Sarah J. Edwards and Sally A. Edwards journey to Paris to spend a day with Laurent and Larry Bourgeois aka Les Twins to discuss the highs and lows of being identical twins.
The duos discover similar experiences of body shaming and body consciousness, playground nicknames, public approach, comedy timing and the hardest part of life as twins.
The original story was first published in BLAG Vol. 3 Nø 5 print edition in 2015, this is an edited version.
Photography and Interview by Sarah J. Edwards
Art Direction by Sally A. Edwards
Styling by Sally A. Edwards, Sarah J. Edwards, Laurent Bourgeois and Larry Bourgeois
Location: Hotel Marignan, Paris.
Sally, Sarah & Les Twins On Why Twins Argue Better Than Anyone Else
On December 6th 1988, in Sarcelles, Paris, France, Les Twins were born; at 6.44am Laurent Nicolas Bourgeois and at 6.46am Larry Nicolas Bourgeois. In just five short months the babies developed accelerated walking abilities – 10 months ahead of the average new tiny human. Aged only nine years, the boys owned enviable self-taught dance skills, loosely influenced by b-boying, popping and locking, contrasted with ballet. Today their now infamous and original techniques are ever-evolving. Larry and Laurent’s journey so far reads like a checked off wish list: Perform on the streets of Paris and Times Square in New York. Collaborate with Alicia Keys, Missy Elliot, Beyonce and Jay Z. Travel the world. Perform in front of thousands. Make it on international TV. Continue to partake in battles. Put their own Criminalz Crew on the map. Gain mutual respect from some of hip hop’s most notable talents. Sign with Next, shoot with Mario Sorrenti for Vogue Paris, become faces of Rocawear, YSL, Eleven Paris and Hogan. And that’s just for breakfast.
Having carved out an incomparable style on and offstage, Les Twins are a pretty dangerous force to be reckoned with. Consider the following: on their own terms Laurent and Larry consistently compete against one another, in turn nailing performances which frequently label them “the world’s best...” all vastly and eclectically sound tracked, for example, by Public Enemy’s Don’t Believe The Hype, Wu Tang’s C.R.E.A.M, Gang Starr’s You Know My Steez, Hova’s Somewhere In America to Disclosure, James Blake, James Brown and George Michael - more on this below. They’ve had the chance to gain up-close insight from some of music’s MVPs and share their artistry with students, who fuel off their choreography at the intimate workshops they teach at around the globe – a testament to their passion.
On July 28th at 11.46am in Devon, England Sally A. Edwards was born, at 11.48am it was my turn. Aged four we had advanced drawing skills and were impersonating celebrities. By six further got into art and photography, swam and ran for the county by 11. Secretly set up BLAG as a fanzine behind strict parents backs. Left home with £20. Shot with Rankin, GQ, Vogue and Corinne Day - ended up on an iconic record sleeve billboarded across the world. A stint in the music industry each. Worked out on the road with Beastie Boys. Made BLAG an international glossy. Secured a book deal. Tag team DJ’d for Pharrell Williams, Red Hot Chili Peppers and James Brown. DJ’d a block-style party with Public Enemy. Curated, Executive Produced and Directed Mercedes Benz very first global music project. We’ve got more up our sleeves too.
As twins who regularly work together, Sally and I are used to an additional – often humorous – navigation through life, as it provokes a naturally no holds barred inquisitiveness. Stares and pointing, vocalized observations or concern when we aren’t together – no fret, it’s frequent. There’s figuring how to answer remarkably personal questions from perfect strangers and learning to take peculiar comments with a pinch of salt. I do often wonder why I’m yet to nail my comedy timing back. Life as a twin is great. Defining your individuality is rarely an issue and not particularly knowing what each other are thinking, means endless unpredictable chats. You’re born with one of the best friends you could ask for and getting called by your own name is a delight.
With all these experiences, one thing I’ve learnt is to heavily lean on my instincts and listen to my intuition, what my gut is telling me. That feeling for direction is vital when you’re going by your own rules and gunning for goals.
While creating recently, I was thinking about where hip hop is at and amongst other artists, Les Twins came into my head. I headed to YouTube and landed on their first Google hangout. It was the only time I’d watched Larry and Laurent talking, I was intrigued and it gave me a fresh view of being a twin. I saw a synergy and recognized Sally and I when watching their dynamic; support often through humour or teasing, annoying or surprising each other. I got really curious about how they handle some of the aforementioned situations exclusive to twins, because sometimes you’re kind of out there on your own, just you and your double. It’s no secret though, there’s something we’re all very good at, fighting with and for each other.
