Wonderland.

RAFFERTY LAW

The rising star talks to us about making music beyond genre, and taking on the role of Oliver Twist in a new adaption of the Charles Dickens classic.

Rafferty Law wearing scarf and grey jumper

All clothing Raff’s own LES GIRLS LES BOYS

Rafferty Law wearing scarf and grey jumper
All clothing Raff’s own LES GIRLS LES BOYS

Taken from the Summer 2020 issue. Pre-order now

Rafferty Law is bringing a turbo-charged energy to every creative endeavour he turns his hand to. Releasing his new track “Bad Times” with his band Outer Stella Drive, which is soon to be followed up by their debut project Clout & Self Doubt . We sat down with Law as he opens up about making music beyond genre, and taking on the role of Oliver Twist in a new adaption of the Charles Dickens classic.

It’s three weeks into lockdown in London, and Rafferty Law and I are sitting on the phone in our respective family homes. The streets outside are eerily empty and the world has ground to a halt, but his infectious laughter cuts through the stillness. “It’s so funny, the dynamic of all of us being back in the house together… I caught my brother hiding snacks around the house. I’m not even joking.”

Rafferty Law brushing his teeth
Rafferty Law wearing lying on windows

All clothing Raff’s own LES GIRLS LES BOYS

Rafferty Law brushing his teeth
All clothing Raff’s own LES GIRLS LES BOYS
Rafferty Law wearing lying on windows

It’s obvious that Law has a close relationship with his renowned family, but this past year has been about establishing his name in its own right. Not only did the 23-year-old score his first lead role in the upcoming feature film, Twist, but his band Outer Stella Overdrive are about to release their much-anticipated debut EP.

“Twist was one of the most enjoyable and intense experiences I’ve ever had. It was a whirlwind,” he enthuses. “The script and the cast blew me away. I was like, ‘The pressure is on. I really need to put in the time.’” A modern reimagining of the Charles Dickens classic, the film presented the liberating — and inevitably daunting — the challenge of making the iconic character of Oliver Twist his own. It’s hard to imagine the son of Jude Law and Sadie Frost struggling to feel at ease in the industry, but he tells me that confidence was something he gained throughout the process of filming, and it was the cast’s “great off-set banter” that dispelled his nerves.

Rafferty Law upside down wearing shots and boots

All clothing Raff’s own LES GIRLS LES BOYS

Rafferty Law upside down wearing shots and boots
All clothing Raff’s own LES GIRLS LES BOYS

For the multi-hyphenate, music was central to the process of character-building. Law and his acting coach split the character into five different personalities with a song attached to each: melancholic string music for the timid Twist we see at the beginning, and Rage Against the Machine to get fired up for the final chase scenes. “Throughout the film, Twist really grows into a confident hero…” He pauses for a moment, and I can’t help but wonder whether he is drawing a mental comparison with his own personal journey.

Growing up at the epicentre of British film royalty, Law has fought hard to forge his own path. “I think there have been advantages and disadvantages to it,” he tells me, reflecting on his parents’ notoriety. “I’ve always focused on pursuing the things I love and proving to people that I’m hardworking.” Throughout our conversation, it’s glaringly obvious that he operates with genuine humility and tenacity, and while he might have inherited his parents’ platform, it’s his work that will earn him his own. “I’m just really excited for Twist to come out. I want it to speak for itself,” he insists. “And the same with my music.”

Indeed, fronted by Law, Outer Stella Overdrive are defying genre in every way possible. “I’ve listened to every genre under the sun. For me, it’s not about genre; it’s about whether a song speaks to you or not,” he explains. “I would probably describe it as modern-day street punk…” He hesitates, struggling to find the words to encapsulate the band’s myriad of sounds. “Mix Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rage Against the Machine and Beastie Boys. We come with a lot of energy and attitude.”

Rafferty Law with friends by the lake

All clothing Raff’s own LES GIRLS LES BOYS

Rafferty Law with friends by the lake
All clothing Raff’s own LES GIRLS LES BOYS

Outer Stella Overdrive’s upcoming EP is a collation of everything they have been working on over the past two years. Lyrically they explore issues from social media to masculinity and mental health — songs with deep and important meanings, “but at the same time it’s quite playful.” The result is a series of cathartic tracks that make you want to get up and dance whilst belting your heart out. “We’re trying to create music that encourages you to have a voice, reach out and fulfil your potential,” Law tells me, a message his mother instilled in him growing up. “She goes out of her way to reach out to people [and] she’s always encouraged me to find my own path. Her kindness to everyone is something that I’ve grown up admiring and wanting to replicate.”

With the next steps on his own path firmly pinned for success, I’m eager to know how Law hopes his career will unfold, and what he wants his own mark to stand for in the creative realm. “I want to seize every opportunity I can,” he asserts, self-assured. Musically, he dreams of touring the world. In film, there’s a new project in the pipeline, but his lips are sealed. Law has the palpable energy of someone who can’t quite believe what’s happening, with excitement that’s infectious. But he isn’t getting carried away with the buzz around him in the slightest. “I want to be remembered for hard work, he decides, and, echoing his admiration for his mother, “kindness as well.”

Photography
Sadie Frost
Words
Anya Cooper
RAFFERTY LAW