The Powers of Lostboycrow

Lostboycrow is expanding the defined lines of genres with his pop minded vocals and his dark love affair with the world of modern R&B.  Scrimshaw recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Lostboycrow right before his EP Sigh for Me was released into the music stratosphere.  The album is pure genius with Lostboycrow drawing inspiration from all aspects of his life to create silky beats and lyrics that evoke emotional electricity.  Listen to the album below and check out the interview to get to know the man behind the music. 

Scrimshaw Collective (SC): Hey Lostboycrow, thank you so much for getting back in touch with us! We’re super stoked to be chatting with you!

Lostboycrow (LBC): Thank you guys, I appreciate you reaching out. It really means a lot what you guys have to say about my music; I appreciate your enthusiasm about the music!

We’re big music geeks, and are truly excited about the year ahead in music, especially yours! We first heard your single “Love Won’t Sleep” featured on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist, and initially, thought… who the hell is this guy? The beat is sick! The fact you were on that is epic.

Thank you so much - Yeah, Spotify has been awesome!

We can only imagine Spotify has been a good outlet for you, or are you more of a SoundCloud guy?

Its hard to say if its me, or if its just the way things are shifting in how people discover music. It seems like most people are very SoundCloud heavy, especially for a lot of music blogs, and it’s been huge for me this year.  Whereas with my new EP coming out, Spotify has really come into the picture the past couple of months, and has become a huge resource for people finding my music.

Ah absolutely, both platforms are huge for discovering music nowadays. And it seems like you’ve got a big week with the release of your EP “Sigh For Me.”

That’s right - everything is finally coming out on Wednesday January 13th, apart from the three singles that you may have heard already, including “Powers,” “Talk Back to Me,” and “Love Won’t Sleep” plus two new ones, which I was able to feature some artists on!

Picture by: Lostboycrow

We were actually just looking up your featured artists, Jon Waltz & Skizzy Mars, are these close friends of yours in the industry, or are these new collaborations?

It was amazing working with the incredibly talented artist and writer Jon Waltz, who I didn’t really get to know until we were collaborating on the song, but got to know him a bit more while recording eventually stemming a strong friendship from there. Art is all about connecting, and so when you’re working with people, you obviously want to be connected and into what they’re doing, so I’ve been able to form a friendship with Jon through that. And Skizzy Mars is another feature, of whom I’m a huge fan. He was super into the song, and it was cool to kind of start a relationship out of this song as well. Plus the song itself is kind of about becoming an artist, finding the inspiration within yourself, the dynamic of “ok, now I’m an artist” not just a person that people have told me I am my whole life. It was cool to bring Skizzy in on that one, who’s such an interesting artist & human being.

It’s really cool that you’re collaborating with artists that you not only respect, but you ones that can push your boundaries as an artist. You’re creating something new, and its essential to have new ideas. There’s a lot of places where you have to break the mold in this day and age, and a lot of your music seems to be doing that. In one of your descriptions online, you’re “creating a dark love affair with modern R&B,” so do feel that you connect to a specific genre overall, or are you experimenting to see what comes next?

I mean its kind of experimenting, as its a culmination of everything that I’ve been into. With music, you have it be sincere, and obviously there are different levels of talent but at the end of the day, people just want to hear something sincere; something that strikes a chord within themselves, that they can’t quite put a finger on, but it makes you feel a certain type of way.  And I’ve felt that way with a lot of different genres. I’ve been in punk and metal bands, but have gotten really heavy into R&B over the years. So its just kind of like a culmination of always chasing that feeling of what exactly it is that makes you feel alive. And I think music is immortal in that way. I think we each experience immortality when we listen to a really special song and I’m just so chasing that feeling with each song I put out.

