Lakeith Stanfield Teases Childish Gambino Collab, Says His New Music Is ‘Self-Therapy’
Lakeith Stanfield is one of Hollywood’s most sought after Black actors right now, coming off of the success of “Get Out;” “Atlanta;” and his most recent film, “The Photograph.” But, he’s setting out on a new journey of self-expression by releasing his first single, “Fast Life.” Lakeith talked music, what COVID-19 is teaching him about himself, and creating with GQ.
On what he’s listening to during the nationwide coronavirus quarantine:
“I’ve been listening to a lot of instrumental music, getting into a vibe…I walked into Costco the other day—why, I have no idea—and it was so heavily populated. As soon as I walked in, this woman coughed. And everyone turned around. It’s like, yo, you can’t cough no more!…I was playing ‘The Walking Dead’s’ theme song. It’s kind of funny when you ride through the streets and it looks so post-apocalyptic. It kind of just calms you.”
Lakeith Stanfield says he wants to explore creating many different forms of art:
“At some point, I’d like to create multi-media type things. I just like creating. You give me a camera, we’re going to make a movie. You give me a mic, we’re going to make some music. You give me confetti, we’re going to start a party. You give me corona…No, but on a larger platform, I want to start telling stories that I haven’t seen being told and giving opportunities to people who don’t have a voice. There’s a lot of talent out there. Most of the talent is in jail. The people who don’t get heard have the biggest stories. And I really want to speak for the kids. Little Black kids who I can relate to, because that’s where I come from.”
The actor talks his new single, “Fast Life,” and the themes of his music – released under the name, Htiekal (which is his first name spelled backwards):
“[My album, ‘Self Control,’ is] about struggling and striving and getting through the harder times—and coming out on the other side with some hope…It’s basically a journey of me coming from nothing, moving into Hollywood, into a whole other type of darkness, and having to adjust to the loss and pain that comes along with that. I wrote about one of the people who was very close to me who is no longer with me anymore. I feel like I have to be vulnerable about these things so I can grow. And hopefully that’ll inspire other people to do some self-therapy. Face your demons and the real things you’re going through. Sometimes I try to walk through life without letting the trauma of my past affect me. But sometimes it still does. This is about how you get through moments like that.”
On if he’ll ever collaborate on music with his “Atlanta” castmate, Donald “Childish Gambino” Glover:
“You’ll have to keep your eyes peeled to see…I was just talking to him about his album. I told him his album was fire as hell.”
LaKeith says he immediately noticed the new attention that fame brought him:
“I think when ‘Get Out’ came out I started to feel like, ‘Okay, this is some other type sh*t.’ I started to realize that it wasn’t rooted in nothing. It was a surface level thing. A lot of people see things and think they’re attracted to an idea of you, and it has nothing to do with the many layers of who you actually are. When you look into somebody’s eyes you can tell what they’re looking at. Are they looking at a human or an idea? And when you get A-list, you realize it’s oftentimes more of an idea. And then the ones who are genuine and actually appreciate your work, you can tell the difference. Those are the ones you get real respect for.”
On how he’s dealing with self-isolation amid the coronavirus:
“I’ve been quite alright. I’ve been using the opportunity to just do a little bit of self-reflection. I’m having some fun with it, not giving into the hype and the fear of it all. Just using it as an opportunity to do some things I haven’t been doing much of, like cooking, internal dialogues with myself, working on music, being inspired by the hysteria in a strange way, and just talking to the people who I’m close to. In the normal hustle and bustle of the day, I would usually never have time to speak to them. Now I’m on the phone with loved ones and stuff like that…But I’ve also been thinking about how many people don’t have that luxury and can’t use this time like that and who are panicking. It’s made me think of the state of affairs in our society at large, how greedy we’ve been and how greedy we can be.”
What do you think of Lakeith Stanfield’s musical debut? Let us know in the comments.
Written by Miata Shanay