We had a chat with boundlessly creative artist, producer, streamer and cosplayer boywithahalo
boywithahalo is an artist who has a really unique and culturally rich perspective when it comes to creating, having being immersed in a wealth of cultures and experiencing different ways of live. While flirting with different genres and indulging in new sounds along the way, the artist, producer, streamer and cosplayer has a deeply original and authentic style that feels completely their own, and bleeds with a boundless sense of prolific creativity.
The artist has a really fascinating story that ties in nicely with the broad sonic boundaries of his sound and the immense output that he releases (this feature and interview was conceived following the release of ‘signs’ and is already kind of out of date thanks to the release of new single ‘two of me’ lol). We figured that boywithahalo would be a wonderful guest to have a chat with and find out some more about, so we took the dive into his history, his unique style, and the plans that the artist has for the future.
Who TF is boywithahalo?
Hi! In the music world I’m a bedroom pop rock artist and producer from Dallas, originally from China. I also involve myself with various other local artists and their respective genres like hiphop and electronic. I’m also an on-and-off content creator on YouTube and Twitch, where I actually started using my current name! I also cosplay pretty often and some may know me through that alone.
How long have you been making music?
I would say professionally it’s been just 5 years, but I’ve made beats and “songs” if you could call them, since 2012. It was mostly obscure poorly made rap and hiphop songs with a few electronic projects hopefully no one will ever know about!
Why do you make music?
It’s a great outlet for emotions and experimentation, probably an evident crossover from the influences I carry. I like expressing the human psyche and personal struggles in a way that resonates existentially to others, on a level deeper than just a sad pop song. It’s also because I make the kind of music I myself would listen to on repeat. When I experience music I want to feel the atmosphere and be brought into that world whether it’s a comforting dreamy place or a desolate phobia-inducing nightmare, maybe all that is to say I’m bored of my current life and want to travel and see totally different places, like Antarctica or Greenland!
What are your biggest influences (and what’s been your favorite moment)?
I take inspiration for art primarily from my personal experience as an immigrant from China, having experienced polar opposite lifestyles and philosophies while being forced to live down and retain both equally but only able to comfortably exist with one of them at a time, depending which side of the world I’m currently at. I’ve experienced poverty, so many different cultures, and had a moment in time in every scene and aesthetic imaginable, so the art that comes out of this is ultimately varied. My peers are also my influences. My favorite moment has to be in 2020 when I’ve went from producing an entire spaghetti-western inspired southern rap album with a friend (“Lone Rager” by Riah Fayette) to releasing my first indie pop rock song “help” in the span of a few months, all the while helping create a cyberpunk themed electronic project with my friend Riza for his Neon City album that just came out. I was just riding a manic high of happiness and inspiration because I was stuck in China (due to lockdowns) but surrounded by family and finally had the time to relax indoors and let my mind run where it may.
How would you describe your sound to somebody unfamiliar with it?
It is probably what people can call anti-pop pop music, something you may hear not at a world stadium but maybe inside your head or in a dream. Kinda like a painting with less bold and pronounced brushstrokes, colors and areas that occasionally blend together or even clash with one another in a way that’s intentional, but you still can make out what it is and it makes what you experience all the more interesting and hopefully refreshing.
What’s your dream “I’ve made it” moment?
There has been multiple, from radio play to hearing my song at a Hollister, but I would definitely say my 1st and favorite moment was the time when my song was featured on Rolling Stone’s livestream, I was even shouted out! Forever thankful to the team and the RS Twitch staff for making it happen!
We love your single ‘signs’, what more can you tell us about it?
The interesting thing about the song is I think I worked the least amount of hours on it than any other song on this project! I recorded the guitar and a vocal melody on the same day and just knocked out everything else that same week. It’s one of my favorites because it didn’t scream a need of intricate mixing and mastering and feels more characteristic left a bit raw.
What else do you have planned for the near future?
There is an upcoming album in the works that these new singles are a part of, I’m still deciding on how to best operate and optimize the rollout. I did this thing in 2021 where I released all the songs as singles one by one then materialized the album with just those songs. I might do the same this time, except leave a few unreleased until the album actually releases. I have too many songs currently and am trying to pick and choose priorities so I can finally finish some! I’m creating with a really diverse palette of influences and genres going into it, it’s kind of like songs from my subconscious, hence the name “innerspace”!
And finally, who is your biggest fan right now?
I know this meme page admin on Instagram who like my songs and put them in their playlists, they resonate with me quite well and are interested in the same kinds of music I am, and post a lot of content I would if I was to ever run a page like that. I believe there’s a lack of credit and respect for people who contribute to society in these small but all so delicate ways, it helps hold us up in places where we usually would retreat away from reality, and without them we would have less comforts to retreat to.