When I first started, I wanted to get into electronic music (not necessarily in the EDM sense), but create that driving beat that really grooves, that people can not only think and appreciate the intellect behind, but also have a good time to, and dance! It’s a combination of all of those things. I want people to resonate with the work, relate my songs to their own stories, and I want it to feel good when they listen to it whether you’re in the club or you’re blasting it in your homies’ car going 80 down the freeway - it doesn’t matter. I will say that R&B has meant a lot to me over the past few years, and there is that R&B/hip-hop element especially in my features. I don’t think these artists I worked with are bound by any genre, but they definitely have more of a hip-hop/R&B leaning, and it’s something that I appreciate, and will always try to bring in on my collabs.

Picture by: Lostboycrow

I think that your music, 100% makes people feel good.  And as we’re not always driving down the freeway at 80 MPH, your music always triggers a foot tap on the early morning subway commute.

Haha, that’s awesome. So are you guys in New York?

We’re actually between New York City & San Diego. A bicoastal collective exploring both coasts and everything in between. Looking to get up to the Pacific Northwest sometime soon.

Yeah definitely, I’m from Portland, so I got you there. Oregon is one of the best places to explore! It’s probably good now for Scrimshaw that you’re in separate locations, so you can cover more ground.

Totally! We’re able to reach similar audiences in very different locations, which has been really awesome. So you said you were from Portland, but are now in California?

Yeah I was born in Portland, and moved down to LA about a year and a half ago. LA is what I call home. It’s been so welcoming and rejuvenating as an artist.  

So can we assume that LA has influenced your work, from the weather to the people, to the vibe down there?

Definitely, I would say that without question the people and the vibe in and of itself have been such a positive experience thus far. Working with other incredible musicians and producers! I’ve lived all over the city, and have been able to experience truly every part of LA. A huge influence in the music I make is from the people I’ve met and the way they've inspired me. Portland is a very culturally rich place, but it’s just not quite the same, especially in what I’ve wanted to do.  LA has been the perfect setting for me to do what I want.

Photo by: Lostboycrow

In talking about different cities, are you keeping your shows in the California area this year, or are you going to be heading around the country a little bit?

Honestly, everything’s pretty open right now, but I’m planning on traveling quite a bit as I think we’re at that point now. I’ve been playing LA for a decent time now, and we’ve this big EP release show Wednesday January 13, which is going to huge! Then after that, it looks like we’ve got a couple gigs out of town, and hopefully a proper tour this spring or summer.

That’s great news, and good to hear you’ll be traveling – make your way to NYC! For us when we listen to your music it’s almost like a story, so to follow you along a potential tour, we’re curious to see what kind of music would come out of that trip.

Me too, and thank you for that! That really resonates with me and means a lot. I was just reminded yesterday with the misfortune of David Bowie’s passing, of what an amazing storyteller he was and what a lost art that’s become. I say it all the time when I talk to people about my music, I really can’t stress storytelling enough, because that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. I think as artists, whether you’re a painter or whomever, you have a really special opportunity to tell stories in ways that history books really could never do justice, or quite capture the truth however factual they may be.  So that means a lot to hear.

Well said, and very true! As we’ve all been thinking about Mr. Bowie’s unfortunate passing, was he a strong influence for you, and if so, are there any other artists that’ve been influential in your work?

Oh man, of course Bowie was a huge influence! I think artists are confined by mediums sometimes you know, you’re an singer, you’re an actor, whatever, but I think David Bowie was a true artist across the board, which is something that I’m trying to draw from as well. But yeah, I think the biggest influences of the lyrics and sounds that you hear now are with my love for the Arctic Monkeys and Alex Turner specifically, who’s an incredible - INCREDIBLE - lyricist and writer. And then Frank Ocean; Frank’s music has done things to me I can’t even begin to describe. I think when I heard Channel Orange, and then went backwards into his catalogue from there, that was a huge turning point for me as a singer and a way to sing stories. Although these artists are a little bit more modern, they’ve had a timeless effect on the music that I’m creating now, and will probably always be creating. But also Brian Wilson, and the Beach Boys - which I grew up listening to with my parents, so I think those are the big ones!