It’s a warm and sunny day in Paris, Sally and I have set up base at the beautiful Hotel Marignan located on a quiet street by Champs Élysées. The hotel is the ideal canvas for this photoshoot; a natural environment, inconspicuous, spacious and laid back for two 6’4” performers. Before we knew it, we had somewhat overrun the mellow hum of the streets below, all five huge French windows thrown wide open, revealing a gorgeously sun lit street, warm city air breezing in, music and laughter drifting out turning heads of passers by. Our set up worked brilliantly, because it’s not a typical hotel. The clean design and breathable flow between the rooms meant we could create a story with the relaxed and real shots we wanted. The mission to secure such a venue wasn’t easy, we couldn’t have asked for more and it was through supportive friends and friends of friends we found a home there for the weekend, all of whom we are entirely grateful to.
At just before noon, looking down along rue de Marignan, I spot Laurent gliding towards the hotel balanced on his Solowheel, “Morning!” I call down from the window to him, he looks up grinning, “Hey!”
Moments later inside, shy at first, Laurent is complimenting BLAG in a surprising way, as he turns the pages, his excitement grows seeing more and more actors and musicians he appreciates. Immediately, I’m slightly cautious. We all know flattery will get you everywhere, it’s a simple route to a position of advantage. Passionate and real reigns supreme in our books – so I verbally nudge him, “Really?”
He bursts out “Yes!” and in the process confesses goosebumps at seeing the photography, showing off cutis anserina. You can’t make that up.
Having made a more subtle entrance Larry is now in the building, everyone is sitting around the circular sofa and there’s a relaxed, lively energy. Larry’s equally as upbeat and animated, “That’s my motherfucker!” he exclaims as James McAvoy’s BLAG cover catches his eye, as are Andrew Garfield and Game. It’s not long before several conversations are happening at once and we find ourselves spending the afternoon talking non- stop with laughter on repeat.
To create a genuine collaboration between the four of us, we worked together on styling, photography set ups, pictures and edits – additional props to Larry for his t-shirt customizing dexterity. Les Twins are totally au fait with English having learnt road hard over the past few years and even drop a few impersonations of our accents. Just as we begin shooting, Laurent stops the music and puts on George Micheal’s 1984 ballad ‘Careless Whisper’ and waxes lyrical about his voice, later they will use the track to open their World Of Dance performances. In fact throughout the afternoon Larry and Laurent make subtle exchanges to each other noting ideas, which figures how they consistently bring new creativity considering their jam packed travel schedule. It’s spending time with them you realise they’re kind of a dream team; tenacious, charismatic and great company off-the-bat. They bring a juxtaposition I like – they’re humour driven, open minded, style conscious, with a touch of rebellion, hip hop roots and eclecticism.
By pooling their experiences, creativity, resources and self-made standards, it’ll be exciting to see how these two go getters expand their creative oeuvre as artists... Now. Ready for some twin chat?
After our shoot, Larry, Laurent, Sally and I are now seated together outside on the penthouse terrace. Here’s what happened...
Sarah: My observations were that we have some similarities and I got really intrigued, so that’s why I reached out to you.
Laurent: How should I be looking, at you, there? [Turns head in several directions]
Larry: You look wherever you want.
Sarah: [Smiling] Well, it’s usually polite to look at who you’re speaking to. [Laughs]
Laurent: I guess, yeah. [Pauses] Sometimes.
Sarah: [Laughing] Brilliant. Ok, can you, introduce each other including best traits, most noticeable habit and move you wish you nailed first?
~I’m totally happy to confess, having literally put my cameras down, I did completely spoil asking the question.
Larry: It’s funny, your question. [Adopts robot voice] You. Sound. Like. A. Robot. Can. You. Stop. Reading. And. Ask. Me. The. Question. Again.
Sarah: [Laughing] Can you introduce yourselves with most noticeable habit...
Laurent: This is Larry.
Sarah: [Laughs] And the move Larry nailed that you wish you did.
Laurent: [Looking straight at Larry] I don’t even know.
Laurent: [With arms straight forward and palms open, smiling] But this is Larry.
Sarah: Ok, Larry’s most noticeable habit.
Laurent: [Laughs and looks to the ground, while Larry looks straight faced] Moves?
Sarah: [Smiling] Yes, or just a habit.
Laurent: [Smiling] Ah, no. Not that one! [Laughs] He has many moves though. [Pauses] Oh! [Shakes head around multiple times]
Sarah: [Smiling to Larry] Yes?
Larry blows a raspberry.
Everyone laughs except Larry, who continues with a subtle smile, as if to say, I can take whatever you say.
Sarah: [Smiling to Larry] Ok, your turn.
Larry: Laurent, he do like, [pauses with eyes closed and hand over mouth, faces Laurent] something you do all the time? And I forget it [laughs, with his head in his hand] Ah wait! This, this. [Leans down and shakes head while rubbing hands on his hair, laughing] Every time!
Laurent: [Smiling] Ah man! Come on man! You cannot. That’s kind of copying me, man.
Larry: [Laughing] No! You do that every time! Every time! [Demonstrates again]
Laurent: That guy...
Larry: That’s what you’re doing.
