was going on internally. I was just like, something's weird. This is just messed up. And then I went on stage through this guitar in the air. This camera woman was there. And I remember there was a fan in the crowd because I'm a people pleaser. But also it pisses me off. I was watching the crowd and there was this one guy. And he was looking at me and he was like, it was just like he was just saying dickhead. Like you look like an idiot. And I was like, I believe you. Ah, then I just threw this guitar in there. And it almost hit this woman. And I didn't see it. And my tour manager came backstage and he was like, you know you almost killed someone today. And I was like, wait a minute. So you threw this guitar because some guy in the crowd was giving you a funny look. Him and all this stuff was going on stage. And then I was like, what the fuck am I doing here? Like what? You just didn't want to be there. And then I threw this guitar in the air because I was just like, fuck this place. And then it literally just was like, and just nearly just skimmed her. And when he said that, I was like, whoa, I was like, sounds going on. I need to deal with it. Did you have an anger problem? A man, a mad anger problem. But that's ADHD as well. But mad anger issues like from primary school. I don't really haven't seen that guy for a very long time, but crazy. Because it reminds me again of the thing, you know, Gabber. Gabber was here like five hours ago. He's actually written a book on this. This is why all these topics are safe, random lines. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And what he was talking about is there's such thing as healthy anger, which is actually a cure. That's something that allows us to heal because he says that when we have like chaotic upbringings and we have abandonment from a parent, et cetera, et cetera, it creates this kind of like internal anger and resentment. But at the same time it creates people pleasing. Yes. And suppression. The wrong suppression. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's a good suppression. So the anger becomes suppressed, and it looks like people pleasing on the surface. But then it'll pew. Is that pew? And then it's like what? The volcano coming over the top and then. Yeah. Yeah, those layers. Yeah, yeah. And that's what there was a lot of that where it's like, you can be passive aggressive. And I feel like it sounds like a contradiction to be a people pleaser, but then to have the volcano corrupt. Yeah, I know. I know it sounds like-- But it makes sense. It makes sense, yeah. You're suppressing so much stuff, and you're not saying that. And that's what the big thing is. In music, I was also, I felt suppressed. So it was like, can I go-- can I find-- can I stop suppressing that as well? Because I was doing it musically, where I was in this kind of pop realm. And I was like, no, but I want them to hear all the layers of me. And I think euphoria was the first time I felt people actually heard what was going on on my hard drive for real, for real. And then with it connecting, I was like, oh, I was like, oh, they get it. Like, but I was like, it took so long for me to be able to try and share it. And it took for somebody else to go give me your hard drive. I'm going to put this all in my-- I'm going to put all of this stuff in my show, and I want you to make new stuff in my show for them-- for me to not suppress it. Because it was like, I'm going to do it for you. Quick word from one of our sponsors. I've got a tip for all of you that will make your virtual meeting experiences, I think 10 times better. As some of you may know, by now, Blue Jeans by Verizon offers seamless high quality video conferencing. But the reason why I use Blue Jeans versus other video conferencing tools is because of immersion. Their tools make you feel more connected to the employees or customers you're trying to engage with. And now they're launching one of their biggest feature enhancements to impact virtual events so far called Blue Jeans Studio. I actually used it the other day. I did a virtual event using the studio, which I think about 700 of you came to, TV level production quality, all done by one person with very little technical experience on a laptop. So if you've got an event coming up and you're thinking about doing it virtually, check out Blue Jeans Studio now, let me know what you think. Because I genuinely believe-- I know this is an advert, and I'm supposed to say this, but I genuinely believe it's the best tool I've seen for doing really immersive, simple but high quality production virtual events. Quick one. Right now, one of my sponsors on this podcast, who I absolutely adore, crafted the Men's Jory brand, are having a sale right now up to 70% off a brand that's already incredibly affordable. If you ever see me wearing jewelry on videos in real life, it's crafted jewelry. This particular piece, these pearls here, are one of my favorite pieces to wear when I'm trying to wear a fashionable item. All of their pieces, I wear all of their rings, I wear all of their jewelry, and I did before they sponsored this podcast. I actually asked them to sponsor this podcast because I'm such a big fan of the brand. I'm not somebody that rolls around in Rolexes and stuff like that, but I do want quality jewelry that isn't going to change color, that is going to be durable enough to keep up with me. That looks fashionable and that has a sense of meaning, and that's exactly what crafted has in their rings, in their necklaces, in everything they produce. I know the founders, I know how much they care, and if you're a man that often struggles to find a good place to buy good quality jewelry, that's not going to change color, that's not going to break. Crafted is the answer, and it's incredibly, incredibly affordable, and they have a sale on right now, which they never, ever do, 70% off. I implore you to go and check it out.
