With HBO’s hit drama Euphoria, audiences are awakening to the inspiring voice of Labrinth. A multiplatinum-selling singer, songwriter, and producer, Labrinth has excelled at every creative venture to date, which now includes scoring his first series.
The UK-born talent was already making waves even before HBO’s Euphoria. As a solo artist, his hit song “Jealous” garnered 380 million Spotify streams. His collaboration with Sia and Diplo, the Supergroup known as LSD, has amassed over one billion streams worldwide of their album.
In 2019, Labrinth made his first forays into film and television. With Disney’s The Lion King remake, Labrinth co-wrote and co-produced the Beyoncé’s song, “Spirit.” In addition to scoring Euphoria, Labrinth wrote and performed the show’s finale-capping song “All For Us,” featuring series star, Zendaya.
Labrinth spoke to Awards Focus about his evolving process post season one, what he’s looking forward to in Euphoria’s second season, and the highest compliment you can give him as an artist.
Awards Focus: What was the initial conversation like with Euphoria creator Sam Livingston?
Labrinth: I met Sam at a dinner and was introduced by a mutual friend, Sam then heard my music and became a fan. We talked about the projects that he wanted to put out and there was a lot of creative chemistry between us. When the time came he reached out and told me he would love for me to work on this show, and I had no idea it was Euphoria for HBO.
AF: Did the show change your process of creating music? Would you say the subject matter difficult to connect with or not so much?
Labrinth: I did what felt natural to me. Sam trusted me, he liked the way I produced and my creative style. I would constantly send him small clips of the pieces I was developing.
In terms of my style, it’s almost like method-acting, but for music. I would see Zendaya’s character, Rue, which would inspire me to create these sci-fi-ish sounds, with psychedelic delay vibes.
I wanted to create sounds that would put you in her shoes and make you think you definitely just popped a pill, or were on something. Once I connected with the character I started to peel back the onion on their experiences to create the sounds. We’ve all grown up in schools where kids have contact with that life, so it was pretty easy to write and connect with.
AF: Did you write music prior to shooting or did you wait to get cuts of the episodes?
Labrinth: I was so passionate that I just instantly started creating. Sam said, “Lab, just throw as much music at me as possible… if you’ve got demos, if you’ve got random things, I want to mess around with them.”
I’ve had a ton of music just sitting there for years, so I sent it to him just so he could try it in the show. I made the whole orchestration, everything, in a garage-type room outside in my garden.
AF: When Zendaya listens to the Euphoria album she says there are songs that she asked to skip because it’s too much, it’s too invoking. That has to be an incredible compliment as a composer, having your work have such have such a deep impact on people.
Labrinth: I’m happy to hear that people really enjoy it and connect with it, so that’s the biggest compliment. When I was creating it, I definitely was like “Bro, don’t mess this up,” because I’ve never scored a series. Ultimately, that fear pushed me in a very effective way.
AF: Has the process in scoring for a series impacted the way you work on your own albums?
Labrinth: Big time. There’s an incredible amount of organization that goes into the series. I would make 25 sections of music in one week, so I had to keep sheets of paper all over my walls to keep me as organized as possible.
Sonically, the show has forced me to explore sounds and music that I wouldn’t have discovered or tried on my own, it really inspired me to try new sounds.
AF: What are some of your personal goals for season two?
Labrinth: I would love to use an orchestra, to collaborate with them just kind of broaden the sound and try out some new things. It will also be interesting to see what Sam comes up with, he has a crazy brain, he’s got so much to write about just based on events that have happened this year, so I’m sure he has a ton of inspiration for Euphoria. I’m ready, I’ve been making different music cues for season two just for fun.