“When you’re young and you wanna do music, you don’t really think, ‘What’s my art direction? What’s my vision here?’” Last Night in Paris are pretty unusual twentyish-year-olds, then. When Clash chats to Jordon and Tee on a Thursday afternoon, they’re talking calmly about having shot six videos in the last two days, and needing to edit them all by tomorrow. They’re not just a music group: they’re an art collective - who do have a vision, and a clear one at that.
“We decided - about a year-and-a-half ago - to start documenting, start creating things outside of school,” the pair explain. The group’s nine core members - Josh Collard, Jaja, KC, Serb, Flowzart, Danny, Zach, Jordon and Tee - act as A&Rs, constantly scouring out fresh talent to join the family. “There’s always ones that we’re training, our apprentices.”
And there’s all sorts of D.I.Y going on. Each member dabbles and stars in projects in turn - some as singers, some as rappers and some producers. Tee points at Jordon, laughing about how he doesn’t know how to use Final Cut properly, but goes on to add: “We don’t have backgrounds in technical things but we’ve got a mindset. We’ll watch tutorials and videos with huge budgets for hours. All the producers taught themselves how to use Logic and Pro Tools and stuff, they just sat down and worked it out.”
But as a young collective, are they the UK’s answer to Odd Future? “We’re not as extreme,” they respond. A better stylistic comparison might be to The Weeknd’s late-night flow, all pared-down murmuring and slow-mo rap. “We like to say we’re high-end, high fashion.”
They like to drip-feed their work to fans - you have to rummage deep in cyberspace to watch their three visuals. But it’s worth the hunt. In glossy video ‘002’ the gang pour jet-black liquid into glasses and Tee widens huge, blacked-out eyes. Even finding their webpage is a treasure trail in itself - Google it and you’ll end up in a black hole of a domain... but a deeper search will lead you to the gold. And what a gem it is - a collage of images of them partying at jewel-ceilinged club Jalouse, hanging out with astonishingly beautiful women. It’s not so much Last Night In Paris’s tantalising release of their work that provides intrigue - it’s their lifestyle.
Words: Felicity Martin
Photography: Neil Bedford
Where: South East London
What: Dreamy, afterparty R&B, slow-mo rap
Get 3 Songs: ‘Keep You’, ‘Breathe’, ‘Too Many Stars’
Unique Fact: The collective found one of their current producers in their email junk folder. A&Rs listen up.