British Ghanaian Larry B, one-third of London's liveliest party PDA, might be better known as a DJ and producer, but the gender defying 26-year-old has recently begun to experiment as a singer too. Hit It Right, a dreamily weird offering that floats through space and time without a care in the world, marks Larry's first foray into standing firmly in front of the mic. Describing his current EP as a mixture of "melancholia and grown nursery rhymes," London's most colourful character recently shot a live video, High Song 101 for NTS on the Aylesbury estate in Elephant & Castle. Why? Because he's Larry B, bitch, and he wanted to show that estates are sometimes sad, but not always. "It's more self help-y if anything. Helpful to me, hopefully helpful for you too," he muses.
Today Larry premieres Hit It Right on i-D; directed by another third of PDA, Akinola Davies Jr., who has also lensed lovely shorts for Klein and Kenzo. The video is set on the pitch during that crucial moment of the free kick. "I'm basically trying hit the ball right," explains Larry. "Akinola did a really good job in elongating what usually is quite a quick moment in a football game and intensifying it." Larry's crew doesn't appear to be the most naturally talented team, is that fair to say? "Obviously only a few, if any, of the people in the video have even touched a football in the last however many years so it was actually really all about us getting together, dressing up, Virginie (the hairstylist) and I wig shopping, eating jollof rice in the park and of course, Jason in Mischa's (the ultimate stylist and final part of PDA) thigh high boots," Larry laughs.
Press play on Hit It Right and read a few words from Larry, below, about his making the move to full-blown musician.
Why did it feel like the right time to be releasing your own music?
I have been DJing since like 2011, and only really began making my own beats in May 2014. It didn't take long before I began adding vocals to the instrumentals that I had made. Although I wasn't happy with the results then, I knew it was a direction I'd take, but I had to wait until what I was making matched what I wanted to make in my mind. It took two years. Then another. This is the right time because I had missed the right time ages ago in my mind.
When did you write Hit It Right?
I wrote it early last year, around March/April maybe. It happened pretty quickly. I'd agreed to perform a few of my songs live, I've no idea why, I really wasn't ready, but a few nights before the actual date I was sat in my room, on the old Aylesbury Estate where I've made pretty much all my music. I was sat, probably in the dark, feeling terrible about how I didn't have enough music of my own to perform. So, I tried my luck at making a song, really quickly. I managed to make the instrumental pretty fast and freestyled a good deal of the songs lyrics before going back and transcribing.
What's the song about?
I guess it's about me trying to get something right. Really it's about me just trying to hit the song right, make a good song. Most of my songs come from a specific place, a feeling. That feeling is generally frustration and I'm often just having a conversation with myself in my music.
Text Lynette Nylander
Photography Nwaka Okparaeke