Sarah: I noticed and love that you both push up your sleeves, right? Do you think it’s characteristic because you work hard, we see it a lot in people?
Laurent: No. It’s...
Sarah: I know that it’s also a style thing too but...
Laurent: No, no, it’s... I’ve been covering my body so much, before. [Pauses] Because, I’m like... I’m skinny though. So no matter what the weather was like outside, I’d always have a jacket on or sweatshirt or stuff like that. And [pauses] you know, right now we kind of don’t give a fly about what people think.
Laurent: We just want to show our bodies. And the fact right now, that we’re in the fashion world, people keep saying that we have perfect bodies, or we’re beautiful or whatever. I’ll take that compliment, not too much, but I’m like, ‘Why am I covering my body that much?’ So, right now, I’m like [pushes up t-shirt sleeves] ‘Oh fuck it. That’s me.’
Sarah: Yeah, yeah, I can get with that.
Laurent: Definitely. It was an issue for me. Like, it was my only issue in my life. I was so skinny, I was like, ‘Oh my god, I want to get fat.’
Sarah: Yeah, I used to wear baggy clothes and always wore extra tops tied around my waist or over my shoulders to try and cover everything up.
Laurent: But for a women, they’re always trying to be skinny, not fat.
Sarah: Yeah, I know. But you still get loads of aggro if you’re skinny.
Larry: I get you.
FIGHT MEANS LOVE
Sarah: Which moves have you done that you really shock each other with? Is there a move that either of you do, where you’re like, ‘Urgh, don’t hurt yourself?’
Larry: Oh, we hurt ourselves every time. Every move.
Laurent: Every time, you can tell - points to wounded elbow.
Sarah: I did see that.
Laurent: [Points to knee] This, [and to waist] oh, I’m not going to show you that, you don’t want to see it.
Laurent: But you can tell everything is always recent. So, we don’t really pay attention to it. We never hurt anyone [other] than us. I’m always hurting myself.
Sarah: What do you think is the biggest difference between you that goes unnoticed? Sally and I will have times where people will be say, ‘You’re exactly the same!’ and it’s like, ‘Well. No.’
Laurent: [Laughing] Yeah!
Sally: I just think, well, you don’t know us.
Laurent: Well, I think that the people who don’t know about that, they will never know. Even if you find someone exactly alike or someone who dances like them, or speaks like them, or [if] they look really alike, because there’s a lot of people who look alike and they don’t even know each other or whatever. Well, they don’t have the connection that we have naturally as a twin. It’s like people want to be the same, it’s like, ‘Oh my god...’ That’s the thing that’s beautiful with twins, it’s that we don’t look for ourselves in anybody [else] because we already have a twin. They might be trying to look for themselves on a bottle or a teddy bear or like, ‘Oh my god, that’s my thing,’ we don’t need that.
Sarah: Wow, I’ve never thought about that. It’s really interesting spending time with you, because I don’t think about the fact you’re twins. At all. People say that to us after a while. I can tell that you have that bond...
Laurent: Oh, we’re not as... [points to Larry] My brother keeps this saying everywhere in the world, ‘You will never get like us, if you don’t fight with the person you want to work or live your life with.’ Fight means love. If you don’t fight or compete with the person, if you don’t fight with [them] everyday for bullshit shit, most of the time, it’ll never work. It has to be...we fight for no reason.
Sarah: Yeah, [points to Sally] we have these massive arguments and you’re in the middle, you’re going at each other and you’re like...
Laurent: And people run!
Sarah: ...what was this about again? [Laughs] I do that. In my head, I’m like I don’t even know why we’re carrying on, so I’m going to try and reign it in.
Laurent: Ok, but that’s cute. You’re on level zero. [Points to himself and Larry and shakes his head] Us? Oh, it’s the worst.
Sally: Hmm, you haven’t seen us. [Laughs]
Laurent: You get to the [point] with me and my brother [where] fighting physically [wouldn’t be as bad], than what we said, because we touch each other really deeply. Worse than when kids want to hurt someone. Like, [laughing and touches Larry’s hand, who is looking down] kids will go to Ma’am’s or something and go, [looks up and adopts child voice] ‘Ma’am? You fat! Oh, by the
way, what’s that right here [touches his cheek] ‘It’s blue! Oh, it’s nasty.’ You know, they’re trying to hurt. Kids are so honest. It’s like this. Me and my brother, we are honest to each other like this and in front of anybody. It’s really rude sometimes, but... They’ll be like, ‘Oh my god, you guys are terrible to each other.’ But it’s like, [shrugs shoulders] ‘Well, we’re like this.’
Sally: We just get ‘Girls!’ even from people who don’t know us. If we start slightly...’Girls!’ In a maternal kind of voice.
