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Stella Performers: Meet bandmates Raff Law and Rudy Albarn in Tatler’s July issue

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Outer Stella Overdrive

Jimi Herrtage

When you consider the upbringings they had, it seems only natural that Raff Law and Rudy Albarn were destined to become performers. Rudy is the nephew of Blur’s Damon Albarn, while Raff is the son of actor Jude Law and producer, designer and actress Sadie Frost. In Tatler’s July issue, Danielle Lawler meets the two bright young talents and their bandmates, Kelvin Bueno and Amin El Makkawi, to hear about their group, Outer Stella Overdrive.

The band formed three years ago when Raff was introduced to Kelvin by his sister, Iris, who was then Kelvin’s girlfriend (the couple have since broken up, but remain on good terms). ‘Iris kept saying I had to meet him because we had such similar taste in music,’ Raff tells Tatler. Raff’s childhood friend Rudy was soon brought on board as the drummer, with Rudy subsequently introducing keyboardist and producer Amin into the mix.

Outer Stella Overdrive

Jimi Herrtage

While their childhood anecdotes are full of familiar names – like Paul McCartney (Rudy) and ‘auntie’ Kate Moss (Raff) – Outer Stella has been forged through their own hard work. ‘We have built this from the ground up. We haven’t got a label or a team, we do everything ourselves,’ says Rudy. Raff adds that ‘It’s like a four-way marriage – we are all equal, and we all find a tenner to pay to put together for the studio or find a friend with an amp we can borrow.’

With touring plans scuppered by the pandemic, the band spent lockdown working on songs (written by Raff and Kelvin), and making an album, due for imminent release. Combining an 80s punk spirit with contemporary themes (one of their recent songs is titled Tales of Quarantine), their catchy, energetic style lends itself to raucous music videos (Raff’s mother, Sadie Frost, directed the video for their 2020 track Bad Times).

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While there’s an infectious sense of fun around their music, the band also recognise the importance of weighty issues like mental health, with Raff noting: ‘I get a lot of abuse because of my family and people commenting on my appearance… Luckily I am pretty thick-skinned and can take it, but I have seen people around me get eaten up by trolls and social media.’

For the members of Outer Stella, however, taking care of themselves – and each other – is key to what Kelvin describes as their ultimate aim: ‘longevity’. Amin reflects that although they ‘all come from different backgrounds,’ making music together is unifying. ‘We got into the studio and played one song together and there was a vibration – I was instantly in love with the boys,’ he remembers.

Now, the band can look forward to their long-awaited return to live gigging, with an upcoming show at O2 Academy Islington set for September. And Outer Stella aside, the boys have been making waves across a number of spheres: from Kelvin’s thriving modelling career; to Raff following in his father’s acting footsteps (his next project is Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Apple TV venture, Masters of the Air).

Even after a year of such uncertainty for the music industry, one thing seems sure: Raff, Rudy, Kelvin and Amin have a bright future ahead of them.

Read the full interview in the July issue, on sale 27 May.

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