Panic attacks (49:27)
You mentioned panic attacks. Yeah, yeah. Something fun told me about from her. Lost hair, everything. Lost hair. Yeah, I had clumps of hair falling out. It was mad, I got to it, and my wife was a big part of supporting that, because she just was like, she could see it all happening, and funny enough, I couldn't fight for her at the time as well. She could see it all happening, she was like, this is not the way business should be done, shouldn't be treated this way, and a lot of the people that were around me made her the monster. She became the, she was the founder. Yes, that's right, and so you know, have you ever seen spinal tap? No, no, no. Okay, by the way, I call it the spinal tap moment, where the Mrs becomes a manager, and she wasn't managing me, she wasn't even trying to, she hates the music industry, but she wanted to be like, I want to protect this guy's sanity, and everyone else around me was like, we've got a gig for flipping 100 and sat grand, what do you mean? Like, why, why are you not going to do the show? And it's like, yeah, yeah, no, I know you're feeling tired, you're feeling, you're, are you feeling a bit emotional? Okay, okay, don't worry, man, don't worry. Like, look at what he's doing, he's doing all this work, and comparisons and all this stuff. And so there was a lot of manipulation, and she was seeing it, and I think they kind of didn't like that, so she got, she got intensely like kind of protective. Yeah, yeah, but also then she became the model, like, she became the, there was a witch hunt, and it kind of felt like it was directed at her, and I wasn't strong enough to support her in that time, if you get, I mean, like, I was, I was still too, you were taking the wrong side. I was a common day in, no, I wasn't even taking sides, it was that. No, no, it's because of this and, okay, so you were just, okay, I'm supposed to have it together, but I don't have it together, but like, no, I don't think they meant that, and I didn't hear the stuff that was going on, but when I heard what was going on, I was like, oh, shit, this is crazy. Have you ever spoke to her about that? Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's what built strength in our relationship, was that I said, I said to apologize to her, and I think a lot of people don't notice how strong and powerful women are beside people that are in the public eye, or like in the music industry or entertainment industry, it's like some of them, some of them are, like, of course, wonky or whatever, and are there for the wrong reasons, but the ones that are there for the right reasons sometimes get, they kind of, yeah, they don't get treated very well, if you get, I mean, because it's like, you're the guy, you're the person with the guy. Yeah, they do. Yeah, and it's always that, it's like, you're the person with the guy, like, and so she, she just was like mad supportive, and she introduced me to a shrink, and got me like, like a lot of support, like, just to talk to someone and the life coach, because she worked around psychology. She was this really like, she put me on to a lot of things that I wouldn't have had if she wasn't around, you know, so it was like super important to have her. Women in that feminine, they call it like the feminine energy. Yeah. It's so, that particular feminine energy is so lost upon men these days. Yeah. We talked about it earlier with this whole idea of like, be more of a man, and, yeah, and don't express your emotions, be a tough guy and all this stuff. But then you look at the stats around mental health and suicide, and you see that it's just not working for men. Yeah, yeah. And this overmasculinity is just not clearly not working. Yeah. Women, and including in my life, have an ability to open us up to the other side, yeah, which is unbelievably healing. She's mad. She's just super smart. And like, I just think she was more aware. She had, like, she had a start that was pretty intense. And so it woke her up to a lot of things that I didn't, I wasn't aware of. And so she kind of scooted me on a lot of things that I think if she wasn't around, I would have lost it. I would have been like, I would have been at Weighs Lab, and then it would have been like, oh, right. It's on YouTube with like no teeth shouting at the camera. I don't know. Like some, you know, how people go like way left. But yeah, like, I think if she wasn't around, I wouldn't be around, honestly. When you look back on the art that you created in that time, in that phase of your life, the music, the hits, pass out, frisky, you know, all of that music you created, how do you feel about the music now?
How do you feel about your old music? (53:46)
So if you walked in here and it was playing, how would you like, how would you, what did you say? I love now. I'm like, oh, that's fun. That's fun. Like, it's kind of like, it's fun. And sometimes I see the brilliance and I'm like, like pass out still hits me. I'm like, I can see the energy. And it was a moment where I kind of pulled up my sleeves and I was like, I'm not doing this shit anymore. I'm not going to fake it. I'm going to make sign and I want to hear. And then it paid off. But I have moments like that. And then I get scared again, like it's like, pass out. And it and it takes me a lot to get there where I'm like, I'm going to do something good. And then it's like, everyone's like, well done. Do more. And I'm like, I'm just scared. Like, that can happen where I get too shook. It's just dealing with yourself. It's being being aware of yourself, like what I was saying, to be conscious of yourself, or aware of your behavior helps you create peace in your life, like, and make choices in a moment that are going to support you in more ways than one, if you get more than just finance or finance. Yeah, finance just becomes such a big thing in this industry, even status and finance. Being a father finances like you run, you run for it, because you're taught that's the way a man's supposed to be. What did you go to eventually you go to LA at what 24 years old or something?