Laurent: [Cracks up laughing] Well, they can’t be a referee, because they’ll be in a fight! People probably think that’s really deep, because if I say [these things] to you, you are never going to get it, but your twin brother is always going to be your twin. That’s why you can say any shit you want to and they’re always going to be there, or be your twin anyway. So, yes. We are assholes.
SWITCH IT UP
Sarah: Do you ever get awkward situations where...we’ve done some interviews, especially radio and you get asked a question and Sally always says that I take things off-piste. I’ll go that way and Sally will go another way.
Larry: That happens a lot. Every time, I think.
Sarah: Can you imagine if I’ve just got a list of yes questions? [Laughs]
Larry: No, no, no. That happens a lot. Sometimes I’ll go to one way and he’ll go another way because... I don’t know, maybe it’s because we do too many interviews. So, I’m just tired of hearing the same thing. [Laughs] I mean we can’t change what the truth is, but sometimes...
Sarah: You’ve got to switch it up, Laurent. [Laughs]
Laurent: [Raising his voice] I changed though.
Larry: [Turns to Sally] You see he gets mad. [Laughs]
Laurent: [Raised voice] Well, I’ve never answered any question like this. I’ve never had a question like this.
Larry: [To me] You can tell him nothing, he will be mad.
Laurent: [To me] Well, that’s actually is a huge lie.
Larry: Ok, here we go. Here we go.
Laurent: Everything I just said right now, is so new, because nobody asked a question like this.
Larry: Do what?
Laurent: That was the first time in an interview somebody asked a question like this.
Larry: Oh really?
Laurent: Yeah. [Touches Larry’s hand] Tell me one?
Sarah: [To Larry, jokingly] So you maybe just didn’t pay attention. [Smiling]
Larry: She talked to me, she tell me about...
Laurent: You see...we fight.
Larry: ...because you don’t like to hear the truth. So, I’ll leave you to do your interview.
Laurent: Thank you so much.
Larry: You’re welcome.
Laurent: That was your interview.
Larry: Yeah. Sometimes you have to change.
Sarah: Do you think...
Larry: [Under breath] He’s pissing me off.
Sarah: Did I do it?
Larry: No, my brother.
Sarah: Oh good. [Laughs]
Larry: It’s always the same. Let’s go.
Sarah: [To Laurent] Yeah, just switch it up. [Nods and smiles]
Laurent: [Nods] Ok.
LARRY IS BAD, LAURENT IS PERFECT, SALLY IS WISER, SARAH IS JUVENILE... OR NOT?
Sarah: Do you think that, you’ve got a specific trait each? Like, Sally’s definitely the older soul and the wiser one and I’m definitely the more juvenile.
Sally: That’s a polite way of wording it.
Larry: Are you talking about work?
Sarah: Just generally. [Smiling] A general majority of the time.
Larry: Hmmmm... I think it depends on the way that my brother talks and the way that I speak, because my English is not really, really good. But, when I want to say something... I don’t know... No... I think that my brother is more... [pauses] [Laurent gestures for Larry to hurry up]
Larry: He’s more...cute and tries to be sometimes...
[Laurent freezes and frowns]
Larry: Yeah, he got another way, he has many faces and we just have to chose which one we want. We’re like a Mum and Dad. I do bad, he do good, or one time he do bad and I have to do good. I love to be the bad one...
[I smile and point to Sally as I see a similarity. She tries to get Larry’s attention, whose on a roll and doesn’t notice any interruption]
Larry: ...for me the bad one looks really perfect and the good one doesn’t look perfect. So, people who say, ‘Oh my god, Laurent is so sweet,’ or ‘Larry is so bad,’ but I love to be bad, because if you want to hear the truth, you’re welcome.
[Both getting animated]
Laurent: It doesn’t mean you say the truth.
Larry: It doesn’t mean I say the truth?
Laurent: It doesn’t mean you say the truth. [Smiling]
Larry: How can it be the truth, if it’s how I feel? Thank you.
Laurent: Well, when you’re bad it doesn’t mean you say the truth.
Larry: Bad is just for me.
Laurent: I’m good and I’m honest. [Smiling]
Larry: [Raising voice] You no have to talk, that’s what I mean. Even you! You cannot tell me what is the truth because of how I feel, you cannot tell me what is not and what it is.
Laurent: You never really say though. [Laughs]
Laurent: You’d never really say that.
Larry: If I tell you your teeth are fucking yellow, I say the truth.
Laurent: Well, say it...because I didn’t hear it.
Laurent: Oh, you did already say it.
Laurent: Oh sorry, [laughs and gestures brushing it off] I didn’t really get it!
Larry: So, I can say Lau, just do something for something, I can go really good or really bad.
Laurent: Can I just say work on your English, because it’s pretty bad. [Laughs]
Larry: It’s worse from the beginning. My English is never good.
Laurent: [Laughing, puts his hands on his heart] Oh! So we’re both honest? [Cracks up laughing]
Larry: You just said that in a good way, I said it in a bad way.
Laurent: Yeah, that way, we’re different.
