- Words Ross Mondon
Australia’s hottest new crush Boy Soda, aka Brae Luafalealo, spills the beans on his latest single “LEMONADE” and debut EP, ‘THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THINKING AND FEELING’.
Within a space of a short time period, Boy Soda has propelled onto the music scene both nationally and internationally through the works of hip-hop blended with a fresh view of RnB. Whilst still new to the music scene with years ahead of him, Boy Soda admits, “I feel that the music I’ve released up until now has been a great reflection of my growth, and I think it will provide a great contrast to this new music I’m sitting on.” Nevertheless, Boy Soda is here to stay.
And as he continues to onset from the pandemic and strive from his debut EP, Boy Soda’s five-track record is a collection of music that comes primed with a range of romanticising life and self-awareness. From the hit “WELCOME TO THE GLOW UP” to the fan favourite track “Big”, listeners are welcomed by the stories of a young artist that has gone through the ups and downs of the music industry. With the world around him continuing to come back alive, Boy Soda opening his thoughts for everyone else keeps himself alive as he follows through with the hit single “LEMONADE” and whatever could be next.
Notion caught up with the promising voice of Boy Soda to talk about his latest project, the love for music never changing, the joys of performing live again and having a pie for dinner.
Let’s get straight into it. Following the release of your latest single – “LEMONADE” with Taka Perry – how did this collaboration and song come together, and how would you describe the past few weeks since the release?
Taka and I made “LEMONADE” during our first and only session to date, late last year. It’s so easy to make amazing music with him because he has so much fun doing it and is obviously ridiculously talented. We’ve been great friends since, and it was so much fun making the music video together and shooting a live performance for ‘Mood on the Roof’. We recently linked in London as well, so it’s always lovely when you click with a collaborator and can share a friendship outside of the music.
Following on from your debut EP, ‘THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THINKING AND FEELING’, back in April, you have slowly built up a renowned reputation within Australia and the world’s music scene. How would you describe your growth over the past year?
I’m honestly just very gratedul that this is my life. Being able to create and share a process of finding myself sonically and emotionally and allowing all of that to exist within a discography is very special. I feel that the music I’ve released up until now has been a great reflection of my growth, and I think it will provide a great contrast to this new music I’m sitting on. I’m always excited to create but being able to do it amongst such an inspiring and brilliant creative community is a privilege to be able to exist in and contribute to.
Delving into the debut EP, you explored the vibes of romance, growth, and self-awareness – why did you want to explore these subjects, and what was the reason for sharing your feelings with your fans?
That’s a great way to summarise it! I romanticise everything in my life, and self-awareness is more often than not the overseeing lens in my writing. The EP is the perfect reflection of me discovering my sound, my voice, and my early-20s experiences. I’m a Cancer as well, so that’s probably why I find it easy to talk openly about my emotional highs and lows!
From the hit single “BIG” to “WELCOME TO THE GLOW UP”, what is your favourite track from the EP and why?
My favourite track will always be “TWENTYOH5”! I cried a lot recording it, and my housemate/co-producer lovemed and I had a spiritual, channelled experience while we were making it. The whole track is made up of four acts. Making them, and listening to them, pulls you from this cinematic low point that journeys through anger and sadness to this euphoric release. The track will forever be my catharsis!
Overall, how did ‘THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THINKING AND FEELING’ come together and how does each track entwine with the creative process and themes of the EP?
The project, for me, is the best six songs I had at the time. I used my 2005 (twentyoh5) Elantra as a vessel for the narrative. Track 1, you hear the car keys and ignition, and the outro says, ‘I need a ride’ to take it directly into the second track, “RIDE”. I feel like I was very deliberate in that way. The overall arch of the EP follows a journey from feeling to thinking, “TWENTYOH5” is very much born from emotion, whilst “BIG” comes from a place of thinking and reflection. Sonically, I loved running my vocals through guitar pedals and distorting them for lead lines, they’re in the second verse of “WELCOME TO THE GLOW UP” and very prominent in “LONELY”. There are elements like that, and my addiction to Juno brass patches, that really run consistently throughout the project.
With a slick, hip-hop, R&B sound to your music, how would you personally describe your sound, and would you ever jump into new sounds in the future?
I always say that I make R&B for now. For me as an artist, expression is always an extension of emotion and experience, and I can’t imagine that can only exist in me through R&B music. I will always make music and art, and I want them to exist in different formats and spheres, let alone different genres. My mentors are in country music, so the foundations of my writing were born from incredible storytellers and musicians. I think for a while my music may be labelled R&B in cases where it’s not, but I don’t mind what it gets labelled, because I trust that people will reach their own conclusions when they listen.
Looking at how you started with your debut single, “Time For That”, what inspired you to release your first song and pursue music, and what were your inspirations whilst growing up?
That’s a throwback! I sound so young on that song; it’s me and my sister. Back then, we were making music because it was fun, and we were learning a lot – definitely deep in the 10,000 hours phase of trial and error. And that’s the same feeling that connects me to music now, so in that sense, my love for the process has never changed. That was crucial for me at the time; learning to produce and collaborate with other artists taught me a lot. It’s beautiful to look back and see the journey.
Hitting the road and performing across major cities, what have you missed from performing live, and what can fans expect from your shows?
I’ve missed the electric feeling of connecting with people, finally! Until I sing a song live, I don’t fully have a grasp on how it’s received in certain parts, whether it makes people want to jump or stay still, whether I can sing the melody slightly differently in some parts etc. It’s fun to really get to know your own song repetitively because some songs in the set are unreleased, and I’ve had to drag our guitarist Kristof into the studio to say, ‘Play exactly what you play at the show’ on some of those. It’s the most beautiful experience in the world to give so much of yourself artistically and emotionally and witness people on the other end receiving your output.
Though you have faced challenges, you have also reached high achievements, having already hit renowned festivals and amassing over thousands of streams so far. What has been your highest moment and why?
I just came back from London and had an amazing time writing and existing in a place I didn’t recognise. That was really special for me because I always trusted that music would allow me to see the world organically, and a trip like that really proved that to myself. I took a moment to be proud of myself because being able to do what I truly love and for it to show me the other side of the world is incredible.
Finally, what does the future hold for BOY SODA?
Honestly, I’m thinking about getting a pie for dinner!
“LEMONADE” ft. Taka Perry and EP ‘THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THINKING AND FEELING’ are out now.