Leaving the uk (55:16)
Why did I go to LA? Yeah. Was it 24 years old? You left the UK. I wanted to go to LA to get away from the UK. I'm not even just get away. I think that was going on internally. Like, I was like, I needed to do something different. This was after you released your first album. Yeah, and I was getting, I was getting, it took me ages to do a second. And I was like, I don't know, I was just in my head about it. And so I went to LA to go and just be somewhere different, try working with some other writers, and like maybe kind of get new fresh energy, I was getting in my head about it. Yeah, that second album. So you released the first album on Psycho. It always cool at the difficult second album. That's what they call the second album, because it's like, you had a moment and then it's like, oh, I got to do that again. It's like, and that was on accident. It's always an accident. It's like nothing. Like you can paint anything by numbers, but you can never, even in business, you can't recreate exactly the same thing unless it was supposed to happen. Because the world's changed. That's it. So it's like, yeah, like we're even in this industry now, like me and my team have been talking about it, but it's like, we're in a whole new world. Most records are sold online, like heavily, like TikTok. Like not TikTok. That's it. That's, that's, that's how you sell records. And so to come into that and go, how do I find myself amongst this without losing my authenticity? What do you do? Like, you know, like, and so then it kind of goes back to a lot of the things that have happened where it's like, don't be that guy. Don't, don't be that guy and just like keep up appearances. Find your way, find the way of saying it in the way that means something to you. No. I'm really, you said, because I sat with Luke Capaldi and he said to me, I'm sharing it. He's taking albums coming out. He was like, I'm shitting it. And he told me about the procrastination, the Dow, that first album, bang. This one did a billion streams. He was like, I'm shitting it because of the expectation. I genuinely, I get it. Like, not that I would have ever been here, but I can understand how any business is like, yeah, it's like, we smashed it and yeah, it's do it again. Yeah, it's like, do it again. Do me another one of those. When artists and when people generally make that move and they, they make the way out to America, they become like a small fish in a big pond, in many respects.
Being a small fish in a big pond (57:34)
Like people aren't stopping you in the street like they are here. Oh, that was sick. Just like, I remember going to the Grammys and I was like standing next to John Legend. And who else was there? There was massive artists, worldwide success, massive records. And I came to stand in and my publishers put me in there and the cameramen just, they were taking it. But John, John, stand there. What's the Chrissy? Chrissy started, yeah. And then I came in and it was decided, they dropped my camera. And then the guy was like this. That was like, oh, shit. But do you know what? Do you know when you're talking about losing or not getting the reaction you wanted? It was the best reaction for me. I loved it. It was like, they don't even give a shit. I can go be that guy again. I can go be the guy that was. Yes, there was no expectation. So I was in this environment where there's no expectation. And then it was like, now I can make me, now I can go and make who I am. And I was in an environment. And when I'm talking racially, the reason why I'm talking racially is because I felt pulled by these two races in this country sonically. And then when I was over there, there was none. There was none like, "Lab, you need to be hood. Go do another." This lab, we need more pop music. You need to be a regional, connect with the radio more, do more Simon Cal Music. And it was that there was a pull between me and I felt like I don't belong anywhere. Because I like both and I can see myself in both. But there's always somebody that doesn't like it. And that's what kept on affecting me was that there's always someone that doesn't like what I'm doing. And so I kind of became comfortable with that feeling of being like, "Yes, someone's not going to like this." And a few people, please, that's going to make you procrastinate. Yeah, 100%. But then I'm like, I kind of fell in love of it in LA where it was just like, that guy doing that was just like, "I don't know who this guy is, don't care." And then I had to like work my way up, but in a way that was more pure, where it was like, "I'm just going to do what I love." And I was working with people over there that just kind of like, it's shed, it pulled away all of the kind of mess that kind of created this thing in my head, you know, about creativity. And that's like kind of a process of like reinvention, right? You're kind of reinventing yourself from again, because the expectation is going on. No, not reinventing. Realizing. Realizing. Because reinvention is trying to get somewhere. Realizing is actually going, "This is who I am." Like, peel away the onion. Like, what's underneath? And it's like, in that, for me, that's the most important thing in my career, most important thing in my existence is to go, "What's the rawest form of lab of my person, of my existence? What's the rawest form of me even without this body? Like, what's the soul? What's my scent, I'm saying?" What is that? What do you mean, like? What is the center? What do you mean, "lab?" If what's the purest form, I'd probably peel back all those layers on that onion. What is it, the core of lab? It's a difficult question, one that I'd struggle to answer. No, I call it calling your tears. So sometimes, sometimes when I sing, I call this calling your tears. It's like, I want to hear the fucking scent of view as well. I give you the scent of me and I want to hear the scent of view. And even bummy notes, whatever the fuck is coming out, it's like, can I speak to you beyond your "Oh, I've just been and I've got money and I've been, well, who's the guy?" And I'm like, "If I can sing and do this to you, and you see you, and we both