‘Euphoria’ Composer Labrinth Breaks His Silence on ‘Elliot’s Song’ Controversy


Euphoria received twice as many Emmy Award nominations for Season 2 than Season 1, ahead of the 2022 awards. A number of Season 2 stars – Sydney Sweeney, Colman Domingo, Martha Kelly – earned their first nominations at Emmy Awards. The frequently controversial and incredibly popular series even landed a nomination for Best Drama.

But some of Euphoria people have been enjoying the praise since the show started. Alongside Zendaya, who became the youngest lead actress in a drama when she won two years ago, series composer Labrinth collected Emmy nominations, critical acclaim and social media fan cams since the very beginning of the series premiere in 2019.

Labrinth was one of three people to win an Emmy for Season 1 (alongside Zendaya and the show’s makeup team), taking home the trophy for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for her song “All For Us “. The musician earned two more names in the same category this year: one for “I’m Tired,” which he shares with Zendaya and series creator Sam Levinson, as well as a nod for “Elliot’s Song. “, shared with Zendaya and Labrinth’s. wife, Muzhda Zemar-McKenzie.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty

Although “I’m Tired” was well received by fans of the show, especially since Lab made an appearance in the scene, this last track was the subject of much controversy. Airing in the midst of a tense finale, “Elliot’s Song” was raked over the embers for stealing a handful of minutes from the live action (like Cassie and Maddy’s big fight and the raid on Fezco). But Labrinth won’t take any of the memes shred on the heart song.

“I just think it was super funny,” he told me on a recent Zoom call, with a happy smile. “The public will always let you know when they have an opinion.”

The resounding opinion of his scores and the show’s original music has generally been positive, so the backlash has been a bit of a twist for Lab. Still, “Elliot’s Song” was nominated for an Emmy, so how terrible can that really be?

The musician, who is currently awaiting news from Euphoria Season 3 and Working on his next solo album in the meantime, sat down with The Daily Beast to talk about his two Emmy-nominated tracks, Sam Levinson’s craziest request and his new single “Lift Off.”

Congratulations on your two new Emmy nominations! What was your reaction to their announcement?

My reaction was like “Ugh, again?!” No just kidding. To imagine [if I was] just like, “Really?” No, I was really happy, and I was excited this time because my wife was also nominated with me on one of those names. I love doing it as a family. Then, too, Zendaya is an amazing talent and we love working with her too. It looks like a family affair.

What was it like working with your wife on a song?

It was really wonderful. It was moving. We like to write things together. We haven’t done much together, but my family is pretty creative. My two kids – I have a three-year-old and a one-year-old – also love jumping to my songs. Even if they are not welcome! I’m going to sing and all of a sudden my daughter says, “Give me the mic.

She will be the next Emmy-nominated member of your family.

It’s the right one.

Can you walk me through the process of producing the first of your Emmy nominated songs, “I’m Tired”?

“I’m Tired” is gospel-inspired, of course. Two sides of the gospel: Catholic and Pentecostal styles. Choral energy. Organs. I wanted that energy to be found in the records. It would be like Kirk Franklin with ancient Gregorian chants. Early choral music is what I had in mind. Then I had Queen in my head, Nat King Cole and Kanye.

It was a mix of lots of different people. The concept of the song was based on what was going on inside [of Rue’s head]. Then you see what happens in the story. She comes to the breaking point, “I have to do something about this, otherwise I’m not going to make it to tomorrow.” This is what we must do. Zendaya sat in the studio with me and we tried to work out what needed to be said for Rue’s experience.

You also made an appearance in the “I’m tired” scene, which I loved.

I photo-bombed! There I am in the background.

How do you think that affected how this song played for audiences?

It was wild. Especially a lot of people who were fans of me and fans of the show since the first season, they were like, “I know this guy!” People really knew my face. He combined these worlds. You have Sam filming me and Zendaya kissing, we’re singing a song that we all wrote – it was quite emotional and poetic, in that we’re all creators involved in the show.

And how about the production on “Elliot’s Song”?

We have the character of Dominic Fike singing on Rue saying, “I’m so sorry I had to ruin our relationship. But I hope it was worth it. That makes you the person you need to become.

The scene in the finale drew backlash online.

It was so funny.

What do you think of this negative reception?

Sometimes you can’t take yourself too seriously. I don’t choose how long songs play [for] in the show. That’s what they chose to do. Working behind the scenes, especially on a show like Euphoria, is strong. Decisions have to be made. Sam, literally, this guy was in every room at once. I don’t know how anyone can do that. I think he made all the decisions he could make in the time he had.

Some people felt [the scene] was too long. I was just like, “Okay, cool!” I love the recorded version of the song, because I felt like Dominic sounded amazing on it. Zendaya and Dominic sound really great together. I really liked putting the song together for this moment.

And he’s now an Emmy nominee, so clearly the public reaction doesn’t matter too much.

I guess it wasn’t too long.

There was a song that didn’t get nominated that I still love, “Yeh I Fuckin’ Did It.”

Dude, this is my song!

How was the production of this one?

Because I’m from the UK, I like Massive Attack, I like Pet Shop Boys and Prodigy. Just crazy production. You know these guys will do some wild stuff. For me, a lot of the production was inspired by them, alongside hip hop and trap. I wanted to kind of blend those vibes together. I just wanted to write a crazy record for Euphoria, because I know that’s the place where I can do it. Sam was very inspired by this gospel stuff. Sometimes I have crazy ideas.

In past interviews on Euphoriayou said sam asked “the weirdest shit on your hard drive.” Is there anything that is too wild for Euphoria?

I tried. It’s really difficult. Sam gave me this challenge, he made me listen to this Nine Inch Nails record, which was completely crazy. Tear off your crazy face, which I love. I was trying to get something that could be that, or something that could stand next to it, but it was just too amazing to get a sample. It was “Mr. Self-destruct.” I love the disc. This one was too crazy in a short time. I’ll have to practice this one.

speaking on Euphoria in general, how did you react to all season 2 reception?

It was super wild, man. I thought the fans of Euphoria were going to be like, “Yeah, we love it.” It’s nice to see that people will show you when they like something, especially in our age when we have social media. They will also call you back when they don’t. This is the reason to stay off social media.

“They will say, “I hate this scene. And you’re like, “Do you know how long it took us to put this thing together? Try to do it yourself.”

There are reasons to stay away.

They will say, “I hate this scene. And you’re like, “Do you know how long it took us to put this thing together? Try to do it yourself.

What goals do you have before season 3?

I have no goals. I do not know. Honestly, I have no idea. I’m just having fun writing this album, and I created music. I do stuff with other films and series. When Sam calls me, if he does, I’ll see what we have for the show. It’s my coffee break.

Tell me a bit about your new album.

It’s me and my wife’s relationship overdone in a graphic novel. “Lift Off” is the first single, and it’s basically born killers in the space. That’s what inspired the record, so that’s literally what the album is.

I love seeing who else you’ve worked with—like beyonce! Is there anyone else you would like to work with? Or other new businesses you want to try?

I will get into everything. I want to score music for a game, a video game. I want to score and write music for Disney, and I want to do something for Marvel. It would be fun.

Oh, Marvel would be fun.

Hey, when I see you next time and I cry, “I have this Marvel project. It was too hard!” Be careful what you wish for.

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