Talking Bad Boys, emojis and the sartorial genius of Ja Rule with UV boi فوق بنفسجي.
UV boi فوق بنفسجي, or Emmanuel to his Mumma, is an 18 year old 'boi' from Brisbane, Australia. In just seven months his self-titled high school bedroom project has blown up on the internet and IRL with a slew of club shows, global musical collaborations and major love both from national radio and a legion of fans affectionately known as 'UV bois and shawties'. There's even a UV boi فوق بنفسجي drinking game wherein, a shot is consumed every time an imessage ping is dropped in a UV track.
UV stands for Ultraviolet and his sound is part of the nu wave of unclassifiable genre melting music fueling Soundcloud. UV boi فوق بنفسجي describes his sound as simultaneously mellow and heavy hitting 808 or, "just picture a cupid with a drum machine." With notes of RnB, Hip Hop, Techno, Trap & Jersey Club infused with iOS audio, the musical output of UV boi فوق بنفسجي swings between romantic bangers like 'Northface' a collaboration with Blair de Milo, the furious grief of, 'that shawty that didn't holla @ me (demo) ☹' (a track he released for 24 hours) and remixes like his crucial reimagining of Chingy's 'One Call Away'. Oh and it's an irrefutable truth that UV boi فوق بنفسجي straight up puts your selfie game to shame. On the eve of his spring tour i-D had a chat with UV boi فوق بنفسجي about his UV world.
Talk to me about your influences, the music and artists you have been obsessed with since your early teens up till now.
Dammmn, I've shifted thru a lot of different genres since my early teens. Hardstyle was my favourite genre in 2009 when UV was just a Yung boi beginning high school. Noisecontrollers, The Pitcher and Frontliner were the hardstyle artists I was obsessed with. By 2011 I was listening to 90s rappers; MF DOOM his collab' fusions and his alias' King Geedorah, Viktor Vaughn and The Wu-tang (RIP ODB). I could go on endlessly with artists I liked between 2011 to current but imma' just drop these three: Chrome Sparks, Flylo and BADBADNOTGOOD.
I feel like your generation are in this post-genre world, wherein the musical output is often this pastiche of everything from 80s house to early 90s Bad Boy and beyond...do you feel you subscribe to a genre? Or is your work an innate, uncalculated creation?
I don't like to pigeonhole to a certain genre or post-genre or whatever. I just like to capture the emotion or thought I'm feeling at the time. Having listened to different genres that were miles apart from each other in my early teens gives me that flexibility to approach a track with an open mind, allowing me to lay down that emotion. Who knows whatever genre it'll be.
Let's talk about when and where you started UV boi. Was this initially a teenage bedroom project? What equipment did you start out using and how has it evolved & are you self-taught?
UV boi فوق بنفسجي was born about 7 months ago. Yes, it was just a teenage bedroom project. Prior to UV though I had an alias (go find him)! I began on Windows XP Movie Maker and now I'm using Ableton Live, with a few midi hardware. Yes, self taught but shouts out to Youtube for teaching the basics on Ableton. *high five emoji x 3hunna*.
What was the first track you produced?
The first track that actually sounded cool that I produced was 'R.I.P. MSN 2008'.
This has been a big year for UV boi. Take me thru a timeline of the crucial moments thus far and what is coming up?
Lemme' list them:
1. Getting cool L-UV from people on the internet.
2. Making a track with one of my favourite artists: GRXGVR (Gregar)
3. Getting more cool L-UV from people on the internet.
4. Things going URL 2 IRL
5. Touring around Australia for the first time - Shouts out to all the UV bois and UV shawties that came thru!
6. Making a track with one of my favourite artists: Ryan "Hemmi boi"-Worth
7. Winning an award for Undiscovered Artists awarded by inthemix and Budweiser
8. Getting more cool L-UV from people on the internet and artists i like.
9. Somebody recognising me walking down the street in the city.
Future highlights tho:
1. First festival set (s/o JJJ Unearthed)
2. And another round of shows in Australia 4 the new and OG UV bois and UV shawties.
How did the Ryan Hemsworth collaboration come about?
It's a lil bit of a long story x cool story. Hemmi heard of me thru Nina Las Vegas I believe. Anyhow, I was at Nina's show and Ryan messaged her asking if I was squattin'. So we sent a photo and got Ryan to send one back. It was tight! #Squatbois that's the squad. Nina linked our emails in the morning. Ryan and I sent cute msg. Then he asked if I wanted to make a song with him. *I passed out*. #WeDemGods
Do you have a musical clique of sorts or are you very much a solo ranger?
I'm a lone boi but I now have good music friends in my city Brisbane. Young Franco and Eli Marsland. Also my boi DEER from Melbourne.
What has the international response being so far?
The question should be more like "What has the Australian response being so far?". The response has been great! I mean to be getting luv from your own country is cool. Before the majority of my listeners were from the States and Europe. The international response is growing too. C U in tha future UV bois and UV shawties.
How was the transition from recording to doing live shows? What has been your favorite live show? Whom do you look up to as sitting the performance benchmark?
The transition has been smooth. Aside from missing my first lone flight to my first show of the Thank U Tour in Perth. My emotions were later brought back to happiness because Perth was tighht! Brisbane 15/08 & 11/09 and Sydney show with Com Truise have been my favourites so far too. Artists that I look up to for performance benchmark are Chrome Sparks, TEED, BADBADNOTGOOD and Seekae…..Oisima tho! I saw him at a show was both played.
Top 5 artists Now (not just music):
1. Ur Boy Bangs
2. The illustrator(s) of the game Mirror's Edge
3. Nok From The Future
5. This one orchestral soundtrack in the film Wreck It Ralph. When Ralph is plummeting from the sky into the mentos volcano.
Your style icons are?
Ja-Rule & Nelly circa late nineties-2000, 50 Cent In da Club era, 2007 Soulja Boy Tell'Em, Thaiboy Digital, Bladee.
What was your high school experience?
High school was 'aight. I had a close small squad. Grades were average. I'm glad high school is over and I'm doing what I luv now.
Are your family down with UV boi?
They cool with UV. At first Mums was a lil' apprehensive but she is starting to get stoopid hyped tho, like: "U famous now" and "U going to be in America soon". She cute!Shouts out to the Fam *Wu-Tang like emoji with the lil blue rays x 3hunna*
Who are you dying to collaborate with?
Finally, how is your lovelife? ;)
Searching for UV gurl.
THANK YOU UV boi.
L-UV 4 Ya'll.
Interview by Courtney D read the entire article up on i-D.