see beyond our flesh, beyond the things that bind us on earth." That shit, for me, is like, that's what I want to see. That's what I'm always trying to get to. Not what you were taught when you were five, not my mask. You know what I mean? Not what was given to you or you were raised into, what is your soul want? What's your soul's song as well? And so, when I'm singing, I'm like, for me, frequency is a language as well. Music, of course, yeah, like, hair in a melody, you can hear a feeling from it, you can hear something saying something to you. That's why we listen to music. Well, it speaks to me. And I'm like, can I speak to you? Can I actually truthfully speak to you beyond the bullshit? And usually, frequency is one of our most powerful languages. Literally, everything is by vibration. Everything on earth is vibrating. That's how we can identify a lot of things. You can feel energy if you get on it. So, for me, I'm like, getting to the core of that is the most exciting thing for me. Every time I'm going to a studio, I want to be there, but I'm fighting to get away from needing to police. And that clouds my mission all the time. Still today? Yeah, 100%. But it's not as loud as it used to be. You got music coming out soon. Yeah. What's the process been like making this new body of fun?
Inspirations And Current Projects
Your new music (01:03:36)
Yeah. It was fun. It was fast. I worked with my band LSD, me and CR and Diplo have a band. In working with CR, I learned how to let go a bit. And when I went to go write my album, after the long album, the long number two, I just kind of was like, yeah, let's just do something. Just do it. Let it go. I didn't end up thinking about it a little later on, because I've had the album for a while. But I just was like, I enjoy these melodies, I enjoy what I'm doing. I'm going to leave it there. And alongside euphoria, it was like, it kind of, a lot of these things were teaching me to do that, like, come out of that, the pleasing and just go, what are you hearing? Write what you hear from the sky. And that's it. And just leave it there. So that's what I do with this record as well. How much is this record a reflection of how you're feeling and where you are in your mind and your psychology? How much of that is reflected through the music and what you've created? I believe that this record is one of the steps towards me being naked. Like, I don't think I'm as naked as I want to be yet. But I believe that it's getting me there. And like, even with this album, it was dedicated to my misses. A lot of the songs on the album were dedicated to my misses, because like I was talking about where she stood up for me, and supported me through my experiences. I kind of wanted to, I turned our relationship in the music industry into a, like two lovers, Bonnie and Clyde riding through the cosmos. So literally, natural born killers in space. That's what the whole album was. And that was my inspiration for the record is that it's all love songs, but all of the love songs are me taking photos of moments with my wife and things we've been through together. And so I didn't even write, I didn't write in it like way where it was like, I'm going to say, Oh, a couple of weeks ago, on Saturday, when this happens, not that it's more, it's more like loosely based on like those moments. And every song has that is me amplifying like, like little moments that me and my wife have had.
Where do you find your inspiration? (01:06:23)
Where do you get where? Sort of physically do you does most does your inspiration show up? Everything is a song, bro. Like everything in here in the streets, in the gym. This is a song. This is a song I wait for you. This bottle sitting here. And if you imagine that everything on earth is alive, this bottle was made just to sit here to wait to be poured into my my cup. So that's a song I wait for you. I wait for your beck and call whenever you need me. And it's like, I'm turning this bottle into a person and I'm like, Oh, um, um, don't you know how long I've needed to be wanted or don't don't you know, I have my own things or things I want for myself, if you get me. So every every like little thing like, can be like like turned into or drum, dramatized into a song, you know, like, does that make this? I wait for you. And I'll nutritionally complete. Here's that I'll complete you. Yeah. Like I'm, I'm, I'm, it's like, I'll be your servant. It's like, um, but like when is my moment, like, or you can just find things in it, like there's just one thing sitting there and like start to, uh, peel the onion of, okay, what would it feel like if I just had to sit there, like I was created and just had to sit there to replenish somebody's health, like, have you always thought like that? Because that's quite an abstract way to think like the, the metaphor, the symbolism of that bottle is doing that. A lot of people would say, oh, that's a, you know, a drink. Yeah. That's everything. And have you cultivated yourself to think in such a way over time where you've lent him to that? Or is that something that you've just always had as a man? That's, that's it. That's it for me. Like with everything is like, because I guess, um, like you're saying, when we've growing up, um, you're going, how do people see the world and you try to see the world through other people's eyes, especially with when you grow up with like, even traumas or like an intense home, you learn to kind of observe a lot. And so like, in observation, you go into like storytelling, bro, like it's like layers and layers of storytelling, like, um, yeah. So I just see every, every song even sounds for me have colors, sounds for me have pictures. Um, so I always have an idea. Usually what scares the idea of where it is people, please. Honestly, like I know, I, I know what my idea is, but it's like learning how to in a business, um, especially that we go from writing in our bedrooms to becoming CEOs of companies without knowing it. Um, you have to learn how to run your business and turn, like get your business to articulate what you want to say without being a frightened of judgment. I'm lab that just got signed to psycho.