Photo by: Lostboycrow

The quote on your SoundCloud bio reads “an idea that pays homage to new beginnings and a poignant heritage,” and Frank Ocean is a perfect example of that, who’s such a cool new twist on a classic sound that a lot of people can get behind. 

Yeah, totally agree, and he’s been such a huge inspiration for that reason. He’s been a great 21st century version of the great R&B signers of past times. He’s so traditional yet forward thinking at the same time, which is the most inspiring thing about him. He draws from those familiarities, and those classic/timeless sounds and feels, in the way that singers just used to really fucking sing! And today, I think unfortunately that can get lost in a lot of the production. That’s what great about Frank is that you can understand what he’s singing about, even if you didn’t understand any of the words.  He’s just so powerful in that way.

Speaking of production, we noticed the label “Sexy Electric” on your Instagram. Is that the label your EP is going to be on?

No actually, but they are very dear friends of mine, that I met in the beginning of last summer through another fantastic artist Alma. We started working together as more of a collective, but this new EP is actually independent. However, I couldn’t have made this without the help of my friends there at Sexy Electric; it’s been really nice to have that collective friendship sonically.

So they helped more on the production side then?

Yep! Brian Child and Marø who produced the EP, we did everything together! They are co-founders of Sexy Electric, along with help from DJ Kill Paris.

Didn’t we see Kill Paris do a remix of one of your songs Spotify?

Yeah, he did, he remixed my first song “Powers,” which was awesome because he’s incredibly talented. We’ve since become really good friends!

Ok, so speaking of remixes, do you like being in the studio or being on stage more?

Oooh, that’s a great question!  I don’t even know if I could ever answer that! I guess off the top of my head, I enjoy being on stage more because it’s more enjoyable, whereas the studio has this beautiful labor-of-love. The studio is a very magical place, but I think I have to say stage because that’s where it all comes together! Reliving the triumphs and pains, your highs and lows; the stage is pretty hard to beat!

For us, going to concerts is the best, but then again listening to that one song in your head phones can be just what the doctor ordered. As we’re not performers, it’s fascinating to hear your take on it. As we’ve noticed on your Instagram page, there are a lot of wings in your photos + blue stripes over your eyes, and we were wondering if these allude to your name and if you could talk a little bit about that.

Yeah, to put it simply, the name has a lot to do with storytelling and dreaming actually. The roots are actually from the Native American culture first nation, from a tribe called the Crow in Montana. I grew up loving their culture so much and wanted the name to pay homage to that. The Crow are an amazing culture that revolves around dreaming and seeing a visions for your tribe and those around you. There’s not a more beautiful image to be an artist, and help dream for those around you, which gives a quick synopsis of the name. The wings though in the pictures, obviously represent the wings of crow, but I’ve added these wings to remind everyone that there’s a bigger better version of yourself - and that we all have that. Then the blue streak over my eyes, represents that we all see our worlds through different lenses, sharing and experiencing perspectives as we do. LostBoyCrow is as real as it gets for me. Some people call me LostBoy, some LBC!

Wow, that’s an awesome reason! Now, we’ve got a question for you, which three words would you choose to describe how you’re feeling for the release of this new EP and 2016 as a year in general? We’re just so excited for 2016 in music, especially to see how you develop as an artist!

I’ve got to say 1) Thankful, because of all the people who helped me create what I did; obviously 2) Excited, because in my mind the possibilities for this year are endless; and I think all at the same time, 3) Ready, as I think I’m really just ready. Everything from this past year has taught me to be ready, and get this on the road!

Yeah, ready to spread those wings!

Yeah, haha, ready to spread those wings!

Well thank you so much for everything and we really appreciate your time and excitement to chat.  We’re looking forward for the EP and everything else that’s to come!

Definitely, thank you guys so much for reaching out.  I’ve enjoyed talking with you and you’ve asked some amazing questions; I’m excited to have a feature with you!

Photo by: Lostboycrow