by Chandler Christopher
BOYO is the psych-pop contrivance of 24 year-old Los Angeles Native, Rob Tilden. Conceived from the steady waning of success Tilden experienced as an adolescent, BOYO is a project focused on creation. Eclectic in their range, BOYO is overwhelmed with a passion to challenge themselves in the production of their sound. While growing up in the artistic hustle of Los Angeles was significantly formative for a young Tilden, it was actually the summers they spent with family in a small, Massachusetts town that truly made them realize making music was something attainable. Introduced to this unknown arena by a friend Tilden met in the neighborhood, they describe a scene of underground, DIY basement shows and makeshift studios. The climate of this form of music creation resonated with the soon-to-be BOYO. In the (not so distant..) future, Rob Tilden would go on to have cult success with their band “Bobby T. and the Slackers”. Having formed the band at age 16, demanding touring schedules and critical success soon became routine for the green musician.
It was in 2016 when the emerging talent of Tilden would begin recording under the pseudonym BOYO, releasing their debut album ‘Control,’ later that year. The goal behind this venture was to pointedly innovate and organize creative acoustics into complete pieces of work. Quickly filling up hard drives of songs and demos from the basement of their LA home, Tilden is someone who is narrow focused on perfecting their craft. Converging influences spanning from hip-hop legend MF DOOM to The Strokes and Radiohead, BOYO is passionate about producing intentionally unique instrumentation that they both respect and love. Lyrically, Tilden effectively conveys raw emotion through intimate and reflective narration. In 2018, BOYO released their album ‘Dance Alone,’ led by Tilden’s most successful track to date in ‘Hit or Miss.’
As the years have gone by and the career of BOYO has been chronicled, the journey of Tilden was not always serene and trouble-free. Diagnosed with a parlous form of epilepsy in 2018, medication prescribed to the musician caused unruly mood shifts during one of the most intense touring schedules Tilden had undergone. BOYO describes themself as difficult to be around during this period, annotating it as one of the loneliest times of the young artist’s life. However, as tough a time as this was, Tilden explains this era as a blessing in disguise. With a glowing shift in perspective, they were able to open themselves up to the understanding that the friends and family who stuck with them through it all were the most precious presence in Tilden’s world. Activated as a result of this melancholic interval, BOYO’s music became exceedingly engulfed in the artist’s sentiments. This would translate to a very introspective and emotional aura on their upcoming projects, EP’s, ‘You & Me,’ and their self-titled ‘BOYO’.
Be on the lookout for BOYO’s new record – a tape in which Tilden describes themself on a recent Instagram post as, “starting to sound like a mixture of Interpol and Built to Spill.” BOYO and their band also play regular livestreams for fans which can be found on their Instagram, @hello-boyo_.