Advice for younger lab (01:09:19)
Okay. Day one of psycho, I get to meet you here now and I get to come and ask you for advice. I'm, I'm you on that day that you sign with psycho. What advice you give me? To live your life, whatever it's supposed to be. And I don't, I won't take back anything that's happened, honestly, like, because, um, I believe that, um, everything happens to build you. And I wouldn't have learned the things I've learned in order to become who I am today. So all my challenges are turning me into who I'm supposed to be. So do you think if you'd told me, do you think if you'd given me advice, so I'm you know, when you sign that there was psycho, do you think if you had given me the advice I would have listened? No, no, no, I wouldn't have listened to me. I would have been like, I'll be like, yeah, man, people love my music. Let's go like, because you just don't know in it. You don't know what you're going to experience. Um, yes, I would, I would say, go and experience what you need to experience. Because like you're going to head to your, to your north in whatever way you can. And some people don't ever find their north because they don't learn to go, okay, um, let me take a look at myself, you know, like, I think that's the, the my dad did that the way he just, he wasn't able to be vulnerable enough to go. Okay, maybe this, or maybe like, could I change this? Or actually, I'm not happy here, you know? Um, and so I feel like if you can do that in your life, um, I don't think anything's wrong with it. I think, um, you'll be able to find your north like by, by being able to observe yourself. What are your goals now?
Goals now (01:10:55)
I'm not to make the cosmic opera. Okay, boys, man. No, tell me that's your goal. I want to hear it. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I do. I want to make an opera. You want to make an opera? Yeah. I want to write an opera can hear the sounds, can hear how it looks, feels. Um, and, um, yeah, just, I want to, I want to like make, um, like, uh, I want to do things with choirs that nobody's done. I can hear all these things that I'm like, nobody's done this. I'm going to go do it. Like, literally, I'm there. Do you know, we did this podcast live with a life gospel choir, taught it up in the country. Oh, really? Yeah. Yeah. That's why sister's quiet. Yeah. Yeah. I'm sure she has, she used to work with, um, uh, what's the, the house of coffee? She was part of making it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It was crazy. So we had this like 30, 40 person choir, the band of it. And it's this mixture between like the visual, so the video would come in and it would like crackle from people on this podcast. Yeah. And then you'd have me with spoken words and then the choir would come in and like say the message in music, if that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. So I might be talking about the struggle I had with like, um, the, the one's self doubt and then the other young ambitious kid that knew he wanted to be a millionaire because he was insecure, whatever. Yeah. And on one hand, you've got, wait till I get my money. And then you've gotten the house, Barclay, and it was that kind of like, like music and stuff. Yeah, bro. You're doing it, man. That's exactly it. There's a lot to all of it. Yeah. But it's for me to get afraid now. I'm afraid of, uh, afraid of, I'm just saying, oh, yeah. Do you feel, do you feel maybe used to your fears now? So, like stepping out on stage at the London pladium. Yeah. We opened up at the London pladium and stepping out on stage at London pladium, never having done this before in front of people and knowing that they'd bought tickets without having any idea what they bought tickets to. They're expecting a live podcast. They're expecting this on stage. Okay. And then there's quiet, and you know, there was a moment of that where you've just got to be at peace with the uncertainty. Okay. Yeah. And all the great things come from being at peace with the uncertainty. Yeah. You know, which is to feel like maybe your peace with the uncertainty comes from your parents. Um, yes. So I would say my parents were so absent from my life. Like my mom and dad were like, my mom was never in when I got home. She was never in when I woke up. So I got to play. Yeah. Kind of experiment, if you know what I mean. So, so you start building evidence and yourself, like, well, I try this thing and it kind of works. Yeah. Yeah. You kind of never unlearn that. Listen, you never, once you've seen behind that curtain that you can just try stuff. Yes. And are you okay with the, um, like, if it bombed, would you be okay? The honest answer. Yeah. So if it bombed, bomb, you know, because no, no, no, no, no, no, because it's crazy because like, I remember, I remember, you know, the feedback we got is like, nothing I've ever got my career. I say, get that one message. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That was fucking weird. And I'm thinking about it the next night before I go out. I'm thinking that one person said it was fucking weird. Yeah. Yeah. I feel you. I feel like everyone's brilliant. I loved it. Yeah. You're just like that one guy. Yeah. Cause I feel like a search for validation can be a real motivator in your life. It can force you to like go out there and do great stuff. Yeah. But at the same time, it also makes you really susceptible to criticism. