Oh Boy has always been fascinated by electronic music, so naturally his creativity has always veered in that sonical direction. After a big exploration of that soundscape through his introductory singles, he took a surprisingly ethereal approach with his debut EP ‘Brentwood Heights’ in 2019. But he’s returned to his electronic and hyperpop roots for his sophomore EP ‘Angels Only 2001’ (out now).
Doubling as a creative project with Ninajirachi, this EP is a bouncy and club ready affair of big BPM’s and satisfyingly addictive hooks. From the hilarious wit of ‘viBrAtE’ to the nostalgic leaning ‘WiNx cLuB’, they welcome you into a rabbit hole of early 2000’s references.
I recently chatted to Oh Boy about his colourful and vibrant sophomore EP ‘Angels Only 2001’, explored the early 2000’s aesthetic behind the tracks, and we discussed working with Ninajirachi on each of the tracks. Check it out BELOW;
THOMAS BLEACH: Your new EP ‘Angels Only 2001’ is a colourful and vibrant collection of tracks that hears you tapping into an early 2000’s aesthetic sonically. What was it about the early 2000’s that really inspired you for this next chapter?
OH BOY: It just feels so nostalgic! I hold so much sentimental value in the media I consumed as a child growing up in that era. I still love a lot of the cartoons I used to watch, the games I used to play, and the toys I used to have. I remember my older sister showing me a lot of music during that time, and watching the music videos for them on TV and loving the ‘Y2K’ type of futuristic aesthetic. Then getting the ads for toys and shows during that period, they all stick out to me.
TB: As someone who grew up in the early 2000’s, what is a core memory you have from that time and everything you soaked in through media that has impacted the way you look at the world or your art?
OB: Honestly, I think it’s a combination of everything I consumed media wise during that era that comes out in different parts of my expression. If I could pick a moment though, I would say maybe the Poo-Chi ad. (Watch Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFdGxXQGUGU)
TB: Your new single ‘WiNx cLuB’ is a BPM monster of a track. Can you explain how this track creatively came together?
OB: I’d always thought that Ninajirachi and Cult Shotta on the same song would be amazing. I had made the beat specifically for Cult Shotta, we wanted to take on this type of lane sonically. The guys came over one night, we had a few drinks and got started on it and loved it right away. I sent it to Nina and asked if she liked it and she wanted to work on it too and she said yes, so we all got together and finished it. That same night we also wrote and recorded Cult Shotta & lil golo’s track ‘NRG’.
TB: ’aNgEl tATTOo’ cohesively lives in the high energy soundscape of the trio of songs on this EP, but there is a lighter and airy contrast that does breathe through Lonelyspeck’s collaboration. When you were working on the production of this track, was this contrast something you were specifically and carefully trying to highlight?
OB: I didn’t think about it that much, the second half of the song was similar to the first half when I initially wrote it. I changed it up because it just felt right. I sent that newer version to both Nina and Sione (Lonelyspeck) and they both got their verses done.
TB: The best way I could describe ‘viBrAtE’ was that if the Vengaboy’s were still creating original music in 2021, and maybe were a little under the influence, then this is a song they would be incredibly jealous of and wanting to release. So who was actually inspiring the production behind this track sonically for you?
OB: That’s so nice of you to say, thank you! Could someone reach out to the Vengaboys and see if they wanna remix it? *Laughs*. Legit though, I think it’s just my love for club music. I’ve always been a huge fan of the ‘Jersey Club’ genre. It was one of the genres that got me into production in the first place. I loved that a lot of the songs were similar in structure and samples but the way producers would chop or use certain sounds in obscure places differentiated their track from another within the genre. I’ve been using the kick patterns and breakbeats prominent in that genre since I started making music.
TB: When has been the most annoying or inconvenient time that your phone has gone off and you’ve just wanted to scream “fuck my phone off”?
OB: Omg I can’t pinpoint an exact time but it has happened numerous times, usually on release days too *laughs*. When I heard that lyric from Nina though I thought “damnnnn, she right”.
TB: You collaborated with Ninajirachi on each of these tracks. What was it about working with her that made you feel creatively connected and want to release a full body of work with her?
OB: I think it’s because of our similar tastes within certain genres of music. We like a lot of the same artists and songs. She always gets me excited about club music, and that’s why I love making it with her. We are also really good friends, she’s a blessing.
TB: You released your debut EP ‘Brentwood Heights’ in 2019. What was something you learnt from releasing that EP that impacted the way you’ve looked at this next chapter of music?
OB: It helped me realise that I can make whatever I want when I want, and that doesn’t just include music. I don’t need to cater to anyone or anything, it’s just, expression. I like having that freedom. I have a sequel to Brentwood Heights already finished for next year that stays in that area sonically.
‘Angels Only 2001’ is out now!
Photo by @jayemol