by Thomas Bedward August 15, 2021
One of the Sunshine Coast’s most exciting new talents, Soapy Boy is the name on everyone’s lips. A talented rapper and innovator, the eighteen-year-old first began curating his own music in the ninth grade, developing a unique style that combined old school rap anthemics with some bold new directions. After first rising to prominence as part of the now defunct collective, YNK 03, Soapy Boy has been blazing a path of his own making, capitalising on his talents and letting the music speak for itself.
An enigmatic talent who sticks with his friends and lives his own quiet life, Soapy Boy is quickly becoming one of the biggest talents Queensland has to offer, and with his new record only just released, we decided it was about time we got to know him a little better.
Great to have the chance to speak with you. You’ve been making waves for some time, taking on the independent scene and racking up an impressive list of collaborations. What were your early days in music like?
I loved this time; I remember I was probably 9 years old, and my father gave me a copy of Acid Studio. Acid is like this loop-based DAW, and he gave me a pack of drum loops and piano sounds, they didn't mesh together well at all because I didn't know about rhythm or BPM's or any of that fun stuff. I first made my actual song in high school, I planned this fake rap battle, diss track feud and me and my friends would make tracks. I think it really hit being a thing after that, I got FL and learnt what the fuck a "VST" was and just started playing with synths and using BPM's. I was making these like Hip-Hop instrumentals for the kids I was dissing. I met this real introverted, yet extroverted dude who was making these cool psychedelic guitar songs under the name "Barbie Paris" and I wanted to make music with him so bad but like, my shit was shit. I think dude felt sorry for me, but I stole one of his instrumentals and made "I Think".
I then met this dude named Lennart or Tom or whatever the fuck you wanna call the German fucker on reddit, and we made this beautiful project called Aurora. He followed that up with Aurora 2 and 3 which were even better. We formed a group called YNK 03, with Tom, his friend Vince and me. I still look and listen to prepubescent me rapping on Hero and revolt but also really do see the ultimate beauty of that lost album. I met Ponce and Mark through that and I still rock with them to this day.
We then did the clouds album, which was an experience because I was hassling Ponce to let me be on a Reverboy project for about 2 years, until he just sent me this instrumental with no context and I responded with "Yes". I'm sad Clouds got deleted off Spotify and all that jazz, because I really saw that at the time as my ultimate form and pinnacle of my career with how much I love and respect Ponce and his artistic vision. I think he said he'll publish them again next year though, so you'll have to stick with Bandcamp until then.
You’ve been described as an innovator, a rapper, and more in previous interviews. How would you describe your sound?
Present time? Probably this gross mix of Kevin Parker drum mix, Ponce ambience and Mac Demarco "looselessness". It's weird, I've never really thought into that. Kevin and Mac's synth sounds are crazy, and I even picked up a BR-600 8 track which Kevin uses to do his cool guitar synth sounds. Ponce, Mark and Tom's production always amazed me with how they can do so little and just build these awesome melodies and construct these really high calibre songs. I don't see my music style as special, it's something anyone could recreate if they had the time or if they just sit down and learn to use a DAW for a while. I've actually converted to only using my 8-track now, it's so much more satisfying.
Sounds like a good mix, and a sound that gives you options to grow and experiment. How do you go about putting it all together? What’s the process like?
Well, this is super funny... I haven't been able to answer this until now. I haven't sung vocals in about 3-4 years if we're excluding my hums on "drunken single". Back then I did like, no writing I would just say what came to my head, which is stupid. I could probably make twelve different takes of both ‘Loving You’ and ‘I Think’. I've got some vocals I did for World Authority that never got put out, that process was funny... I would get in a call with Mark and be like "Dude I got the best shit!" Then Mark would be like "No man, this ain't it."
I remember this one experience of me going on about the fucking Travis Scott burger early, early on the making of ‘World Authority’ thinking this is the funniest, yet hardest shit ever. It sparked a big debate. I'm still a firm believer of the line. Now days with songs I've been thinking of doing genuine structure, but it's something I have to experiment with before putting it into action.
You’ve said in past interviews that you’re dreaming the day where you can get a Deem Spencer or Chester Watson feature. What are some of your other influences?
Probably Kevin, Mark and just growing up listening to a bunch of different music from all different eras. I grew up on lots of Michael Jackson, Motley Crue, Dido, Beach Boys and The Beatles, Eric Clapton, you get the point... so I think I kind of just vacuumed a lot of my younger years into constructing different production styles and possibly just inherited the style as mine. I particularly remember the soundtrack for ‘The Beach’ as well as the Bob Marley's ‘Greatest Hits’ record. No Woman, No Cry is a very touching song. I try not to think about outside influencers because that then takes over your creative mindset and control, it's cool to like something and have respect for it but I wanted to create something that was mine, but it's hard to live up to what I just said, because... well... just listen to lost and confused and you'll see.
You’ve just dropped a new album that’s growing fast online, can you tell us a bit about it?
‘Lost and Confused’ actually came out about 3 months ago, but only got published on all the fun streaming services this week. The idea was first conceived at the start of the year, I hadn't been motivated to music and I decided to listen to some old tunes. I found a couple of songs from 2018 and it just made me think, "I've come this far, I can do so much better". So, I like wanted to prove that. It's sort of my bipolar mindset of those short 20 seconds demos and featuring them on an album, they're all separate recording demos I did then just think "If I put a cool tape echo and shitty transitions, I can tell a story", so I did. I think the mindset of it was just weirdness and being momentarily transfixed on a project.
What’s next for you as an artist?
Well, I'm not exactly sure yet. This latest project made me question a lot of things about my creative process. I think I'm going to seclude away for a while and just adapt my instrumentation. I've got a lot to learn I can barely play guitar and I just got a bass guitar so I'm super excited to play with those and make some weirdly polished, emotional piece... or maybe I'll go caution to the wind and make another five-minute album, I'm not sure. The reason nothing is coherent with my work is because I get too eager about new music and see it as "the best thing ever" and then release it, only to regret it like a day later. I need to learn patience and not to get worked up, then regret it.
I was working on this album with Mark, ‘World Authority’, shit was bonkers! We even had a graphic artist do up a bunch of artworks for it and had the tracklist, demos and instrumentals planned. The failure of the project kind of lays on me, considering I had to do some vocal takes, but I was busy at the time and never got around to it. I wish I could go back and finish that, it was an amazing project. It has Mark's like chiptune style sound over these dope beats. If you're reading this Mark, let's finish it!
What has been your greatest moment as an artist so far?
My greatest moment? Woah, there's a few, every day is a great moment. It's funny, I actually had someone ask to take a photo with me the other day, and I was thinking like "dude I have like one follower, what are you doing?" but she was cool, and then I bought my guitar pedal. I guess you could also say I regret was turning down a Chester Watson feature. I reached out to the dude, and he was cool... and of course, working on ‘Clouds’.
It’s been great talking with you, thanks very much for taking the time. Is there anything you would like to say to our audience?
Hi to the three people who follow me.
A humble talent with plenty to offer, Soapy Boy is an artist who deserves all the attention he can get, and if releases like ‘Lost and Confused’ are a true indication of what he can achieve, that he’ll surely be a national name in the next few years. Check out his new releases above and be sure you give Soapy Boy a follow on Twitter and Instagram, so you never miss a release.
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