x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Labrinth has found his way to musical success

The London musician has gone from bedroom producer to Olympic entertainer, and now he's bringing his beats to Abu Dhabi.

Labrinth. Courtesy Zed Communications
Labrinth. Courtesy Zed Communications

It's not only the athletes and sport fans getting into the Olympic spirit.

London's Labrinth has recently finished performing six UK gigs in cities hosting the arrival of the Olympic torch; not bad for someone who only a few years back was "a nobody making beats in his bedroom".

"Representing London in this way is something insane," he says. "A lot of these opportunities have been coming my way and to play gigs to more than 50,000 consistently has been very healthy for me."

Labrinth, real name Timothy McKenzie, is now set to play an intimate club set at Étoiles at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Since turning heads in 2010 by producing fellow Londoner Tinie Tempah's hit Pass Out, Labrinth, Tempah and associated acts have been carrying the UK urban music torch globally.

With Tempah arguably being the first UK rapper to break into the US and Labrinth making international waves with his debut album Electronic Earth, home to hits Earthquake and Last Time, Labrinth believes it's time for British urban artists to shine in their own right.

"I do feel like me, Tinie and others are part of a big movement," he says. "UK urban music is spreading wider now and I think there is more respect towards it."

But the talent has always been there, so why did it take so long? "People were hiding in their basements, hiding their own identities, trying to make a second-hand version of American music," he states. "Also, some of the music that we had wasn't entirely up to scratch; we knew how to make it but not how to present it. I think we have now wised up a bit and found our way to push our music forward."

Labrinth will perform at Étoiles in the Emirates Palace on Friday at 11.30pm with free entry before 1am. For details and reservations, call 02 690 8960