For most people, pursuing a life passion whilst studying can be too much of a task. For artist, Sally Boy, it did not seem much of an issue. While being a senior at USC, majoring in popular music and minoring in philosophy, the Philadelphia born, Los Angeles based singer songwriter hit the music scene in 2020 with the release of his debut EP ‘EREZ’.
His debut EP garnered accolades including being listed as one of Pigeons & Planes Best New Artist in September, features in Wonderland Magazine, Flaunt Magazine, American Songwriter’s Bringing It Backward Podcast, One’s To Watch and more.
Sally Boy’s music is playful, with heart beating drums and lyrics with swagger, despite of its dabbling in self-deprecation. It’s a mixed bag of treats, aimed at celebrating oneself, flaws and all. Self-acceptance is at the root of Sally Boy whose real name is Erez Potok-Holmes. The 22-year-old multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter, adopted the moniker after writing the song ‘Sally Boy,’ his first real solo effort outside his work with his band.
His foray in music is both consistent and confident, with another forthcoming EP on the cards. Titled, ‘Lies I Tell Myself’, represents simple expressions of who the artist is and where he is at the moment. Fresh off his new single ‘Bongo’, which is taken from his forthcoming EP, we speak to Sally Boy to get an insight to his music and his future plans as an artist.
You’re studying philosophy at USC. Do you find parallels between your studies and music, and have you applied them in anyway?
No, not really, but that was the purpose. The reason I chose to study philosophy was to dive deeply into completely different lines of thought, in an attempt to expand my ways of thinking. These new avenues would then be explored through my music or creative process. Sort of the same effect I get from reading or watching movies. It’s all about approaching art from different mediums/lenses.
You’re still fresh into your music career, but yet you already have an EP due out. Are you stoked that it’s come together so quickly for you?
I’m stoked that it’s come together, but I’m not sure I would say “quickly” is the best way to describe it! Definitely a back and forth and certainly a labour of love, so, what I’m really stoked about is that I have a final product I’m truly proud of.
How did ‘Lies I Tell Myself’ come together and what was the inspiration behind this EP?
It came together over the past 9 months or so, in collaboration with two of my besties – Jhune and Cole Mitchell –during a really weird time in the world and in our lives. The inspiration behind this project was to write about the little lies I tell myself in order to feel better about my day or my life. But in the process I learned much more. It was about who I am as a person and an artist. If there’s one thing I can say about this project it’s that it’s intentional. Every little sound was meticulously chosen, levels were incrementally shifted, lyrics were written and rewritten in an effort to accurately convey my experience. So I suppose the inspiration was to make a project I could look back on and not want to change a single thing.
How would you describe your music?
I’m never sure how to best describe it but I know how I want it to make you feel. I want my music to bring you some sort of joy or solace. Whether that’s through appreciation/adoration of the music itself or if the lyrics help contextualize things in your own life. I want you to listen to my music and feel lighter. As for how to describe it, I just ask people to tell me what they think.
How was it like collaborating with Hong Kong Boyfriend for ‘Good At Being Lonely’?
Easy breezy. We’ve been making songs together for the better part of four years now, so it was just a matter of one of them hitting daylight. Pretty sure we wrote that song in its entirety in a day. It’s always fun when it’s easy.
You have your own variety show called The Sally Boy Show. What inspired this project?
My manager/best friend Sean Lewow came up with it. We were talking one day after he had taken a nap, and he proclaimed that he had dreamed up a Sally Boy variety show, with a mixture of sketches and performances. The nuts and bolts I figured out with a couple of other friends but yeah, Sean Lewow, the first spark of the wildfire that is the Sally Boy Show.
You have a few live dates coming up in October. How excited are you to perform for audiences again?
Oh my god, so excited I just cannot explain it! I make music for the prospect of playing live. It is my bliss, my nirvana, everything is okay when I’m on stage. It’s truly phenomenal and there is nothing on this earth that can compare to it. So yeah excited.
Do you have expectations for ‘Lies I Tell Myself’?
I expect it to be the best thing I’ve put out in my career so far. That’s about it though because it’s really the only thing I actually have control over. All other accolades and accomplishments are sweet in addition because they are a pure response, something I have no reign on. This is just another rep in exercises I’ve been trying to partake in for peace of mind so, yeah, I expect it to be the best thing so far, but a steppingstone to ever greater things.
Listen to Sally Boy’s new single ‘Bongo’ here. ‘Lies I Tell Myself is due out in October.
(Images: Elias Ginsberg; Main Feature Image: Cade Laranang)