Boy Epic is the creative and mysterious alter ego of the native Texan artist determined to change the way the masses visualize his brand of noir-pop with high-caliber music videos he writes, edits, directs and stars in. The music blends gritty ‘80s synth with complex beats that got the crowd dancing their asses off at The Bardot in Hollywood. The talent behind Boy Epic does not stop with music. Exploring the world of film, Boy Epic is looking to crush the entertainment world with his many talents and from the looks of it, he’s already got both feet in the door waiting the spotlight to catch up to him.
His character reveals the deep, dark sexual misconduct he exudes in his music videos on the homage he pays to 50 Shades of Grey on “Dirty Mind.” His trilogy of music videos include “Trust,” the recently released “Wolf” and the upcoming release for “3 AM.” We caught up with Boy Epic after a jaw-dropping performance for Chris Douridas’ (KCRW) School Night! showcase to chat about his love of cinema, the near tragic on-set accident on his last music video and what the future holds for this multi-talented artist.
Tell us about how did the musical adventure begin for you?
Not film school, just being an avid film collector. It was like my first love and you know I’ve always wanted to make films. But I wanted to find a way to infuse music with it because I fell in love with music too at an early age and you know just I love dramatic films, you know. Seeing all the films that I have, I wanted to find a way to portray the feeling that I get when I watch very dramatic film. I wanted to figure out a way to portray that in music and with my music videos and even on stage, you know, that intensity and anxiety that you can sometimes get when you watch the right film.
And I get that, I get that from just listening to music. There’s a lot of drama and intensity in the music. Like every one of your songs can be in some sort of Christopher Nolan movie.
First of all, it’s so appropriate that you chose “My Way” from Frank Sinatra in your set, because you are doing it your way.
Exactly. Its not just my favorite artist, so there you go.
You’re doing it your way and the music videos show that because you direct, edit—Everything from beginning to end.
Is there something more that you want to get into with regards to that aspect of film making? I mean, do you actually wanna go out and say, make your own movie?
So here’s the thing I’ve already, in my own personal time, I’ve written a TV pilot already. Right now I’m actually, on my personal time, writing a full feature film.
You know, these music videos to me, you know don’t get me wrong, I may talk about film a lot, but my love for music is equal. I just express myself through film, you know when I’m talking about music. But I’m using my music videos as basically a resume. So one day I can get into a film and be an actor or even a director. I do edit and I do write treatments and stuff like that. Editing is fun for me but it’s not something that I would ever see myself doing professionally, you know what I mean? It’s just kind of like for me but definitely acting and directing is on the horizon for me for sure.
All the videos are just very interesting and unique in the way that the filters that you use on there and just the contents on there. All of them are sexy to some degree but its just like that adds to the mystery of the character that you have.
My favorite one is for sure, is the last one—
Yeah, “Wolf,” where you’re underwater and you got that mask on and it’s intense for sure.
Did you hear the story of what happened to me?
No, what happened?
I busted my eardrum open during filming that bathtub scene, got some kind of chemical burn through my eardrum and I got an ear infection, perforated eardrum, swimmer’s ear, strep throat and a yeast infection in my throat.
Oh my God.
All because of the water that was used from the art department. They pulled it from a warehouse—I don’t know what happened but I’m slowly getting my hearing back. I’ve been to a specialist and they said that no surgery is required, so I’m happy about that. It’s just gonna take some time to heal.
That’s crazy! How long ago was this?
Right after I filmed, “Wolf,” so it was mid-October and now I’m still dealing with it.
Yeah, it’s been about a month.
That’s crazy, I didn’t know that!
Anyway, what’s funny is I’ve been on five or six different antibiotics in the past month and it’s actually inspired me to start writing and drawing my own cartoon about antibiotics. (Laughs)
I’m sure it’s all gonna be in some sort of music video at some point.
You may make an animated music video, that’s awesome! “Wolf” the song, what is that song in particular about?
It’s all psychological. It’s a continuation of “Trust,” so in “Trust” we see the girl, played by Melissa Cordero, fantastic person and actress. She overdoses on pills at the end of “Trust” and with “Wolf,” I’m keeping her alive and the tub represents a deprivation tank, so I’m trying to get my subconscious into her mind and try to pull her out of her coma, but I’m unsuccessful at that, obviously. It takes so much out of me that it kills me, maybe, there will be a conclusion too.
