Shortly before we got his third mixtape I WANT YOU, Theophilus London released a DIY promo video for the track “Life Of A Lover”. The record loops lazily to show us a new look: pretty girls dancing with each other at a show, young dudes headnodding, the crush of cameras and hard flash that now follows us everywhere we go, a cut to Theophilus in monochrome riding in a Vespa gang through Chinatown en route to Brooklyn and then back to the dance—a mic cord drifting slowly in and out of the frame and his hand reaching out to bring a girl on stage. That is all and this is it: inspired by Marvin Gaye’s self-imposed European exile and controversial performance of the national anthem at the 1983 NBA All Star game, I WANT YOU is a collection of dark jams that restlessly examines the promise of love beyond lifestyle. Touching on LA electrofunk, UK indie, tropical escapade and obscure afropop you never knew existed, these are stories from the way we live now: missed connections and misunderstandings, video chats and retweets, returns and deliverables. We know today is all black everything but more to the point: this is now noir as we know it. And this is Theophilus London.
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