“I remember seeing this interview with Christian Bale. He was at a press conference and he got asked when he worked with Christopher Nolan on The Dark Knight, about the way that that series ended. He was asked, ‘Did the Batman really live, or was the ending just a dream, or was that real life?’ Christopher Nolan’s vision was to leave it up to the audience so they can have whatever ending that they want. Whatever it meant to them is what it is. There is no definitive answer. And I’m so intrigued by that. I love that so much.”
That Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and David Fincher are the directors whom he holds in the highest regard is common knowledge; all else, not so much. But there is actually something refreshing about how little we know about Boy Epic. His shoe size? No idea. His favorite food? Not a clue. Marvel or DC? I really should have asked that but, in truth, such a thing is far less relevant than what he genuinely wants us to be in touch with: what we hear, what we see, and what we feel.
“That’s what music is. It’s a feeling, an emotion.”
That his last single was called “Kanye’s In My Head” and its accompanying video was a mélange of “clever/creepy/comical/comic book/Nightmare Before Christmas-ish animations” and panda imagery is just another day at the office because, when it comes to Boy Epic, what you are dealing with is a mind of conceptual vision: it is an artistic trait of the Dallas, TX native which informs his musical creativity on an almost romantic level. Indeed, there is a love affair going on: his long-time and great passion for of the art of film (he watches at least one movie per day) which tends to have great agency over the presentation of his music. Don’t be surprised if, some day, he announces that he has an entry into a film festival like Cannes, Tribeca or Sundance. It could happen…
“I knew if I pursued music first it would allow me to better my film skills, if you will. My biggest teachers are the movies that I own and the movies that I see. Every time I do a video I’m learning something new, whether it be something I’m writing the treatments to, to storytelling, to acting, or to editing. I’m always learning something.”
And in some way, shape or form the two eventually meet as they absolutely do in the video which he directed for his new single, “Trust.”
“It’s just that’s one of the hardest things to get out of another person nowadays, I think.”
Yes: these days, trust is a pretty big leap of faith and then some.
Something best left explored and explained by the man, himself – as a song and a video – “Trust” is a very real thing. Real in the sense that, for Boy Epic, the subject matter is more flesh than fantasy. More a pure slice of his life being offered up for public consumption, contemplation and relation with the video…well, the video being the latest dot in a sequence of musical events. Easy takeaways from our talk were he is a rather thoughtful individual and wonderfully lively conversationalist with a lot going on behind those bright eyes of his. No, he was not caught up in a hardcore Bonnie and Clyde situation (that we know of), but it surely fuels the mind’s curiosity fire as the video volleys love, violence, danger, damage, Boy Epic’s snazzy dance moves and wonderfully dramatic bone structure at you. So we took a deeper dive with Boy Epic into the import of the audible and visual, the trust, and his artistically ambitious nature. All, of course, in his words…
“The whole video is a dream, within a dream, within a dream. It’s got the Inception concept right there. So, again, another Christopher Nolan reference. The ending is very unexpected, and that’s a little Easter egg for the people who are fans. People who don’t really know me, who are going to see this video, they’re going to see that, and they’re going to be like, “What the fuck is this?” But the people who have seen “Kanye’s In My Head” or who are just familiar with my work, in general, know that I’m going to throw something at them. That’s just a little Easter egg to say all these videos are tied together. So it’s one giant something that means something.”
It’s Just Five Little Letters…
“Everyone’s got their guard up, everyone’s been hurt. A lot of the times, a lot of people won’t even allow themselves to be happy, because of their lack of trust in other people. Whether it stems from something that happened to them when they were a child, or early teenager, or a bad relationship, whatever. It’s something that’s very common that I feel that everybody can relate to in some way.
I just wrote about a relationship: asking another person to trust me. Understand that it’s okay, you can trust me. Just give me a chance. It’s like a dance, a struggle between do I have to be a little crazy to get you to trust me? Not crazy in a negative way, but just I really want this person to trust me, so I’m going to go all out and make them see that I’m the one for them. If that makes sense.”
Beneath The Surface
“The song had two different types of meanings to me. One of them is a very overall type of thing, and then the video is a very specific thing. The whole thing is something that I wanted to tackle; not everyone in the world is going to have a substance abuse issue, but I know everyone is going to know at least one person that has had a substance abuse issue, or knows someone who has a substance abuse issue.”
“Honestly, everything that I write stems from real life, that has happened to me. But I find real quirky and clever and unique ways to twist it a bit. The girl has a very bad substance abuse issue and he is with her because he loves her and he thinks that through their relationship he can help her, ensure her, and through that he asks her to trust him, and allow herself to get better. Obviously, you know the conclusion….but, then again, is she even real to begin with? So, that’s that. But by the fourth video, I promise you, you’ll find out and the audience will find out if she’s a real person or not.”
Grab ‘Em By The…
“I feel like I’m giving them everything that they can possibly need to understand what I’m going to tell them, and what I’m giving them too. I’m not trying to cut corners at all. I’m sure there’s going to come a day where I do a song, maybe for another artist…or something like that, and I’m not going to get to do a video for that. But I can promise you that everything else that I do that is just me, I’m always going to have some type of visual with it. Because I think it’s so important to grab people by their eyes, just as with their ears.”
The Learning Curve
“’Trust’ was my first video that I’ve ever done where I had a crew; everything that I’ve done up until this point it’s just been me and my sometimes collaborator, Chris (Cut Down Trees). This time we’re working with an 18-man crew.
I show up on set and I’m like, holy shit, who are all these adults? Even though I’m like an adult. I had all these grown ass people that have been in this business, that have shot in real feature films, and hundreds and hundreds of music videos, and I show up on set, and I’m like, ‘Hey, guys. It’s me just showing up.’ Every time I would speak, everybody would stop and listen and look at me, which freaked me out a bit, but it was really cool at the same time. It was like, ‘Fuck, yeah.’ I felt like I’ve grown.
I think that’s the most important thing in this business…well, two things: Love what you do and grow. You have to grow. We shot from 7am until 10pm. It was a grueling day, it was my first time working with all those people, but I learned so much. Which is going to be amazing for the next video that we do with a giant crew. I’m going to be on top of my shit. I’m sure I’m going to learn something that day, too.”
“By the end of the year I would love for one of my songs that I release this year to, obviously, hit radio. I would like to make it in the top 10 on Billboard. Not number 10 though; it’s got to be, like, 1 through 9. I would like to get some good news about either some kind of festival that I submit stuff to. I would like to get into something, and let other filmmakers see my work, so they can tell me how either bad I suck, or how good I am, so I can learn from it. So the next thing that I do, I can do better.
Overall, I think I just I want to be happy and I want to make other people happy. I feel like by the end of the year on New Year’s, right before New Years Eve, I would like to step back and look at how much my fan base has grown from now till the end of the year, and just with that knowledge see all the comments from people. If I could just grab some people and affect their lives in a positive way, that would make me, probably, the happiest.”
Happiness looks good on everyone; especially on those whom you trust.