Sara Quin on her love of hip-hop and performing on Letterman with Theophilus London tonight


Sara Quin might be used to sharing the stage with her twin sister Tegan, but tonight she’ll be singing a different tune on The Late Show With David Letterman. Sara will be joining MC Theophilus London to perform their song “Why Even Try?” which was released a few weeks ago. The track is hot, so the performance will likely follow suit. Sara told us about how psyched she was to meet Theophilus for the first time, which wasn’t until they got together this week to rehearse.

We’ll have Part 2 of this interview with Sara Quin coming up later this week, where we’ll talk about graphic novels and her recent stint on Canada Reads. How did you start working with Theophilus London?

Sara Quin:
I was contacted by people working on his project at Warner! I was thrilled, and immediately felt excited about “Why Even Try?”. Truthfully, I thought it was so good on its own I had trouble figuring out how not to ruin it with my ideas!

AE: Have you always loved hip-hop or is this something that you started getting into the last couple years?

I feel like I grew up with a lot of hip hop around me, but really only started to get into it in the past ten years. Its always provided a great palette cleanser to what we do. I always find myself chasing the pop and hip world’s tail. I think I’ve experienced the voice in hip-hop as being free to say anything and not get weighed down trying to be vague or too clever. I also love the hooks and the evolution of melodies!

AE: What are the main differences between hip-hop and indie music?

I think the easiest difference for me to relate to my own band/process etc. is the straightforward and passionate lyrics that don’t hide from controversy and hooks/melodies that aren’t afraid to be ear candy. I don’t feel like hip-hop is subtle and often what we’re most afraid to do (stand out, have confidence, etc.) seems to be fully accepted in hip-hop.

AE: When Hayley Williams and B.O.B. collaborated on this summer’s Airplanes release they didn’t meet until the MTV awards, have you ever met Theophilus London and what was the process of this collaboration like?

I [hadn’t] met Theophilus! The collaboration was mostly done via email. And in the studio I worked with the tracks producer Ariel Rechtshaid.

AE: Is there going to be a music video in the works?

I haven’t hear any plans for one, but I’d be happy to! I really feel like its a great opportunity for me to leave the safety and comfort of Tegan and Sara, but also the genre I’ve become so used to!

AE: You are performing on Letterman with Theophilus London tonight. I know you’ve performed live without Tegan before (with The Reason, Fences etc.) but it’s been a while and what is it like performing without the person you have performed with your whole life?

I find myself wanting that challenge more and more. I like to think that I can stand on my own as an individual and as a solo artist. But, it also reinforces what I love about Tegan and Sara! I think its exciting to be able to do both!

Catch Sara and Theophilus London tonight on on The Late Show With David Letterman (CBS) 11:35 PM EST.

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