Larry: Thank you. So, I prefer to be bad and the good, not perfect like my brother.
Laurent: No! Because you said the perfect one is the bad one, so I’m trying to go on your way...
Larry: I said for me! You don’t listen.
Laurent: Oh! It’s your opinion, ok!
Larry: It’s my opinion.
Laurent: Now we’re getting there. [Into mic] Now we get it!
Sarah: But! Hold tight, maybe it’s not fair to be labelled one specific thing each, because you have both just actually shown it doesn’t make any sense.
Sally: You just labelled me.
Sarah: I just labelled you, yeah. I labelled myself.
Laurent: It’s hard.
Sarah: But Sally’s quite good though, you’re like, ‘Do you want me to go in and be bad cop’, I’m like, ‘Yeah, alright then!’ [Laughs]
Sally: [Raises her hand]
Laurent: [Raises his too and laughs] Power.
Sarah: [Laughing] Yeah.
Larry: Is she bad cop now?
Larry: You go for it? You can be bad cop? You’re pretty...[moves back from Sally]
Sally: ... Don’t be scared.
Laurent: That was Larry. Thank you Larry, we appreciate it. [Laughs]
Larry: There’s a beautiful balcony over there. [Everyone cracks up laughing]
Sarah: [Laughs] What do you think about twins being called novelties? We’ve had things before where people want to...well obviously we have our magazine and some business people years ago were like, ‘We should change this and call it, ‘The Sally and Sarah Magazine and you should be on the cover [laughing] all the time along with the cover star.’ [Laughing] Or people wanted us to front music or bands, stuff like that. People want to make you a certain kind of object. But to me, you two are really in control, aren’t you? Of what you do.
Laurent: Well, the thing is, since [I was a] baby, I’m bossy. I don’t let anyone tell me how to do [things]. I don’t mind to share stuff with people or whatever, but I’ve been working so much on my image to be different than anybody, I think. I’m doing so many things, I’m so creative and with my brother I’ve been creating Les Twins for so long that I never really like anybody with me. But I never mind to share the stage or pictures or covers with someone, because I learn about people like you guys. You saw my face when I saw your magazine, I appreciate so much what you’re doing, it’s so beautiful, that [I don’t mind] to really share stuff. But me and my twin is Les Twins, so we have to be Les Twins. With other twins, I have no problem [laughs].
Sarah: This, just out of interest because Sally and I got it, what were the worst kind of nicknames you got? Twin ones when people can’t be bothered to figure you out. We’d get Skinny Twinnies and Twix.
Laurent: Twix, yes.
Larry: Twins Tower.
Laurent: Benny Nuts.
Sarah: [Shakes head]
Laurent: You don’t know Benny Nuts?
Laurent: It’s nuts, like Twix. [Laughing] I can’t even say the right brand. So, it’s like Twix but it’s just the nuts, it’s called Benny Nuts and they never hang out without each other. [Laughs] So [points to himself] Benny, [and to Larry] Nuts.
Sarah: Oh wow, ok.
Laurent: Or, Laurel and Hardy.
Sarah: Yes, yeah. Oh! Sadly, we got Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
Laurent: Oh my god, not this. Never.
Sally: It’s not nice.
Larry: Oh my god, we got Huey and Riley.
Laurent: From Boondocks.
Sarah: Ok. So, yeah, so it happens.
Laurent: Oh yeah!
Sarah: I knew that really, but I was just curious.
THE HARDEST PART
Sarah: What do you think are the two say best things about being twins and the two hardest things. Sally, maybe you should start? It might be interesting.
Sally: You want me to start?
Sarah: Yeah, go on.
Laurent: Say the good things first.
Sally: Good things first... [pauses].
Larry: ...but don’t say things that really don’t make any sense. For me, you really have to think about it for these questions. Like... ‘The one thing so good...
Larry: ...is my brother will always be here and one thing so bad is my brother will never be here. [Laughs] You know what I’m saying, he’s never with me. Never.
Sally: [Dryly] I can get Sarah to try clothes on for me.
[I smile and shake my head]
Sally: That’s not one of the best ones.
Sarah: [Laughing] Great!
Sally: Best thing is that unwritten bond. That you’ve got each other’s backs, where no-one can kind of mess with you. The worst thing is the vulnerability of being treated like an object.
Larry: Yeah. Yeah, I can feel that. Take this, take that, do this, do that.
Sally: Someone was talking to me about the bad things in one of my last interviews and he said, ‘So, what’s it like being a twin?’ and I said, ‘Well, think about when you’re doing a press junket where you get asked the same questions all day? What’s it like?’ and he said, ‘Really boring.’ And I said, ‘Try that all your life.’
Larry: That’s funny.
Sally: Or being shouted at on the street, I don’t like.
Sarah: [Exactly]...we can get a lot of attention. Even just in the street, or when we do certain meetings. Do you find that there’s any kind of attention you get that’ll make you feel really uncomfortable. It’s different I suppose because you have a stage presence...