I was gonna ask…
Yeah. There will be a conclusion to the series for the next song called, “3 AM.” The whole “3 AM” video is very metaphorical. It’s more performance based but it’s very metaphorical and you’ll see a conclusion, but it’s so quick and I wanted to really leave it open for debate instead of it being, this is the end, this is why, this is what happens, this is who this character is. I wanted to kind of leave that open. “Wolf” is very psychological it’s about self-hate, not being good enough or feeling like you’re not good enough, you know, that whole struggle within.
Is there an album that these singles are going on to or will they be their own little chapters and then you’re gonna do something completely different?
Yeah, so I’m gonna make a music video for every song I release and right now, “3 AM” the one that hasn’t come out yet, is gonna conclude this EP cycle. Now next year, I already have the four other songs that I already know I’m gonna release and I’m already working on the treatment and story and characters for that. That will be its own new thing. Once I’m done with that EP I think I’m really gonna start looking into an album with another new four songs and those will have their own video too. It’s kind of like a bunch of chronicles. I used to do these chronicles back in the day but it’s all little trilogies.
Is Everyone’s Strange that the latest, last LP that you had?
Yes. That’s the latest, that’s the one that I’m in right now.
What was the most challenging part about releasing that EP? Any new challenges or was it just easy where you’re creating a song and compile it together?
You know, I’ve been in the studio for a very long time, and I’ve written a lot of songs in the past couple of years. I think maybe the hardest part was just finding the right songs out of those groups of songs and being like, okay, these are the songs I’m gonna take and tell a story with, this story. These are the next songs I’m gonna use to tell this story. You know when I’m writing songs in the studio I thinking about the videos while I write the songs too, so it’s very challenging for myself but I love challenges.
Yeah. I can’t wait to see what you have next in those music videos, all of them are just interesting.
What was the first album you ever bought with your own money and how do you feel about that album today?
I can tell you right now that my choice is probably nobody else’s. I bought The Braveheart Soundtrack, which it was all score. I remember sitting in my room, as a kid, and putting that in my Discman player when I was very little, turning off the lights and just listening to that and I would cry.
It affected you.
I didn’t think that it would do that. Obviously I saw the movie and got very upset at the ending, but listening to the score I would kind of imagine things that I went through, through my life, while those songs were playing and while I was listening to them. It would make those feelings so much more intense and deeper and it really helped me get through some of that resentment that I may have had for someone or oppression of just being, sad. That still helps me to this day, sometimes I’ll just put on a good score and I’ll just sit there and kind of meditate on my past and it’s my therapy.
Have you gone back and listened to that album recently?
Do you still feel the same way, the way that you first felt?
No, the moment has passed. I got through those feelings and that was it, you know I was kind of done with it. It’s still great to listen to though, I can’t listen too much because it reminds me of stuff that I don’t necessarily want to think about.
What has been your greatest rock star moment so far?
You know, that’s so funny, I don’t consider myself a rock star at all.
You saw what you just did in there? (Laughs)
You know, I would say that probably the greatest moment that I’ve witnessed, as of right now, which I’m sure that there will be plenty of more moments to come, is just know where I started and what it’s led to and how thankful I am for all that. It’s really humbling to see a bunch of strangers looking at me, when I’m on stage, that I don’t know, that may know me but I don’t know them and connecting with the songs. Or I see a girl in the crowd and she’s singing my songs and I’m like, man I was in a really bad place when I wrote this song and I remember recording vocals in this small closet and it’s being played all over the world now it’s so surreal to me. I don’t think it’s something that I’ll ever get used to, but I’m really, really happy that my struggles are able to help someone else. I think that’s the most rewarding part of it.
What advice do you have for any new artist starting out doing the same thing you started essentially from the beginning to current?
So easy. I say if you’re an aspiring musician and director, writer, whatever, find yourself in the art that you’re creating. Once you do, never lose it because there are gonna be so many people who are gonna tell you should do things this way and that way, it is great to listen to people but you need to stay true to who you are because we’re all in the business of trying to help each other out and get to a certain point but I think that the main thing that is the most important is staying who you are and don’t go after the latest trends, don’t go after what you think might be cool, or what gets a lot of “likes”. Because you’ll never succeed if you do that, if you do it’s for fifteen minutes and that’s it.
Yeah, unfortunately, that’s the culture we live in where it’s based on the “likes” and “hits.”
Yeah, I’m ready to see originality come back, I really am. There’s a lot of artists out there, don’t get me wrong, coming up that are doing that and that makes me really happy. That makes my job easier.
What is next for Boy Epic?
Tour. More shows, more recording, more videos, it doesn’t stop. It’s a train and I couldn’t be more happy.
Kanye’s In My Head
My Way (Sinatra Interlude)