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BOY SODA: 'It's The Art Of Creating Nostalgia But In A Refreshing Way'

3 October 2023 | 2:51 pm | Jessie Lynch

"I like looking at different purposes for songs and this one is more a mood painter and a night curator than a deep and insightful song."


BOY SODA (Billy Zammit)

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BOY SODA is back with a brand new banger called SIP , delivering a fresh sound while evoking the nostalgic R&B vibes of the early 2000s—a reminiscent nod to the tracks of that era made popular by artists like Justin Timberlake.

Commanding immediate attention with the opening line, “pay attention, time is fleeting”, the talented singer-songwriter takes listeners on a smooth sonic journey through a futuristic lens of RNB.

SIP started in a session with Rob Amoruso & Pip Norman where I asked them to show me their weirdest samples and sounds they loved and were secretly hoping people would pick,” BOY SODA explained.

“We ended up finding the bass line just by itself that Pip had made previously and I had a physical reaction where my shoulders bounced and I made a stank face so they both immediately said 'we're doing this one!'.”

“The song lives in this intoxicated sonic space and speaks to people's vices and the relationship between having fun and knowing your limits. It's an ode to trying to make conscious decisions when you're too wavy,” he added.

The latest tune comes following the success of his debut EP THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THINKING AND FEELING and the subsequent mixtape YC-TAPE: Vol. 1 in 2022.

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The release of SIP also follows the launch of the muso’s collaborative new series in partnership with Converse, SODA SESSIONS, which is dedicated to unreleased music and artist-to-artist conversation.

The series sees him team up with fellow artists, including Cyrus, Billy Maree, Ruby Jackson and BoomChild as they perform brand-new music from the vault and discuss culture, influence, process, philosophies, taste and more.

We caught up with BOY SODA following the release of SIP (which you can check out below) to talk about the song’s creative process, his biggest moments of 2023, and his new YouTube series, SODA SESSIONS.

Congrats on the release of your latest single, SIP! Can you share the inspiration behind the intro lyrics 'pay attention, time is fleeting' and how it sets the tone for the track?

Thank you! I wanted to open the song in a really commanding way and I think those lyrics really help set up an atmosphere of euphoria that carries the track.

There's urgency in that lyric that creates an edge and uneasiness - I like the tension of that feeling over the driving bass and tempo.


You've described SIP as an “exploration of knowing one's limits when it comes to coping mechanisms.” How do you hope fans will connect with this?

The purpose of SIP is really to illustrate a nocturnal lifestyle and the activities that occupy it. I like looking at different purposes for songs and this one is more a mood painter and a night curator than a deep and insightful song.

The instrumentation and sound design is so creative and sporadic (prod by Rob Amoruso & Pip Norman!) and I love that It speaks to the environment of the song as much as the lyrics do. 


Could you walk us through the creative process behind SIP? Any standout moments in the studio?

I was lucky enough to link with Rob and Pip while they were here from Naarm and they have such a fluent and crazy musical relationship.

It was suuuper refreshing to work with people who cared deeply about the songwriting process and I loved nerding out and getting really surgical about where to do more or less with the performance, deciding when lyrics required depth and when the rhythm and percussive elements were more important.

I basically asked them what their weirdest samples were - sounds they were secretly hoping people would choose and we ended up on the bassline that you hear now. We built the song over a session here and another one in Naarm - we had so much fun, I love those guys a lot.


Your collaborative series SODA SESSIONS sheds light on unreleased music and artist-to-artist conversations. What's been the most memorable moment you've had during these sessions so far?

It's always incredible to see one of your ideas materialise into a tangible, real thing. I looked around filming them over two days just gassed that I was able to give a platform to people I really believe in.

I've been fostering a really beautiful relationship with Converse over the past 3 or 4 years so having them back was a reason I was able to do it at all. All the homies got kicks, the crew was tapped in and I was just proud to be responsible for an environment that felt so safe and limitless.

I think meeting Billy Maree for the first time is my favourite memory. I've been a huge fan, and we'd talked leading up to it but she has such a grounded energy and moves effortlessly and gracefully through all things life and music.

It was special having her and so many amazing artists around me.


Last year was a major one for you, with the release of THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THINKING AND FEELING and YC-TAPE: Vol. 1. How did those projects shape your artistic vision, and what did you learn from the whole experience?

I make a lot of songs, so being able to let a lot of them go was cathartic. I never thought I’d do two projects in that year, and I would’ve been proud to have the mixtape as my debut album, I looove that project.

I learnt a lot of life shit, and grew a lot as a writer and artist in that time, so having a discography that mirrored that progression is all I want as an artist. Releases always feel like I’m providing evidence that I existed and was alive and was doing the whole human experience thing. It taught me to have faith in myself and really trust my ideas.


We love that your music is sometimes reminiscent of early 2000s R&B. What elements from that era resonate with you, and how do you bring them into your own unique sound?

I think melody is the main thing that translates for me. Production from that era can feel dated now but I'll still go back to old cuts I grew up on and love the melody game.

There's obviously a resurgence happening now of that era and similar pallets like Timberlake / Pharell soundscapes so I feel like I’m right on time.

It's the art of creating nostalgia but in a refreshing way so choosing what to reference and what to refresh in that world is always fun. I love soul melodies and I love percussive pockets so creating that hybrid in my own world has been essential, but has really happened quite organically over time.

So, what's next for BOY SODA?

I've just built a whole new band with live everything! We've got horns, live backing vocals, live drums, it’s awesome. It's a new set too with songs I’ve made during this release hiatus so we'll be starting that new chapter at SXSW on October 18th and 19th!

Hearing SIP with live drums is going to be crazy, I can't wait.