Sally: ...and are male.
Sarah: ...I guess you’ve got it in you that you expect people to look at you, where as we haven’t in the same way.
Laurent: The question, please?
Sarah: [Looking down at my iPad, laughing to remind myself]
Laurent: [Claps his hands and cracks up laughing]
Sarah: [Laughing] The attention that you get. Sorry, I had absolutely drifted off thinking about it.
Laurent: In the street?
Sarah: Yes. Is there any of it you find uncomfortable. Some people will literally say what they want.
Laurent: You have to understand one thing, I mean you guys have been there, I mean you guys have been there or not, I don’t know about this. When you become famous kind of, fans have no respect for you. Like, they love you so much they don’t want to scratch your body, until [you’re] a part of [their] life. And no matter what or how they will [make] it anyway. No matter where you are. It’ll be onstage, or in a battle or on the street. On the street, we’re not really hanging out on the street anymore like we used to do. ‘Cause I can’t even go anywhere now without knowing exactly where I’m going to. That’s for sure. I try sometimes to go wherever, but for sure without my brother because with him, it’s a wrap. But myself, I’ll be like, No. Yes. No. [Then] ‘Why you be here? Like, he’s not here.’
Sarah: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Laurent: And they speak really loud though, like, [shouting] ‘I see one of the twins,’ ‘Yeah, he dance. No!’ ‘Really? Are you sure?’ and I’m just like... Not even manners from him, [I think], ‘Why are you screaming like that?’ Sometimes you just want... [gestures running out of breath. Then in Girl’s voice] ‘Excuse me? Are you twins?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘I knew it!’ then they go back there [gestures behind him].
Sarah: [Laughing] Yeah!
Laurent: Are you not asking me for a picture like everybody? Be more normal for a second. Sometimes it’s really comfortable. I love my fans to death, for real. Without fans, artists are nothing. The only one thing I really hate, is just when I’m hanging out with people I love and they have no respect for them. That’s the thing I hate. When they don’t even... Like, they say hi to me, you don’t need to say hi to my people, but they just give them the camera, [gestures shoving a camera at someone] ‘Oh, take a picture.’ Err, my people are not here for taking pictures. You know?’ And I tell my people, ‘You’re hanging out with me, you don’t take pictures. Say no to the fans. Period.’
Sarah: That’s good actually.
Laurent: Yeah, it’s better. It’s just more respectful. Sometimes they’re really respectful and I’m like, please do it.
Sarah: It’s weird when you show up somewhere, like a meeting, or a party and people are like, ‘Errr, is everything ok? Because Sally isn’t here?’ Some people don’t like it being one of us...
Laurent: [Smiles, scoffs and shakes his head. Raises voice] No! The thing I hate! Is when people, that you don’t know! [Shouts] ‘Yo! It’s the twin!’ [Answers calmly] ‘Hi. How are you? Good? I’m good, thank you.’ [Shouts again] ‘Yeah, so. Where’s your twin?’ [Sighs and pretends to have a computer dial on his chest] ‘Doo. Doo. Doo. Doo’ [Spreads arms and twists, making radar sounds] ‘Boop. Boop. Boop.’ [pauses] ‘I don’t know!’
Larry: One time...
Laurent: [Shouts] ‘Hey! Where’s your mother?’ [Laughing] I always want to say some shit like this. Something that they understand, that’s part of them.
Larry: Yeah, I love when people don’t know each one, like, he doesn’t even know my brother, he doesn’t know [us at all] and he’ll say, ‘Hey, how are you doing? Oh, it’s maybe not you, it’s your brother that I know.’
Sarah: Oh yeah! [Laughs]
Laurent: [Cracks up] Arrghhh! That happens to me everyday!
Larry: [Laughing] You know what, just call him right now, I would love to see!
Laurent: [Laughing] ‘Yo! I spoke to your brother last night! Yeah, it was in the club.’ ‘That’s impossible, he was not here this week.’ [Laughs]
Sarah: From my observations again, what I like about you two is – it’s quite funny considering what we’ve talked about – you show no fear, you’ve got loads of affection and I really like your ambition. I think those three things are very powerful. I can leave that as a statement or you can talk about it if you want.
Laurent: Wow, I want to say thank you...
Sarah: And I mean that.
Laurent: Thank you that you see that from us.
Sarah: Yeah, I think it’s great. You look like – I think you do though – you look like you don’t care, because you’re just going for it.
Larry: It looks like we don’t care? Yeah, kind of.
Sarah: Yeah, you do care.
Laurent: Not in a bad way.
Larry: Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, I know, of course.
Sarah: Even the little bit of advice you gave me earlier.
Laurent: Some people say this, ‘It’s super French your stuff’. [Shakes head] No.
