There’s a reason why Central Coasts’ BOY SODA was scooped up by big player Converse at the end of 2019, joining a group of young creatives flown over to LA to represent an upcoming generation of free thinkers. What BOY SODA represents is a cohort of artists moving into the limelight, unfazed by the vulnerability that comes with putting themselves out there, both in music and in their own identities.
For BOY SODA, pulling back the layers means creating a space to talk openly about the various sides of masculinity, love, and the societal pressure to conform to the path set out before us. While these themes twist throughout his music, no better example can be seen than on his crooning R&B double releases ‘See Someone’ and ‘Take Your Time’. With an EP on the horizon set to deliver, in BOY SODA’s own words, “Super energetic R&B that will make you wanna drive fast and love hard!”, we sat down with the young artist to talk Converse experiences, learning in your early 20’s and the future ahead.
Going back to a time with a bit more freedom, at the end of last year, you were chosen by Converse to fly over to LA with a bunch of other young creatives. You opened a show for Dominic Fike and watched some heavy-weight musicians perform at Camp Flog Gnaw. What was that experience like? And what kind of lessons did you take away from some of the best in the business to improve your own art?
That trip really set the standard for my art to be honest. The conviction that all of those artists perform with, and how experienced they have really opened my eyes for where I should be comparing myself. It’s so apparent that Converse genuinely cares about young creatives and the fact that they sent us all over there was super validating for me.
Being surrounded by creatives from all around the world must have opened you up to a hundred new mindsets and possibilities. Is there any moment or memory that really stands out for you from that LA experience, perhaps a moment of realization?
I love this question. After we all got drunk at the welcoming party and were all friends, I realised that we were all people that would be best friends and frequent collaborators if we lived in the same city, and for a week that’s exactly what we had. We have so much love for each other and it made the world feel closer together in a really nice way.
What kind of doorways has being part of the converse team opened for you?
Converse is such a well-oiled machine and being around them has taught me about planning, execution and vision in a really straightforward way. In the context of creative endeavours, watching a professional team from the start to finish point has helped me release my music with a lot more clarity and intention. They also send me shoes so they’ve helped cut down on my spending habits a bit haha.
You’ve got a pretty comedic flare as can be seen in a couple of your music videos, so I’ve got to ask, what’s the go with eating flowers in your ‘Daisy Chain’ video?
I can’t be sure but I’d definitely reference Tyler’s Yonkers music video. I was listening to a podcast called ‘Dissect’ talk about the shock value around it so it started the chain of thought. I always try to make my music videos memorable in an easy way – ‘See Someone’ is the ‘one where I shave my head’ and now Daisy Chain is the ‘one where I eat flowers’. Also, I will be adding ‘has comedic flare’ to my resume and you guys are my character reference.
You’re double release ‘See Someone’ and ‘Take Your Time’ circle pretty personal themes about expectations surrounding masculinity in mainstream culture. A lot of popular artists including Frank Ocean and Tyler, are breaking down those expectations in their music as well. Is that something that’s important for you in your music, and just in general?
It’s important for me in life and I think that becomes apparent in my songs as a consequence. Men like Frank and Tyler are always challenging these ideas in a healthy way, and not because they’re trying to, but because that’s just who they are and how they want to express their ideas. In the same way, when I write a song, it’s just a sonic fingerprint of a memory, a feeling or a story I’ve heard and if I do it well and write it honestly, it allows me to set an example and give other people the thumbs up to feel the same way.
‘Take Your Time’ touches on not rushing things in life and as the title suggests is a reminder to ‘take your time’. Is there any advice you would give to young people these days who feel like their time in 2020 has been taken away?
People always say to me, ‘if you can’t control it, why are you worrying about it?’. 2020 has been a bitch but by accepting that certain things are out of my control, it gives me the space to work on what I can control, like my health, and my relationships etc. And it’s easier said than done, but I’m only 22, I know I’ve got a lot to learn and a lot to give and those two things create some beautiful moments.
You’ve worked with some great producers in the past but I’ve heard that you’ve recently gotten into producing your own music. Where do you hope this takes the future of your sound?
I’ve been producing since I got out of high school and it’s a natural progression for artists because you want to be able to create the sounds and ideas in your head, and learn to emulate sounds and moods you hear in your favourite artists. I think it’s nice to get to a place where it’s not just re-creating songs I’ve heard, before, but building on my influences to deliver my own sound.
You’ve got an EP making its way over the horizon. What can we expect from that release?
You can expect the most BOY SODA songs you’ve heard so far. Super energetic R&B that will make you wanna drive fast and love hard! I’ve got some great people on my team and I’ve been creating really special songs with amazing artists so it will be a tough process of picking the right songs for the EP.
Is there anyone you’ve got your eye on for a sneaky collaboration? Or who takes the cake as far as a dream collaborator?
I wanna make soul music with Ty $. I wanna make death pit music with Travis, and some softboy, self-reflective shit with Frank. I was talking to my friend Blake the other night about how songs are already written and we as artists are just the vessels that find and deliver them to the world – if that’s true, I hope there are some songs waiting for me that also have these guys on them haha.
Follow BOY SODA here for more and check out his latest single ‘Daisy Chain’ below.