INTERVIEW: Meet new local band Boy Names

Boy Names are a new Brixton band, experimenting with an individual sound combining elements of pop, soul, RnB and electro. Arts co ed Barney met Patrick (lead singer), Elliot (drums and guitar) and Nudge (keyboard and vocals).

Boy Names from left to right, Elliot, Patrick and Nudge. Photo by Thom Wrafter.
Boy Names from left to right, Elliot, Patrick and Nudge. Photo by Thom Wrafter.

Boy Names – the name and the band, how did it come about?

Elliot: Patrick and Nudge have been friends for long time. Nudge introduced me and Patrick about a year and a half ago when we were in New York. We ended up crashing a baby shower, things got a bit messy and we decided we should be in a band together.

Nudge: We were thinking of girl names and boy names at the party, and then boy names seemed to be a good name for a band. It’s unGoogleable!

Patrick: It seemed a good idea at the time, and continued to be in the morning.

How would you describe your music in 3-5 words?

Nudge: On our Tumblr I think it says ‘soul, pop, love food’ – not sure who wrote that!

Your music has quite an 80s feel to it. How did that come about?

Nudge: It’s what we like, it’s what we know. It’s a great decade.

Patrick: I think it’s similar to anyone our age. It hasn’t been a conscious thing.

Elliot: It’s not really by design, it just happened naturally. Our sound is starting to morph a bit as we do more recording. We might be 90s tomorrow!

Nudge: Another great decade.

How do you go about creating music together?

Elliot: It’s become a lot more collaborative. We used to each turn up with an idea for a song and then work it up. Now we’re doing a lot more stuff together.

Are you doing much recording?

Nudge: That’s our focus at the moment. To get more stuff out there, expand our sound. We’re putting songs together for our next EP which should be our early this summer.

Your video ‘Slow’ is pretty funky. How did you go about creating your videos?

Nudge: The first one we did on our own, in Elliot’s front room with lots of green screen on a budget of £11. The second one for ‘Slow’ was done by our filmmaker friend Wally Jiagoo. He had a vision to recreate this 80s disco. We also did that in Elliot’s front room, this time with a budget of £100. It was a lot of fun to make.

Elliot: We didn’t set out to make something completely professional. We like the fact that it’s slightly amateurish and quite weird.

Do you want to make more videos?

Nudge: Yes, we really like them. A big part of our band persona is the visuals and performance element, it’s not just about the music. When we put on our shows, it’s more than just 3 people on stage.

Elliot: We’ve had a good response from people about the interplay between Nudge and Patrick. They’ve got a bit of onstage chemistry.

Nudge: Purely platonic!

Photo by Thom Wrafter
Photo by Thom Wrafter

So do you think you’ve found your sound now?

Patrick: I think so – that’s the thing that I find really exciting. A lot of it just happens with very little discussion.

Elliot: We’ve arrived naturally at a weird intersection between RnB, electro and probably something else.

Do you want fame and fortune?

Elliot: You’ve seen our videos, we don’t have massive egos. We’ve been feeling very creatively satisfied with what we’ve been doing so far. Once we have a few more recordings under our belt…

Patrick: We just want to record an album. When you’re not afraid of being seen as uncool, it actually takes a lot of pressure away and just means you really enjoy it.

Nudge: We would love to be signed of course!

How have you been received?

Elliot: I’ve been really pleased with the feedback we’ve had so far.

Nudge: French people like us! It would be great to get out there at some point.

Patrick: Unless Google Translate is lying…

How do you find being a band in Brixton?

Nudge: I love this area because it’s got a real creative energy to it. The only thing that upsets me is that it lacks places to play live. You’ve either got the Academy (we’re not U2 yet) or you’ve got the Windmill and there’s nowhere in between. There’s the Jamm but that’s quite genre-specific. We’re actually organising our own night at Kaff Bar and are planning to try and get some Brixton bands to play with us.

Elliot: We do need to get plugged into the scene a bit more. The only way I know Brixton bands is from the staircase in Morley’s! It would be nice to try and focus a few people together. We need to generate it ourselves.

Nudge: I’m surprised it’s not happening already.

What are your plans now?

Nudge: We want to do more recording and more videos. These days it doesn’t have to follow the way it’s always been of releasing singles then albums, you can just put out track after track and little EPs and build up the same kind of following.

Elliot: We’re putting lot of effort into making ourselves sound as good as we can, that’s the real big picture for us. Watch this space.

You can find Boy Names on Facebook, Twitter or Soundcloud, or see if you can catch them in Kaff on a Friday night. They’re always up for a chat.