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No, it drives you, but then it scares you. It's like, but if you like, that's what I love about hip hop, I was watching, um, hip hop evolution and loads of the guys on there, they kind of were just like, we're already the scumbags of the earth to this country. Like there's nothing to lose. Yeah. And I kind of, when I watch it, I'm just like, I love the like, they just go and do anything because it was just like, well, like I have one out a record on the album called Only Way is Up. Yeah. Yeah. And I say, um, the only way is up. Um, what's it? It was like, um, basically like, yeah, the only way is up. Like it's like, literally, if you're at the pit of, of the bottom, it's like, there's nothing else to do. So it's just like, they were just like, I'm going for, I'm, I'm taking it all. And that's where hip hop turned into a voice, like a massive industry now, like, and it wasn't. It started from a guy just being on like, turn, on, turn tables, you know. So, um, when you sometimes I get inspired by seeing that, when your next project comes out, say every song of the album gets a trillion views. It's the first album ever to get a trillion views on every record, right? Next time you see me, I'm going to be like, yeah, what's going on? I would probably like, speaking like that. No, what do you mean? One, one, one, one, speaking. Just with glasses. And you're on to rise. That's what, that doesn't want to talk right now. Why speaking about yourself and the person. Are you scared of that? Well, I've become an addict. That too. But like, if, if, if your next up, you get a trillion views on every record, here comes expectation again. Suddenly you got something to lose again. Now burn it down every time. You burn it down. Just burn down the house. Like, uh, and it's so beautiful to, to like, to be free of expectation of your own, of, of your own expectation as well. For me, it's like, you're like Forrest Gump, man. You could do anything, like with that when you're free from, and free, uh, funny, my son, this is his favorite song right now, free from desire. Well, anyway, but when you are free from desire, in terms of like, the need for an, like a reception or the need for validation, it's like, if you actually put that down, if you said, I don't need validation, you're like, you're just going to go do anything, bro. Like you would just go ham, you know, and some people are born, like kind of have that, like it's just in them where they're just like, well, maybe they're scared, but they, they don't show it and they're just able to just move them really fast and they have insane resilience. And I'm like, if I had that, um, like what would I've done? What would I've done? And I'm not a person to go back to the past, but, but I'm like, like how free would it be? And how freeing would it be if you could just go? Cool. That didn't work. Let's go. Like, and not even that didn't work. Just, I'm going to do what I'm here to do, which is make music. Do you see any of your peers or anyone in the industry? It's funny. I was thinking of Kanye West, I mean, controversial figure. He seems to not give a fuck about. He really doesn't. I've worked with him. Yeah. Yeah. He's, um, and it was inspiring. And that's, do you know what, even with Kanye, he's mad controversial, mad. It's, it's, yeah, it's a lot, but, um, I guess he's intense for the world, but being in his creative environment was one of the most inspiring, um, I've had, and I wasn't a Kanye fan. Like I wasn't like, oh, I've listened to all your albums. I know every song. Like I literally was put with kind, with Kanye through a manager, and they were like, labs fucking next hot, hot as artists. Do you want to work with him? And then I got a yes. And then I went into the camp. So I started working with all these amazing musicians and producers. And it was just like, it feels like what I love, which is, uh, hear it, do it. Um, it's got no nothing on the periphery affects the, the, the, the vision of what, what is head, what he's headed for, especially in that environment. Sometimes maybe I don't know, personally, when he's home on his own, it's affected, but, but it was just dividing there was just like, it felt like true creativity. Um, but like, I can't say anything about, yeah, like, I don't know what mission these on, like, yeah, it's funny because I've had Dame Dash here, like a week ago, and they said, Jay Z's, what about the money, Kanye's, what about the art. Yeah. And that seems to be what's reflected from what you see from the outside. Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. Going back. So I asked you a question on your goal. Yeah. Yeah. And you said about the cosmic orchestra. Yeah. That that's a, that's, I guess that's a goal. Is there like a bigger emission you're on or is it? I think I've simplified my desires and it's like, I just want to be a tap. I want to be a tap. And sounds very, um, it sounds very, um, wispy, but like to be a tap for the universe and what I mean by the universe is that I personally believe that we are all connected to a, a source. And, um, if we're all connected to that source, everyone has their, everyone's a kaleidoscope. And when this source shines through our kaleidoscopes, you see these unique, beautiful things as, but, but we have to make our kaleidoscope as pure as possible, meaning to get out of our own ways to be the kaleidoscope that was supposed to be. And for me, I feel like I'm seeing some of your kaleidoscope and, and you made a decision to change your world or to change your, maybe facade that you had at the time to become who you, who you need to be and you collect, clean the window, you know? And so for me, I'm like, if I can clean my window and, and shine light as purely as possible and do some shit that I didn't even know I could do, for me, that's the job well done, honestly, like in all truth, but the only thing that gets in the way is fair self doubt. And all the, all the stuff that like the industry needing to make money like needed to be validated gets in the way of like, oh, I'm supposed to be clean in the window. But that's what I keep doing. I'll keep going back to like, oh, okay, sorry, I forgot. