Theophilus London is focused on only one thing these days and it's his music. In the month or so since he appeared in our February/March issue, Theophilus has literally been all around the world on tour. In the past two days alone, he's rocked shows in Seoul, South Korea and Madison, Wisconsin. Today he's off to San Francisco. And ever since he put out one of our favorite
mixtapes albums of 2009, we've been anxiously awaiting his next mixtape, I Want You, dropping April 28. But finally, the leaks are starting to come! Last night, Theophilus premiered the first song "Accept The New" on his blog, and today we have the pleasure of presenting to you the next exclusive track, "Oops." Yes, it's a clever cover of Tweet and Missy Elliot's classic ode to masterbation, and yes, it's awesome. Listen and check out an exclusive interview with Theophilus below...
Interview by Max Schlusselberg
Complex: So you just got back from Korea. What was that like?
Theophilus London: It was great man. Definitely new grounds, new territory for me. I was kinda surprised by how many fans there were and they knew all my lyrics too so it was really cool performing over there. Also, the food was unbelievable. I ate octopus and did that whole thing, so it was an experience.
Complex: It seems like your life is nothing but work these days. How long has it been like this?
Theophilus London: It's been like a year now. In 2009 I went on four tours and I've never been home. The most time I spent home in 2009 was about a month. And this year I've only been to my house, a new house, for like a week. I've been on tour almost the entire year so far. In January I started in Berlin, went to London to tour with Miike Snow, did a couple SXSW runs and then went to Korea. And now we have a full Europe tour in May. It's good though, I have a great time on the road.
Complex: So explain what we can expect off I Want You. How is it going to differ from Jam! and This Charming Mixtape?
Theophilus London: Well Jam! and This Charming Mixtape was kinda similar but you know like you can tell I went through some growth between those projects. And it's the same with this, you can tell I was in a different place musically when I wrote all these songs six months ago. I can't wait to share the mixtape with the fans and move on to the next. But on I Want You I'm definitely rapping a lot more so you can expect that.
Complex: Is the title inspired by Marvin Gaye?
Theophilus London: Yeah, the title is influenced by Marvin Gaye. And so is a lot of the mixtape. When I was in Germany a friend of mine sent me a Marvin Gaye documentary and it just inspired me to work on the whole mixtape and call it I Want You.
Complex: Did you sample or collaborate with any other artists?
Theophilus London: Besides Marvin Gaye, I remixed a lot of Stevie Wonder, there's "Flying Over Seas" with Dev Hynes, there's some Hudson Mohawke records. Hudson Mohawke actually produced the "Oops" track I'm giving you guys today. There's also a Vampire Weekend remix, and a track that's a remix of a song by The XX. There's also a lot of Calypso stuff, and just a lot of good music.
Complex: Did you write the songs for I Want You with a particular person in mind?
Theophilus London: Yeah, I actually made it about a girlfriend. But for some reason, we broke up after I finished writing the album. We're back together now.
Complex: Good to hear. How'd you get the idea to cover the song you're giving us today?
Theophilus London: When I was in London I was introduced to this guy Hudson Mohawke who's based in the UK. He played me this remix he did for Tweet and I was like 'Wow, this is great. I need people to hear this record, I'd love to cover it.' And he was like 'Of course.' So he sent me the instrumental and then we ended up playing some shows together at Southpaw, we surprised people at a bar in Austin. So it's good me and him are gonna work on an EP and he comes on the mixtape with two songs.
Complex: Anything else you want to tell us about the mixtape?
Theophilus London: It's hosted by Va$htie. So we used her voice for the "I want you" that you keep hearing through the mixtape, which is sexy as hell.
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