Larry: No. No, I don’t think so. It’s not. We still don’t have time to think about anything. We cannot think about what we should do, we’re like...
Laurent: [Leans onto Larry’s leg and measures out] We cannot think about next year. We’re more like, tomorrow.
Larry: We’re more like, what’s going on now. We don’t have time to think and they’re like, ‘You’re never tired?’ We get tired sometimes, when we do nothing. I get tired more, me, myself and I, without putting my brother on it...like we’re tired together on the airplane, we sleep in the cab, [during] the drive, we sleep between jobs, when we’re on the road, but... he sleeps more when I shoot, he sleeps more when I make music. I sleep more in meetings. [Cracks up laughing]
Laurent: And when I’m rapping too.
Larry: Not when you’re rapping. How can I know you rap? [Smiles]
Laurent: You were sleeping when I was recording.
Larry: No! I was behind just doing my texts. I had been finished really fast.
Laurent: [Laughing] No, you sleep when you rap!
Larry: [Laughs] No! You too!
Laurent: [Laughing] I’m faster though; I want to be done and asleep.
Larry: Every time when I’m thinking of something, I’m thinking and I’m... [laughing flips head back and snores]
[Larry and Laurent both crack up laughing]
Larry: Yeah, that happened. Yeah, but our heartbeat is really like, [fast] boo, boo, boo, boo. It never stops, so when we stop and we sit and we talk, yes, I get really tired! [Clapping hands] So keep going, keep going.
Sarah: Ok, let’s speak about humour and comedy. Do you find that your jokes aren’t always appropriately timed with each other? You know, sometimes you’re in a serious situation – we do it – it’s that thing where you end up being a diversion. I might make a joke and it’s just really inappropriate for Sally.
Larry: That happens a lot, yes. My brother, he got a lot of different sides. You get a side of him when [it’s not the right] moment to do this. My brother is perfect on this moment to do a joke. You want to kill him, like for sure. And I’ll look at him sometimes and I’m like, ‘Are you serious?’ And he doesn’t put himself, like it was a joke. He’s like, ‘Yes,’ like that’s not funny. Sometimes we’re crazy and he’ll come in with his Beats by Dre, he’ll be like [raps and gestures raising the roof] ‘Where my twins! Where my twins!’ I’m like, ‘Laurent, just stop your music, it’s not...’ a lot. Like on the shoot in Spain, talking about [Laurent is now looking to the ground] I think the outfit is no good. I’m like ‘Yo, I don’t like to...’ Who puts their shoes without socks? I don’t want to put the shoes without my socks. My brother comes in like [gestures again, shouting] ‘Yeah!!’ like this, with his music on. I’m like, [gestures hand back and fourth across throat] I gave him a big sign, he was like, ‘Ok, ok, oh shit’ [gestures moving back out] ‘Oh shit, oh shit,’ but…
Sarah: Yeah, Sally and I definitely don’t have that auto-thing at all.
Larry: Between my twin brother and me with nobody or maybe with everybody, I hate when my brother makes jokes with the truth in it. I love when it’s just like, half truth and a joke in it sometimes, because jokes all the time are 50% true so that it’s funny, but I don’t like it when he puts someone down. Actually, he doesn’t do that [to] put someone down, he just says things to make people laugh but he forgets that it isn’t funny for this person. You know what I’m saying?
Larry: Like you say, people who are skinny...
Laurent: ...If you listen to his story, he makes me look bad.
Larry: No, no, no. I can do this, but I don’t sound hard like you do. Like, I’m a real motherfucker when actually I don’t like someone but when I love people around and I make a joke, I don’t put someone down like this.
Laurent: So there’s a lot of people you don’t like.
Sarah: [Cracks up]
Laurent: [Cracks up]
Larry: Yeah, yeah, it’s true. I’m not really, I’m not really, really close to everybody.
Laurent: [Shouts] You lie! He’s so friendly.
Larry: Oh, ok, I’m so friendly. It’s true.
Sarah: You’re alright [smiling].
Larry: Friendly doesn’t mean I want to do something with everybody that I meet.
Laurent :[Face hidden in neck warmer] Well, I’m not really friendly.
Larry: [Stamps foot] Period.
Sarah: We talked about this a little earlier; about the fact we’re all from hard working backgrounds and didn’t come from a load of money. We took jobs to make BLAG happen. So, not silver spoons, not anything on a plate. You have to figure everything out yourself. Do you think you’ve got more acceptance by working in the states? Do you think people are cool with it here? I found sometimes people would turn their backs on us...
Larry: I mean, I don’t care about people. I really don’t care about what people think, because I...like I told you an hour ago, whenever you do something really bad, people will just talk shit and whenever you do something really good, people will still talk shit. So, we do what we want and people [laughs] still talk shit, so... I think we’re not that bad, we can be a bad person at work, at business, but we’ve got a role. We’ve got a beautiful goal and a goal to, to just go for it. Family and trust nobody is really the goal that we have together, to make really good sense. We can fight for everything, [that’s coming with work] and actually, today we know that we have to work more because we can sleep on these things after working all day. But people can turn bad, can talk shit about one picture or two, three or four, but now we feel more free about what happened today. We don’t pay attention to comments. We pay an assistant to read all that and know exactly what happened today on the earth.
