Every genre has a resident ‘“nice guy”, but it’s doubtful that they come nicer than Todd Edwards.
Todd has been an effervescent presence in dance music for nearly 30 years. His telltale production style, sample-heavy and delightfully swung, is a crucial element of US house, UK garage, and early dubstep. As if it wasn’t good enough being one of the foundational ‘Teachers’ listed by Daft Punk on their 1997 album ‘Homework’, Todd went on to become a close friend and serial collaborator of the Robots, too. But you don’t have to take their word for it. Earlier this year, Todd’s celebrated back catalogue was rescued from limbo and uploaded to streaming services for the very first time. Todd, everyone agrees, is deserving of his flowers. And now he’s getting them all over again.
Todd is at home in Los Angeles when we connect, flanked by two framed records commemorating his work with Daft Punk — gold for 2001 single ‘Face To Face’ and platinum for 2013 album ‘Random Access Memories’ — as well as a wall-mounted cross constructed of motivational quotes.
He is an endearingly hyperactive conversationalist who breathlessly sounds off on topics like fear-driven cable news or pre-chorus chord progressions for 20 minutes at a time, while simultaneously offering concessions to the alternative viewpoint. Every monologue is peppered with a cut-up chorus of Todds, all gabbing away at each other. “It’s so cathartic to be able to share my thoughts with you in a non-grumpy way,” he grins. “I try to keep the grump inside the apartment.” Any protective guard is swiftly broken once we mention the rabbit playing a starring role in Tonje Thilesen’s photography, sending Todd into a fit of giggles.
“I have two rabbits — the one who allows himself to be picked up is called Q-Tip. I’m very excited that Q-Tip is going to be famous,” he deadpans, composing himself. “Listen: I’m kind of an adult child. I don’t give a shit about my ‘brand’. I dress in T-shirts and pose with bunny rabbits for serious shoots, that’s me. I’m 48, dealing with 20-year-olds in the house industry. This keeps me young.”