If you don’t think Labrinth is a music genius then probably you don’t understand music.
British songwriter, singer, rapper, and record producer, Timothy Lee McKenzie or popularly called Labrinth is responsible for the amazing soundtrack of HBO Max’s ‘Euphoria’. He does not particularly like to consider himself a composer.
In a recent conversation with Variety, Labrinth shared, “I know I am, but I don’t look at myself that way. I’m just transmitting energy that I hear and see and feel. There was a time when composers and producers were almost in the same place. I would maybe look at myself in that lane, where it’s like; I get inspired with a song as well as an orchestral piece or a sound. I use every angle of what I do to convey an energy.” Labrinth credits the show’s creator Sam Levinson for looking at the ‘dimension in me that maybe I didn’t see’. He expressed his utter gratitude towards the creator for letting him be creative.
When season one of ‘Euphoria' premiered, the entire world got hooked on it because it is one of the few shows that deal with substance abuse in a very careful manner with Zendaya portraying the character, Rue Bennett that has been battling substance abuse. When it comes to such a vast and dark topic, the audience usually looks up to the soundtrack that goes perfectly with the genre and the entire vibe of the show and that's where Labrinth steps in. With such an exceptional star cast and their acting on-screen, Labrinth’s atmospheric, genre-twisting music just adds more to the dark and twisted drama. The musician earned an Emmy Award in 2020 for his outstanding music composition and lyrics for season one.
Labrinth said, “The music’s not over for people, and I think that’s what we figured out in the show. As soon as Season 2 came out, the first score was, like, in the charts.” In a world where everyone is sort of addicted to reels and using the music composition from season one, Labrinth and Sam decided to use some of the songs from season one for season two as well like ‘Nate Growing Up’, and ‘All for Us’. The songwriter said, “I actually remade music for the whole show, like I was doing different cues and stuff, but it just kind of felt like it was okay for this music to be there. We’re not over it, and I feel like the audience isn’t either.”
Labrinth also makes a cameo in season two in the most iconic way one can imagine. One of the most iconic scenes in season two according to the audience was when Rue enters her dream after being lucid on drugs she had been consuming, she yearns for her father and finds herself in a church and Labrinth appears as her father and is singing ‘I’m Tired’, a gospel-inspired song that he wrote with Zendaya and Sam Levinson. Talking about the cameo, Labrinth revealed that it was his manager Adam Leber’s idea to Sam Levinson before the trio even wrote the song. He said, “I think [Sam] just loved merging those two worlds and to be like, ‘Here’s the music appearing in the physical form. It [was] just kind of impulsive and Sam was like, ‘Okay cool, I’m going to record you in two days. We’ve gotta get the song ready for that time.'” Labrinth and Sam consulted the actress while writing the song since it was going to be filmed for her character in a way.
Labrinth shared, “She (Zendaya) was like, ‘Check out this scene, this is what we’re talking about.’ Then I [sang], ‘Hey Lord, you know I’m tired.’ And then she was like, ‘Oh shit!’ And we just started writing the song. It was all of that impulsive inspiration, you know? And then being in the scene, I was like, ‘I haven’t performed for a while and I’ve not been on American TV before or been an actor “Before — oh shit, what do I do?’ I [was] like, just be in the moment. And I know what Rue’s character is going through, so I was like, ‘Zone in and let go of your issues.'”
Just like everyone else, the musician also further describes how Sam Levinson desires to see the rawness of an individual on-screen and that’s why he was just directed to sing the gospel-inspired song rather than act. Labrinth went ahead and praised the creator for the creative freedom he provides for the people working with him. He admitted, “The main approach with most of the music on the show is Sam is like, ‘Lab, just make what the fuck you’re making. Don’t let no one get in the way of what you’re making, just do what you do.’ It’s like he’s going to a record shop, and I’m the record shop. Especially being in the music industry, sometimes you can feel pushed to do something that people are expecting to hear, whereas Sam’s just like, ‘I want to hear the weirdest shit in your hard drive.'”
Labrinth lastly added, “We’re all going to the edge of what we can get in our fields. We all spiritually, creatively and personally understand each other.”