Words & Photos by Finn James (@finnjames.online)
Photographer Finn James caught Louis Culture and PULLEN backstage before supporting Che Lingo on his recent UK tour. Find out what went down and why we hold him in such high regard below.
A key player in the upper echelon of talent that south London has grown & nurtured, Louis Culture proves time and again that he’s not to be underestimated. Armed with a wealthy discography that divulges his individualism, the 24-year-old is a conduit between electronic music & underground rap. After the massive success of 2020’s Smile Soundsystem, I’m not hard-pressed to say I was hugely excited to see the direction he would take next. Staple tracks like 'Part 2' and 'Hannah Says Hi' stood out for their experimental production and raw delivery, and subsequently named the producer/rapper as a one to watch.
2022’s When Life Presents Obstacle was a sonic extension of that same idea, proving Louis as an apt performer, with higher energy tracks like 'Twiss' bringing a new pace. More & more across the UK, genres are blending and BPM’s are following, and it’s almost too perfect that I caught up with Louis & his DJ / Producer Pullen in Bristol of all places. Louis opened the stage for Che Lingo who was touring to celebrate his fantastic new project Coming Up For Air. Cut from the same south-of-the-river cloth, Louis & Che have long been friends, and it was great to see them share the stage at Bristol’s iconic venue The Louisiana.
It’s easy to look at the 'underground' UK rap scene for its chilled nature and high-quality production, but with an outlook like that, you’re only playing yourself. The rise of artists like Louis, Jeshi & Sainté among many others, continues to push the idea that being laid-back and being jumpy are not mutually exclusive qualities for an artist. Their music parallels the busy life of living in the UK, specifically for Louis, living in London. Working, partying, and then relaxing after it all. It’s an idealogy that almost anyone can hear and relate to.
Perhaps more than any other, Louis’ latest track, 'CITY', embodies this to a tee. It comes as the second collaboration between Louis & Canadian producer YAMA//SATO, the mastermind behind Skiifall's 'Ting Tun Up', after last year’s single '7AM'. Just like '7AM', it’s the perfect setting for Louis to pen his tales of darting around London. The track brings the promise of a new body of work, set for release in 2023, which I have no doubt will continue to uphold Louis Culture as one of the most refreshing & exciting artists in UK hip-hop.
You can listen to the new single 'CITY' below, and catch him on the 'I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE U AGAIN’ tour this coming September, across the UK & Europe.