Theophilus London at SXSW: Austin, TX 3:17pm 03.17.12

I first heard about Theophilus London from my friend Michelle at Warner who told me he was going to be the next big thing. The hip-hop style mixed with the indie vibe and the “I’m on the block like I’m 8 feet tall” swag is a pretty sweet formula for success in music these days. The first time I heard him was on the roof at Soho House and I immediately thought, “this guy is the real deal.”

We’ve gotten to know TL and his manager Jordan and they’re even cooler than you would imagine. We shot TL for 50 Most Stylish New Yorkers and he even DJ’d our party to celebrate the feature at Catch.

The thing I love about Theophilus is that he is a real rockstar. There are a lot of musicians who are just regular people with extraordinary talent and become celebrities. A lot of times they’re never really fully comfortable with the stardom and can come off as disingenuous trying to be someone they’re not or just go off the deep end because they are blinded by the bright lights. And then there are the very few that are just born rockstars. Whether they ever got famous or not, they were always going to have celebrity swag. TL is that kind of rockstar, he was just born with it.

Here’s the punchline. At SXSW this year I was hanging with Leandra and the Danni in DanniJo and met up with Jordan and the crew who took us backstage to watch TL do his thing for a crowd that was amped up to see what all the hype was about. Security was only borderline skeptical to see us 3 white, Jewish kids roll in with the guys and multiple times different bouncers told us we couldn’t be backstage. After seeing this movie once or twice in my career, I got Jordan’s attention on stage who let security know we were good, and security was only borderline shocked that the white kids in the DIY denim shorts actually were with the band 🙂

Side Note: Make sure you watch the video all the way through to see Theophilus use the stage as a jungle gym and get the crowd going crazy like only a real rockstar can.