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, can I clean them? So that's what I want to do clean windows. It's a really interesting analogy. Yeah, being the most authentic self and yeah, that's it for me. But it's it's it's easier said than done, we're always saying it online and I want to speak my truth. I'm like, that stuff doesn't mean anything to me. It's just too, too purely. And you know when you're lying to yourself, the only person that knows your lying to you is you like, and, and sometimes you don't know when you're lying to yourself, if you're not looking properly. But when you look, when you truly look, you're like, okay, I'm lying. And so for me, cleaning the window is knowing when I'm lying. And then being like, okay, cool, let's go. Are we going back to truth? Yes, let's do it. I mean, much of the reason why, you know, I've always resonated with your music and I view it as art, you know, even I was listening to it all again today, going through the albums, going through some of your new stuff is because you have that it's it so clearly comes from, it feels like it comes from a very authentic place. Yeah, like you're not I've not heard these sounds before. Yeah. You know, even when I go to, when I listen to pass out again, I was so many layers to this that like some like, get garagey, grimy stuff, and then you got the little Afro, you know, it's all in there. Yeah. And this is how I, you know, when you ask me what happens when I listen back, I'm like, oh, is that how I look? It's like, you're like, oh, like, because there's self doubt is so heavy sometimes that you don't even know how you look. And it's like somebody could be like, you're so beautiful. And you're like, I'm seeing warts. I'm seeing weird ships. And then your idea of yourself so distorted. So when I listen back to old stuff, sometimes I'm like, it's like music. I'm like, well done kids. I'm like, man, like it feels feels like you've got your own identity. And I'm like, I almost end up saying to that 24 year old, like, I'm like, bro, I'm proud of you. Like, like, that's so fun. Like, I feel you like, and I didn't at the time at the time, I was like, I don't know what I'm doing, you know. So it's nice to kind of observe from a distance and be like, grandfather going, well done. Are you happy now? Am I happy now? And yes, I definitely have you as a father that changes your life massively. And so I think, yeah, I think I'm super happy. Yeah, like, I like to think about that when someone asked me, because it's easy to just go, yeah, how are you? Yeah, yeah, great. It's so difficult. And some people think it's a shitty question, because first you've got to define what happy means and happy is a mood. And it's like, you know, I'm sad, happy. It's a kind of visceral mood. Maybe you should ask me on my content. Yeah, I fulfilled or something. Yeah, yeah, I'm content. I think with fulfillment, I'm getting there. No, I'm, I'm cleaning the window all the time. So it's like realizing it's returning back to fulfillment. If that makes sense. So if that fulfillment was a recipe consisting of different ingredients and different quantities. Yeah, right. So you need one egg, if you have two eggs, the recipe goes off, it's all about, you know, with recipes, it's all about balance and constructing the ingredients you need to create. The perfect dish. If your fulfillment is a recipe list, is there anything missing off that that you believe now would make you would make that recipe perfect? For me, it's been balanced. It's just workaholic. That's kind of like an addiction that I am. Yes. Because of early stuff. Yeah, same. So trying to make sure I'm investing in my romantic relationships and my friendships for real so I can feel more same with my kids and my family, like, yeah, that balance. But fulfillment is, for me is desiring nothing, contributing everything. That's how I feel like, and it's like, and maybe the only one desire is to remain present enough to be able to receive from what I'm contributing to. Does that make sense? Perfect sense. Or else you're not going to be there to hear it. You're going to be a future. I won't even, I won't even enjoy it. I won't even, yeah, my kid will be smiling at me and I'm like looking over their heads. Like, yeah, how do I get more, how do I get a truly abuse? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Are you getting better at that? Being present to experience the joy in life. Bro, it's the best, when you're present with your kids, it's the best, like, you learn so much stuff. My kid said, like, she loves the moon and she asked me, does moonstones fall from the moon? And she said, they give me, the moon gives me moonstones all the time. And she's like, shall we give them back? And I was like, I was like, no, no, I think it was given to you as a present, but just like hearing stuff like that for me is like, it's like magic. Like, it's just hearing a magical mind stay in it's like, I'm still appreciating the world in this magical way when we make it about a trillion views, you know, like, same with my son as well. Just, he smells flowers. And like, he really like he, if he sees a flower, he points at any wants to really feel it and connect with it and enjoy it. And then he'll go around giving everyone a flower and saying smell it for yourself. But seeing that for me is like, he made something that go like, I ignore because I'm just so used to it, like super magical. Yeah, beautiful. And it's, yeah, I was thinking about my dog there as well, how he simplified my life. Just like, I used to say like, come home from like the busy day, all these problems, you know, and the dog is there just fucking around with this Luke as a bottle, having the time of his life. And he's like, fucking chasing back, he's like, getting it close and taken. And like, you don't understand how simple, well, it's for fact, I've over complicated the way that he understands how simple and wonderful it is. But I've lost sight of that with my, with my wisdom or with my experience. We have a closing tradition on this podcast where the last guest asks a question for the next guest.
