“Together we’ll make history.” Meet South East London art ring, Last Night in Paris
Last Night In Paris like to keep you guessing. They call themselves an arts collective, but primarily they push piffed out, slow-jam hip hop with a bomb of mid nineties R&B crushed into the mix. If you probe to deeply into details of their real names or where they’re all from – they quickly change
the subject. As the clan flood into the basement of Red Bull Studios for their Wonderland shoot hood-clad and late, it’s almost impossible to work out who to chat to first. I file it down to two of the twelve that fork out to pick through the Calvin and Cavalli draped across the space. Jordon Wi-Fi and Tauren Roye – the collective’s co-founders – started reaching out to friends and contacts from their old flat in Sydenham, south east London in 2011. The aim? To start a local-to-SE collective that’s aesthetically consistent across the board: from art direction to music videos, live performances, dress sense, sound, it’s all carefully, lovingly executed and unfinished ’til it’s done.
“They’re all as important as each other,” says Wi-Fi, whose marble-smooth vocals coloured the group’s self-released
June 2013 debut EP, Roses. “We’ve got so many members and people contributing to one idea. Vocalists like KC, Taurean, Collard and Danny Seth and producers Fwdslxsh & MD$ crafting the soundscapes are on the music side of things, but generally we try and keep each medium as high as the other.” Christian Newell – an SE-based graphic artist and painter who now looks after much of the band’s art direction – was contacted on Facebook and asked to join the group. “Christian’s artwork needs to be as good as our music and our music needs as good as our visuals – it’s a good example of how things work here,” Wi-Fi says.
The video for Roses track “Keep You” is an insight into their carefully executed image: the strictly black-bloc guys lollop around a loft bar with its windows boarded. Meanwhile a tender pours a tar-thick dark liquor into a tumbler of vodka, blacking out the glass as Roye slow-raps in a woody timbre. Stunning singer Katya Des-Etages, who joined the now-ex LNIP member Rainy Milo as one of the clan’s few female members, pours it up with the rest from a tan leather bench. As we chat, the group are readying their debut mixtape (set for a May self-release), and are currently rallying attention from the states – it’s big news. “GOOD Music (Kanye West’s label) hit us up and the head of the label flew out to meet us,” he says. Roye remains typically nebulous about the hook-up, though. “We need to attack it at the right time. It needs to be right.”
Group Image: From left to right: KC wears black cotton hoodie by McQ ALEXANDER McQUEEN at matchesfashion.com. Taurean wears black nylon graphic print bomber jacket by GIVENCHY by RICCARDO TISCI, white cotton t-shirt by GAP and black cotton t-shirt, black canvas baseball cap and black denim jeans all model’s own. Christian wears black canvas jacket, white cotton t-shirt, grey cotton trousers, black braces and gold earring all model’s own. Katya wears black leather biker jacket by ALLSAINTS, black ribbed top by JUST CAVALLI, black cotton croptop by CALVIN KLEIN, black cotton jeans by RIVER ISLAND, silver bracelet by MARIA BLACK and watch model’s own. Vonnie wears black nylon bomber jacket by ALL SAINTS. Jordan wears black vintage nylon bomber jacket, black cotton string vest, black vintage baseball cap and black denim jeans all model’s own.
Portraits: Taurean wears white cotton T-shirt By GAP, black cotton baseball cap and gold chain model’s own. Katya wears black ribbed top by JUST CAVALLI, black cotton croptop by CALVIN KLEIN, black cotton jeans by RIVER ISLAND, silver bracelet by MARIA BLACK and watch model’s own. Vonnie wears black nylon bomber jacket by ALL SAINTS. Christian wears black canvas jacket, white cotton t-shirt, grey cotton trousers, black braces and gold earring all model’s own. Grooming and Makeup Daisy Harris-d’Andel using MAC; Fashion Assistance Tamsin Rees.
Photographer: Trinity Ellis
Fashion Editor: Toni-Blaze Ibekwe
Words: Jack Mills