Artist Of The Month: Lionel Boy

New month, new artist spotlight.
I hope everyone’s hanging in there and that you’re finding something to make you smile. Maybe this feature will!
Name: Lionel Boy
Hometown: Born in Hawaii, grew up in Long Beach 
Genre: “Liquor Store Pop” (more below) 
For Fans Of: Harry Styles, Troye Sivan, Clairo
Why You Should Care: In this day and age, it’s pretty uncommon to see artists who are actively releasing music are also keeping a low profile on the internet. Enter Lionel Boy, who’s been working on music in the studio for nearly two years at this point, and was recently signed to Innovative Leisure, an independent label based in Los Angeles who’s also home to artist like BADBADNOTGOOD and Nick Waterhouse. He’s still keeping a low profile, spending the early months of 2020 putting the final touches on his debut EP. 
For keeping such a low profile, Lionel Boy is making pretty big waves with his music.
Not only did he received coverage in Fader before his debut EP was even released when his single “Lost” dropped back in May, but his music has also been praised by outlets like Flood and Uproxx. 
Photo Credit Basil VargasThe debut EP, Who Is Dovey?, has been described as “jazzy, R&B-tinged” with a hint of bedroom pop. If you could imagine the perfect soundtrack to a summer full of riding down the highway with the beach on your left and a lover on your right: you’d be listening to “Lately.” If you’re looking for a fix of Harry Styles’ Fine Line without replaying it for the billionth time since its release, then it’s time to spin “Are You Happy Yet?” – which is probably my favorite from the EP. 
Who Is Dovey? Makes the listener nostalgic for the summer that we all wanted to have this year: a carefree, relaxing, “good vibes only!” one where our biggest concern was electing a Democrat into the White House this November and one that wasn’t involved around social distancing.
Check out our Q&A below. 
Chicago Haze: Did your childhood influence your aspirations to become a musician? If so, can you describe how that came to be?
Lionel Boy: I didn’t really grow up around many musicians as a kid.  I actually decided I wanted to play the guitar after seeing School of Rock for the first time.  I started taking lessons once a week after that but, back then, I still wasn’t as interested in music. I think I just liked the idea of being able to play the guitar. It wasn’t until I started playing music with my friends that it really changed for me.
Chicago Haze: You’ve stated before that your music is heavily influenced by Hawaii—where you grew up. Who else has influenced the style of music you want to create?
Lionel Boy: Everyone who is doing it their own way. Coming from a small island, it’s easy to feel landlocked with creativity but I have a lot of homies who are carving out their own lanes and that’s really inspiring to me.
Chicago Haze:  What has it been like trying to promote your first set of songs during a pandemic? What sort of challenges, besides touring, have you had to work around during this time?
Lionel Boy: We’re just going with it. I’m blessed to have such an awesome team around me so it hasn’t felt like we’ve been losing out on anything. Instead, it’s given us the opportunity to explore other avenues. I’ve released some videos, worked on my full-length and continued at my other jobs through this whole thing.
Chicago Haze: Fader described your music as “slacker pop.” If you could describe your sound in three words, what would you say?
Lionel Boy: Liquor Store Pop
Chicago Haze:  Anything specific you’d like to accomplish in the next months, or looking into 2021?
Lionel Boy: I’ve been working on a full length, so that’s my main focus at this moment. I’d definitely like to play some shows once we’re all healthy, safe, and good to go.
Chicago Haze: Who are you listening to right now that we should have on our radar?
Lionel Boy: Lui Liu! Check out Lionel Boy’s song “Sugar Cane” ft. Lui Liu here

Follow Lionel Boy on Twitter, Instagram, and Spotify.

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