Final Segment: Questions From Last Guest
Last guest question (01:26:41)
They don't know who they're asking it for. They just write it in this diary. This guest is handwriting challenged. So give me a second. My teacher used to call it chicken scratches. Oh, yeah, looks like a bit. This is a bit of chicken scratches. Okay. What are you not saying yes to in your life that demands to be said? Well, am I not saying yes to that demands to be said? Yeah, I think I think what they mean is like, what are you not saying yes to that demands? Yes. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Nothing. Saying yes to all the stuff I want to say yes to. Right. Is there anything inside you that's, that's asking you to like step into it and accept it that you're not saying yes to. Okay. No, no. Okay. So if we're going from there, I think accepting what is and yeah, just accepting what is like not getting dragged into what it could be. And when you accept what is, you're like, this is sick. Like you just fall in love with it because you're appreciating it for what is, you know. So I think it's that constantly we might remember in that. But that's that's a yes for the rest of your life. Lab, thank you so much for this conversation. Thank you for being here. I you are a musical genius. I respect bro. I appreciate it. No, you are because because I can't really think of artists and that have come out of the UK, I've come out fucking Hackney, that have the like the creative diversity that you have. We don't have like the honestly, the only other person I think of is I'm like, Kanye, you know, I'm a good. Yeah, I feel you. You know, kind of. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I feel you. Yeah. Well, I believe you could, I believe with that sort of creative palette and the diversity of your creativity and where you see inspiration in a fucking heel bottle, which is literally complete hashtag ad and the table is really genius. It's a real special genius. And with that comes a lot of challenge as we see with Kenya as well. But yeah, but it's a real special genius that I think as you say, if the windows can remain clean, bro, that's it. It's going to serve the world in a remarkable way as it has done already for you in your life. And you know, the things you've done with movies, the music and you talk to me about this opera, I'd be seeing believe it all. I call my I got to come. Yeah, when once I got it somewhere, you've got to come and let's please let me come up. I want to help the worst music. I've ever known this. Listen, I'll clean the windows. I don't care. Let me I'll help you clean the windows so we can get this cosmic orchestra going. Oh man, I'm down. I'm done. I would love for you to hear it. But yeah, like that's I'm definitely excited about this. I appreciate you. So it's a great to meet you and I can't wait to see this next project and all the projects that you bring to the world in the future. Thank you so much. Thanks. Thanks. Quick one from our longest standing sponsor heel for many years. People have been asking for a coffee flavored heel and quite recently, he'll release the ice coffee caramel flavor of their ready to drink heels. And I've just become hooked on it over the last couple of weeks. I've been on a really interesting journey with heel, which I've described and talked about a little bit on this podcast. I started with the berry ready to drinks that I moved over to the protein salted caramel because it's 100 calories and it gives you all of your essential vitamins and minerals, but also gives you the 20 odd grams of protein you need. And now I'm balanced between them both. I drink mostly the banana flavor ready to drink. I've got really into the ice coffee caramel flavor of heels ready to drink. And now I'm drinking that as well as the protein. Make sure you try the new ready to drink flavors that the caramel flavor is amazing. The new banana flavor as well is amazing. And obviously, as I said, the iced coffee caramel flavor has been a real smash hit. So check it out. Let me know what you think on social media. I see all of your tags and Instagram posts and tweets about heel.