PUBLISHED IN ISSUE 16
INTERVIEW BY JESSICA CANJE
PHOTOS BY VULGARTEEN
One day LA Timpa came to a fork in the road and saw a white-haired, purple-eyed unicorn beside a tall standing tree. “Which road should I take?” he asked. “Where do you want to go?” The charming unicorn replied. “I’m following where my instincts lead me,” said LA Timpa.
Since the release of his debut EP, ANIMAL, back in 2016, LA Timpa has continued to blur lines between musical genres. The artist projects gender non-conformity, and continues to grow everyday by refusing to be put into a box. After the release of the critically acclaimed ANIMAL, LA Timpa took to the stage and performed alongside former Hype Williams member, Inga Copeland and Xiu Xiu. As he begins a new adventure, branching off from music to other creative platforms, I spoke to LA Timpa for a brief moment to uncover his unconventional views. Step into the world of the artist, as we discuss his new solo journey, fashion, and HELLSPEED.
Your portrait as an artist is very mysterious. Tell us more about the place you’re from, East Pajdera?
East Pajdera is a creative hub that I’ve created, a creative world, where everything LA Timpa exists. Everything comes from East Pajdera.
So do people from East Pajdera speak your language?
No, not all.
Let’s talk about animal language. Where does it come from? What does it mean to you?
I’d rather not talk too much about it, but I’m in the process of developing and changing it. It’s based off the English language and it’s inspired by the creation of languages around the world, whether Yoruba or English, someone had to put that together and I find that so creative. Whoever makes up words is super creative and imaginative.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on HELLSPEED, an audio/visual project.
With the release of an EP there’s usually a follow-up with some live shows. How has the performing experience been for you?
It’s pretty interesting because the only songs that I performed are from the EP, which kind of gets frustrating at a certain point because I want to get back in the zone of creating new music while working on my stage presence. It’s kind of being caught between creating new content to perform and still feeling like I have to perform ANIMAL, which gets tedious and boring. Overall the live element is very interesting, it’s a work in progress, it’s a beautiful process.
How do you visualize the record before you make it?
A lot of concepts are derived from a word. Me thinking about a word or hearing a word, and it just stands out in my head. I guess that’s a part of being a writer. It’s really just based off of words for me. Visually it follows and goes on with the process of actually making the music and the sonics, and what feel I want it to be. A lot of times I have the track listing already before I even make the project. Or I visually compile images that I’ve taken or photos from the Internet or anything that feels like it could go towards a project. Like making a mood board.
What is your songwriting process like?
It changes depending on where I’m at in terms of creating. If I’m really back in the groove of writing and producing stuff I’m always on it. I produce a beat and write towards it. If I continue to do that I find my writing comes easier.
I typically record a beat or a melody I have into my phone and begin to type in whatever comes to mind.
You’ve recently branched out as a solo artist? Why the sudden move away from any concrete team or collective behind/with LA Timpa?
It’s a restructure within the LA Timpa brand. I feel like every business or artist goes through this in certain periods of their career. At this point, it’s about getting back into controlling everything coming out of LA Timpa. Having all hands within that. I’m not saying I’m not going to work with a team ever again but the process of putting together a team from now on is definitely more selective.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?
I would love to get in a studio with Ariel Pink because I believe he’s a genius.
Have you ever met Ariel Pink?
No, but I’ve seen him and I got this energy of, “wow, you’re a sick guy.”
What are your goals as an artist?
Continue to make statements through these different mediums to impact one boy or girls’ perspective.
Your clothing style has evolved, with more sequins and a tiara here and there. How would you describe your personal style at the moment?
Limitless. At this point it’s all the same to me. Pretty much if I like it I’m going to wear it or if I can picture it in my head or fit it to my being then I’m wearing it. Whether it’s a tutu or black jeans.
Any fashion designers you’d like to work with?
Off the top of my head, Shayne Oliver from HOOD BY AIR. They’re doing crazy things right now. We are two entities that understand a common thing and there is something I could bring to them that would enhance the brand in an interesting way.
What is the biggest challenge you currently face as an artist?
How do you try and work around that?
Just do it. Sounds cliché but at the end of the day it’s what you feed off of. It’s what makes you happy. It builds my confidence. Creating is one of the biggest confidence builders, at least for me. You knowing you’re holding a sick ass song, there’s nothing better than that. An amazing project, that’s so cool to me, makes me happy.
What do you wish people understood more about you?
Let me be me.
© 2017 The Editorial Magazine