- Words Stevie Carter
- Photography Leon McCullough
Hailing from Ireland, multi-talented songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Smoothboi Ezra chats with Notion about the next steps in their musical journey.
Making their way onto the music scene in 2018, 18-year-old non-binary songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Ezra, better known as ‘Smoothboi Ezra’. The rising musician has been capturing the hearts and ears of listeners all over with their introspective and forward-thinking brand of indie-pop artistry.
Hailing from Ireland, Smoothboi Ezra uses their music as a cathartic means of unpacking a variety of poignant and relevant topics, from gender dysphoria to relationships and emotional connections, using their unique lens of a young person who is both non-binary and on the autism spectrum, to deliver music that offers a relatability and perspective for those who aren’t always reflected within the mainstream.
Unveiling a brand new record and stunning new EP, Smoothboi Ezra’s latest project sees them unpack and delve into one of their significant and formative relationships and the difficulties they have faced in forming emotional relationships because of their autism. With a range of sonic and artistic influences, from Haley Heynderickx to Phoebe Bridgers, Smoothboi Ezra is back with the captivating follow-on from their previous single Stuck and their series of fantastic 2020 and 2019 releases.
Set to showcase and deliver a wealth of new music this coming year, Smoothboi Ezra shows no signs of slowing down and continues to flaunt their ever developing sound and artistry, further highlighting why they are no doubt an incredible rising artist to watch.
Notion caught up with the talented Smoothboi Ezra to discuss their journey in music so far, their exciting new EP, sonic influences, and much more.
Was there a pivotal moment that got you into music and wanting to pursue it as a career?
I put my song “Thinking of You” on Spotify because someone did a remix and I wanted people to know it was my song. I just kept uploading from there, because some people seemed to be listening.
Where do your main musical and creative influences come from?
Haley Heynderickx, Phoebe Bridgers, Angel Olsen, Mitski, Stella Donnelly, Soccer Mommy, Elliott Smith, Kate Bush and Frank Ocean to name a few.
Hailing from Ireland, how did the culture and local Irish music scene influence your journey and sonic style?
The first cover I ever uploaded to YouTube when I was 12 was “Work Song” by Hozier. He was the first Irish musician that properly inspired me, because he came from the same county as me, and his music is really good. I grew up with American media like Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, so I never really paid attention to Irish music and media until I was around 11.
With the forthcoming release of your exciting new EP, how are you feeling?
I’m excited for people to hear it, and to be able to play the songs live.
Can you tell us a bit about the creative process behind the EP?
A lot of late nights; I can’t write during the day, all my good songs are written between 3 and 5 in the morning when everyone else is asleep. I enjoyed drawing the EP art on my wall. This EP will forever remind me of The Office US as I was binge-watching it while producing the EP and painting my wall, in the middle of the night.
What are the overarching messages you want to convey with the EP?
I don’t have one specific message for my music, I’d like people to take away whatever they want or need from it, come up with their own meanings for the songs, and enjoy them.
Since your musical debut in 2018, what would you say are the main ways you’ve progressed, changed and developed artistically and sonically.
I think my production has gotten better, and my writing style has matured, all of the songs I released in 2018 were written in 2016, and most of the songs after that were written in 2018. This is my first EP of completely new songs written and released in a shorter gestation period than for a baby lol.
How would you say the past year has added to and influenced you changing as an artist and your musical and career trajectory?
This year has been similar to every other year since I was 14, my mental health put me in a self-enforced lockdown for years. I only began my social life in November 2019 and it was short lived thanks to Corona, so I just fell back into my old routine.
In light of your upcoming release, are there any specific genres, sounds or themes you’re hoping to explore with this record, or in the future, that you haven’t yet experimented with?
I don’t like putting labels on my music style. I feel like each of my songs falls into a different genre and I’d like to say that it’s on purpose, but I usually just go with the flow and see what happens.
With everything beginning to open back up, what are you most looking forward to about being able to go back to touring and live shows?
I’m excited to do a tour for the first time. I’ve only ever performed my songs live four times, so I don’t have a lot of experience and I am excited to get some.
What can we expect from you next and or the rest of 2021?
I’m playing Whelan’s in Dublin on 22nd September, Mood Swings in Manchester 24th September, and The Great Western in Glasgow 13th November. I’m very excited.