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Growing up in Texas, Boy Epic spent much of his early childhood at the movies with his father. “We weren’t watching Disney movies or cartoons—it was all these intense dramas, a lot of Martin Scorsese,” says the Dallas-bred singer/songwriter. “I think seeing those movies at such a young age made my mind the way it is now, and led me to write all these very dark songs I’ve come up with over the years.”
Boy Epic’s cinephilia hasn’t only impacted the mood of his music. Each of his expansive noir-pop offerings shows a directorial sense of tension and tone, a mastery of detail so refined that each song unfolds as its own mini-movie. Having recently earned more than 2 million YouTube views for his Suicide Squad-inspired “Scars,” Boy Epic now delivers a new track built on a more urban-leaning, groove-driven sound: the atmospheric but darkly lustful “Dirty Mind.”
The track finds him bringing beautifully warped vocal effects to the song’s sensually charged lyrics. “‘Dirty Mind’ is an insight into an experience I had with a woman in my life,” says Boy Epic. “Mostly I wanted to write something sexy that people could move to, something where you could turn the lights off and just get lost in the song.”
Naming Frank Sinatra as his one and only musical influence—“Every time I hear him sing, it’s like I’m right there in his mind”—Boy Epic began his journey as a musician after getting a guitar for Christmas when he was a kid. “At first I wasn’t even half-good, but I never gave up and I never put the guitar down,” he says. Raised on the Depeche Mode and U2 albums his mother played at home, Boy Epic’s musical inclinations were also shaped by his father, a professional bowler and former rock drummer. “When I was young I’d hang around with my father and his friends at the bowling alleys and the bars—all these old-school rock-and-roll dudes,” he recalls.
Soon after teaching himself to play guitar, Boy Epic made his first attempts at songwriting and spent some time honing his craft before finding his true voice. “It took me going through something to figure out who I was and what I was supposed to be doing,” says Boy Epic, noting that his mother’s unwavering support through the years played a meaningful role in his perseverance. “Once I’d done some soul searching, I made the connection between my love for movies and my love for music, and that’s when it all started to come together for me.”
In 2014, Boy Epic had his first breakthrough with his stunning covers of songs like A Great Big World’s “Say Something” (a track that’s now amassed over 7.6 million views on YouTube). Working in collaboration with Dallas-based producer Cut Down Trees, he later released originals like “Scars” and accompanied each track with a captivating video revealing his sophisticated yet self-taught skills as a visual artist.
Listing Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, and Christopher Nolan among his favorite filmmakers, Boy Epic now typically watches a movie a day and mines nearly every film for songwriting material. “It could be a movie I’ve seen a thousand times or something never watched before, but if it sparks a feeling in me I’ll go write a song that takes that inspiration and infuse it with something from my own life,” he says. Currently working on his debut album, Boy Epic finds that autobiographical element essential to his artistry. “There’s a hell of a lot of truth in my music,” he says. “I feel like I have a responsibility to write about the things that have happened to me, because hopefully it’ll help other people who have gone through something similar. My music is my therapy, and I can’t really see it being any other way.”