Interviews

First Day Feature: Ottawa’s R&B frontrunner Lonely Boy introduces new EP

R&B is for lovers. It’s easily the sexiest, most enticing of all the genres. Leaning right into that concept is Lonely Boy, the promising artist hailing from Canadian city Ottawa, who recently dropped his fire EP, LONELY PPL Vol. 1. As he tells us below, this EP is music you wanna flip on in the bedroom, it puts you in that mood, if you know what we mean. It’s not pure lust though, these tracks are encased in a soft shell of heartbreak, something that Lonely Boy actively channelled into his creativity. He made lemonade outta lemons and we’re drinking every last drop.

How would you describe Lonely Boy’s sound to a total newcomer?

You could describe Lonely Boy’s music as total “Bedroom Music” or “Baby Makin Music” combined, with this project in particular embodying some heartbreak feels.

LONELY PPL is full of themes of love and heartbreak, was this an emotional outlet for you?

This was an emotional process from beginning to end. I would say making my project was therapy for me, to channel my grief into something constructive rather than destructive.

Do you have a favourite track from the EP?

I would say Sussex Drive, pays homage to my hometown and has this bounce that will remind you of the early 2000’s! Nothing beats that type of storytelling and smooth bounce.

And why did you decide to make a three part series around this idea of “lonely people”?

Just like my healing process, it was done in tiers and people don’t just bounce back right away. It’s a process, for anyone who’s ever experienced heartbreak and love for the first time as incredibly impacted and when it all comes falling down picking up the pieces and moving forward is a learning experience.

What first drew you to the R&B genre?

I would say my mother was huge influence in playing R&B around me and my family also. Growing up with my mom playing Toni Braxton belting her music at the top of her lungs and consistently watching bodyguard and singing the karaoke with my family is what drove me to love R&B. It’s the emotion that R&B evokes in you.

You must love classic R&B tracks then, so what are your top three of all time?

I can arguably say that Usher “U Remind Me/Lovers and Friends”, Sade “ Sweetest Taboo” and Aaliyah “ One In A Million”.

What’s the scene like in Ottawa?

It’s collaborative, emerging with fresh talent and it’s appealing because its the healthiest pool of competition.

Want to give any of your local talents a shout out?

There’s so many but here you go: CINO, City Fidelia, Jeff Sanon, Hueso, JUWN and Lia Kloud. There are many others on the rise and it’s only a matter of time.

Did the impact of covid play a role in your songwriting?

It increased and helped my artistry overall, it allowed me to sit with my thoughts and map out who I am as an artist when creating music, if I had to experience it all over again I WOULD IN A HEARTBEAT! And what did you miss about “normal” life while in lockdown? The ability to perform was the only thing, being lockdown matured me as a man and artist! 

Have you been to any gigs yet?

I have been actually, all Canadian based and some virtual for that matter. The goal for 2021 was too perform at 5 and I was able to book 7.

Or plan to go to any in the near future?

I plan to perform so much that i’m not in my hometown, my objective for myself is quite high this year and i’m ready for it. I’m a performance artist at heart so being on stage is where I thrive the most.

Before we sign off, what else do fans have to look forward to from you?

Volume 2 is on the rise, as well as a couple of surprises along the way and including performances. I just want to tell my fans and listeners that LONELY BOY SZN has just begun and we’re just getting started! I’m thankful and grateful to everyone that’s held me down and super excited for what’s to come!

@lonelyboyxxo

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