Some people look at the paper news, we look to Marina Kolias [Laughs, gestures being on the phone] ‘Marina Kolias, what happened today?’ [Adopts fast American female voice] ‘Some bitches talk about you and said...’ [Laughing, continues] ‘Hey, Laurent, be careful when you do...’ ‘Larry, I saw you in the video you did this [wipes face, squashing his nose upwards with his hand] ‘...don’t do that anymore.’ [Laughing] ok, thank you for the paper news. You know what I mean? That’s the paper news, Marina Kolias.
Laurent: Did you see this movie, 42 [Brian Helgeland’s written and directed true story of Jackie Robinson, played by Chadwick Boseman]... about the first black baseball player.
Larry: Oh my god, that’s a beautiful movie.
Laurent: [It was set in] Brooklyn, this movie is just amazing and beautiful. This black boy, you know... This white boy was taking care of all the team, like a coach, he asks him to come on this team and of course, nobody really wants him, [Jackie] gets on the team anyway with his hard work, because he’s a really good player. He was playing on that team, he was [playing in different] cities most of the time. They didn’t want him in the hotel, because he was black, you know lots of stuff like that. And [sighs and takes a deep breath] he has a lot of messages that he doesn’t know about, because the coach always takes them from him. He takes the mail, everything he thinks, from fans. [Jackie] doesn’t see any shit. He sees his life as a baseball player, he sees his wife. But the thing is, he had messages from many people, like from everywhere, ‘Yo, if he stays one week more or if he comes to Philly or if he comes there or whatever, or if he stays on that team, we will kill him.’ They said a lot of bad words, they cursed him a lot. This is what Marina... I’m telling you, a lot of shit like this happens to us and I can see me in the movie. I see myself in the movie because we’re young, we’re [quote, unquote] ‘cute’, we dance ok, we are really super creative and sometimes we’re in the place that we’re not supposed to be, because sometimes we’re more creative than people who’re supposed to do their job correctly. We just can’t help it, because when we have the idea it has to work. It’s gonna work and I know it’s gonna work, better than some other ideas [by] people who’re supposed to make that shit beautiful. I’m not a photographer, or a cameraman, or a producer and I don’t work on content and stuff like this, but when for example Beyonce or Jay Z do meetings for the On The Run tour and I’m not supposed to be in the meeting and I heard stuff, I just come in and I’m like, ‘Um, excuse me,’ she’s like, ‘Yeah Boo Boo.’ [Shrugs] Yeah, my name is Boo Boo, she’s like, ‘Yeah Boo Boo.’ She always listens to me, because she knows I’ll never tell her something that’s not going to work. And everything I said is on the show and when I say everything, there are probably 75% of the things working in the show, it’s because me and my brother put everything in it. They have a lot of ideas or whatever, but it’s just, visually we’re good. It’s not even just that, because that’s not supposed to be my job. That was just an example and so many people definitely don’t want us around because I put my nose is everywhere with my brother. So, Marina Kolias do that shit! [Laughs]
Sarah: That’s good.
Sarah: Do you find that maybe when you’re... mind you, you seem like you have much tougher spirits, when you need a little bit of support and you’re talking to someone, they always just say, ‘Well, you’ve got each other.’ Do you get that?
Laurent: We do have each other, but we have some...how can I say this, some music, [smiles] it sounds strange, right? But, some music that really inspires us or reminds us of some stuff and calms us down. For example, we have some old school music, slow, slow or some classic music and we just have to listen and we go back to the past. We don’t go to the future, we go back to the past and it reminds me... A, B, C. When I come back, I’m like, [raises voice] ‘Wow!’ It’s just...I sleep with the music though and when we wake up, it looks like a new year. It’s just crazy. So, no matter what happens, even we fight, we fight...we fight so much it can just be 10 minutes later or an hour or sometimes we’re just in a fight and ‘hold on,’ [Laughs] I hate it and most of the time, it’s him doing this, ‘Laurent, do this...’ [Taps Larry’s hands] I’m like, ‘Don’t touch me.’ ‘No, no, no, for real, for real’ [Holds onto Larry’s hands, laughing while Larry looks down] I hate it when you do that. I’ve got to video it when you do that, it’s so annoying! But he’s like...[pauses, laughs] It’s so funny. His face is funny. You have to see it. I mean, I don’t want you to see that because you will probably think we’re crazy. But...
Sarah: [Smiles] You have to see it, but I don’t want you to see it.
Laurent: My life, our life is a movie. Just put the camera right here [points to his heart] and you will have one of the best movies ever.