Boylexxy is a Nigerian Afro-fusion artiste based in Atlanta, USA. As an artiste, his art is built on the foundations of his exposure to mixes and variations afrobeats sounds over the course of his life. When Boylexxy moved to the US some years ago, He decided to hold on to his roots, even before using his creative pursuit as a way of expressing his inbred culture.
Boylexxy’s adventure into recording and releasing digitally produced music began by pure happenstance, but the network he had built prior to this were already enough to set him up for the stars. Following the track of his journey so far leads one into rooms of his intentions – promoting his African culture in new terrains and creating interesting sounds that everyone can vibe to.
We recently caught up with the artiste, and this article ensued form our conversation with him.
Can you give me insight into your early life as an individual and how you got to find this gift of making music?
I started my life in Agege area of Lagos, then I moved from Agege to Ogba after my primary school. From there I moved to Igbo Ishaga, Fagba. I went to Stanfield College in Nigeria, then I moved to the USA.
Coming to the USA, my first stop was Indiana, Indianapolis. Back then I wasn’t actually making music. I was listening more to afrobeats songs then. I remember when I was young my dad used to listen to a lot of Fuji records; songs by Saheed Osupa, King Wasiu Ayinde, Ayuba… combining all of those sounds made me fall in love with afrobeats.
I moved down to Atlanta about four years ago, and I started making music with my roommate – he’s from Togo. He makes music, and we were just vibing in the studio and he made me layer a vocal randomly. He was very intrigued by my sound and encouraged me to make more music.
I later linked up with Shizzi who records me and also is my A&R. Right from then, I started making more friends in the industry. I linked up with 1DaBanton who produced my latest single called ko wo le. I also worked with Phantom on a song called Bobo. I got featured on Peruzzi’s Album, Rum and Boogie. I was on the fifth track on the boogie side called ‘Change your Style’. I have newer stuff coming up now, and I know people are expectant of it.
Before making music I already had friends in the industry. I knew Ice Prince, Skiibi and Naira Marley before I started recording. I just knew how to navigate my way. We also have a lot of mutual friends who are really connected in the industry so I’m just trying to drop good songs on my own and build a solid music portfolio.
That’s interesting… what was the experience like living in the US, especially after stepping in straight from Africa?
I remember moving from Nigeria down to the USA a lot of changes I experienced. I experienced a lot of racism. People used to call us Africans back then in high school “African Bootie Scratcher”. We just used to take this cause then it wasn’t cool to be an African. It made me wonder why I wasn’t accepted as an African despite being black too. I just had to get used to the system.
I used to be one of the guys back then in high school who puts everyone on to new African music and what’s trending in the African pop culture scene. The black American kids were really always curious about African music and culture. So I basically was giving out songs from my playlists. I started to figure out at some point that they liked the culture but not the person. It was a mind trip.
When I think back at it now I think many of them were just ignorant. Back then these new school artistes hadn’t broken out. It was just the old school guys. Now it’s cool to be African because the likes of Burna Boy, Wizkid and Davido have put the light on the continent and given us a sense of worth as a people.
That’s so true…. but did you not get tempted at any point to switch up your music style?
I could hear a lot of people in the street asking me why I couldn’t make songs like Americans, the type of sounds they’d like. I mean, I listen to trap music a lot and other Black-American/American music but my energy never connects to what they are talking about because I didn’t live the life that theya re portraying. However when it comes to afrobeats I understand the melodies that I was born into and I kow I was made to do this.
All these things are what make me who I am today. I also have people telling me that they like what I’m doing because my sound is different. The music is kinda interesting to them because I am making music like someone Nigeria would despite living here in the US. People keep telling me almost religiously that my song is a vibe. I think they are intrigued by another young artiste coming through with a unique sound relevant to his culture despite being in foreign terrains.
You’ve done really well for yourself in the short time you’ve been making music… you performed at Kizz Daniel Mayorkun’s US tours. How does it make you feel, still doing great things with afrobeats even though you aren’t mostly in Nigeria?
A lot of people say you can’t blow living in America by making Afrobeats sounds here but I don’t think that’s true. I have built a solid network, and I want to bridge the gap between America and Nigeria so everyone can be accepted and the sound can be heard. Me doing it right now makes me realize the more that it is possible.
Right… Digital means have really helped in bridging distances between worlds, how have you learned and benefitted from new technology for music?
It’s not been easy so far because you kind of have to learn the algorithm, but I’m not really fazed by that because I used to be a YouTuber. Those who know YouTube know that to thrive on the platform you have to upload your content consistently in order to get more noticed becaue the algoritm is going to push you farther because they want you to come back to using the platform. Wherever you’re posting your content, you are gathering your information in one place.
I think using digital platforms helps you cut away from bullshit from people. At the end of the day, it is about giving yourself a platform. Youre going to get noticed eventually if you keep doung your thing. Evryone sees what’s going on on social media.
Haha! I hear you. How would you describe your sound?
My sound is called afrovibe because whenever you listen, you get a vibe. I am trying to make my sound a fusion of Afro sounds and American sounds so it is relatable to audiences from various parts of the world.
You are working on an EP and I know you want to keep it shush, but can you give away any information on it?
I’m working on my EP right now. I’ve been working on it for almost two years now, just tryna gather the sounds together. I have Del B as one of the producers on there. I have 1dabanton, Phantom… there are a lot of surprises and features on there that I don’t want to disclose right now.
I actually don’t have a date for its release yet, but I have the artwork ready. There are a lot of plans I have to put in motion. Ko Wo Le off it is out now. It should be out in the middle of next year but nothing is promised as there are still a lot of groundwork to be done.
Hmmm…. really anticipating it now. Here’s a question to think about, what matters the most to you and why?
I’d say quality and consistency. If you have quality work, people are always going to go back to listen to it. If you are being consistent, you’re always going to be out there in front of people’s faces. People will have no choice but to love you. That plus having quality work, you will get anything you’re seeking for. Quality and consistency. I also value freedom. The freedom to create, explore and just do this.