Childish Gambino is (and isn't) Donald Glover, a recording artist, writer, actor, director, producer and comic who was gifted his alias by an online Wu Tang-Clan name-generator. Originally hailing from Stone Mountain, Georgia - his Mum was a daycare provider and his Dad a postal worker, where TV was banned in the house - Glover first entered the spotlight as a member of sketch-troupe Derrick Comedy, via a stint working on The Daily Show and the invitation to join the '30 Rock' writing staff by Tina Fey before he'd even graduated from NYU. A succession of mini-albums and mixtapes surrounded all of this, parallel to acting roles ranging from The Muppets to NBC's cult hit comedy 'Community'. It was 2011's debut album Camp - his first since signing to Glassnote Records - which marked a breakthrough for Childish Gambino, whose music explores everything from identity, race, and technology to hip-hop culture, class, and family.
Follow-up 'because the internet' went top 10 on the Billboard chart, was nominated for 2 Grammy Awards and further assimilated Gambino's multiple disciplines (it was accompanied, for instance, by two films and a standalone 72-page screenplay). Around this time - and between roles in HBO's 'Girls' and movies like 'The Martian' - Glover also announced that he was working on his own TV show: a comedy-drama which he would star in, write and direct, 'Atlanta' premiered on FX this autumn to significant critical acclaim (it's already been described as "Twin Peaks with rappers"). The show was launched alongside the third Childish Gambino, Awaken, My Love!, this summer at 'Pharos', a series of secretive, audio-visual live performances which took place in a custom-designed dome in the middle of the desert in Joshua Tree. A second series of 'Atlanta' has already been commissioned, whilst Glover has recently been cast in the forthcoming Spider Man movie and has also been confirmed to play the iconic role of Lando Calrissian in the next Star Wars film (a Han Solo spin-off). Awaken, My Love! is the most vital artistic statement to date.