Dissecting the dark pop of the enigmatic Boy Epic

Boy Epic

Courtesy: Estevan Oriol

To his fans, Dallas musician Boy Epic is a total enigma. Basic details like his real name and age are practically undiscoverable online. The only thing that connects listeners to him is his art–a combination of music and film. But if anything, Boy Epic’s music offers a personal side that most people tend to keep secret.

Boy Epic’s sound mixes dark tones with contrasting pop beats. Many of his lyrics contain noir themes, such as an obsessive love or the addictiveness to lust. His music videos are big screen-quality productions, with all aspects from direction to coloring carefully crafted by Boy Epic alone. Everything works together to bring his characters and storyline to thrilling life.

Boy Epic started to garner a following after posting YouTube covers of A Great Big World’s “Say Something” and Christina Perri’s “Human,” which together have more than 10 million views. His original songs “50 Shades” and “Scars,” respectively inspired by the movies, 50 Shades of Grey and Suicide Squad, later landed him a deal with Hollywood Records.

Most recently, Boy Epic has put out music videos for his singles “Trust” and “Wolf.” Both are steamy, action-packed and part of a music video trilogy, with the finale next in line. In the meantime, RIFF caught up with the musician himself to get to know more behind his artistic style.

RIFF: Does the music come to you first, or do you usually start with a character in mind and work from there? Let’s talk about the creative process.

Boy Epic: I start with a very rough base of a song and feel it to see what kind of character I need to create for it.

For “Trust” and “Wolf,” what inspired you to create the two main characters and their storylines?

The inspiration came from a collection of movies I’ve seen and own. Also, from my life experiences.

What draws you to exploring darker, noir themes?

I think a lot of it stems from the type of movies I grew up watching. I’ve always been a huge fan of dark, dramatic films, and it translates into my work.

I read that color grading is crucial in your post-production process. Could you explain how the colors used in “Wolf” reflect your mindset in the song? How can you tell when you’ve found the right color scheme?

Finding the right coloring for each video is crucial, indeed. Typically, I already know what the coloring needs to be before I get into post-production. Having an incredible gaffer on set helps with this process. I was lucky enough to work with Jeff Siljenberg on this series of videos.

Are there any color grades or other visual effects that you’ve never done before and are looking to experiment with in the future?

Knowing that I have to teach myself how to accomplish everything, I’m very careful what I put my mind into. Once I get started, I go deep until I feel it’s to my liking. I’m always looking to grow as an artist, and there are plenty of things I still need and want to learn when it comes to production overall.

I read that you were a fan of Wicker Park, which has one of my favorite movie soundtracks of all time. The relationships between the songs and scenes were so cohesive. I feel that you achieve the same effect with your work. On a related note, how did you discover that music and film were things you wanted to pursue together, rather than as two separate forms of art?

First off, love that movie. It has one of the best endings in my opinion. The soundtrack definitely inspires me, even to this day. I’ve always watched and listened to film. The visual is just as important as the music/score. I’ve always known that I wanted to be a part of both. Creating that perfect amount of emotion and executing it properly is a very rewarding achievement.

A lot of fans online are eager to see you in concert. Do you plan to go on tour soon? If so, how will you carry over the cinematic aspects into your live performance?

A stage is a stage. Not only will I be singing, but also performing in character as I do in my videos. Think, concert meets a play.

Follow Chloe Catajan at Instagram.com/riannachloe and Twitter.com/riannachloe.

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