These days nobody wants to be boxed into a particular genre. Everyone’s some rap/trap/electronic hybrid with jazz influences. But the guys behind BOY/FRIEND – Shan Poo on vocals and Jason Scott and MNTN on production – are happy to label their sound R&B . The trio gained some momentum last year with the release of Leather Weather and now after a slew of singles, have released “Butterflybynight,” a track that will get you ready for the summer. Mass Appeal sat down with BOY/FRIEND’s vocalist, Shan Poo to talk about food, fashion, and music.
Mass Appeal: When you google BOY/FRIEND the Justin Bieber song comes up. How do you feel about that?
Shan Poo: Well I love Justin Bieber so I’m like half happy about it, and like also half annoyed. We need to sort that out.
MA: Describe your music in three words?
SP: Sexy. Cool. Passionate.
MA: Cool. Alright.
SP: It’s definitely just feel good. A lot of people are on this sad boy shit right now. We’re trying to bring something brighter. That’s a big part of R&B, I’m really getting into that pop, open arms feel. I’ve showed it to some people and they’re not ready for it yet. Most people only feel cool listening to dark shit but I really fuck with the happiness of R&B and that’s what I’m doing like, falling in love again. Just letting people know love is a happy place.
MA: What was your favorite cartoon when you were a kid?
SP: Probably “The Simpsons.”
MA: Who’s your favorite designer right now?
SP: I would say Shaun Samson, have you heard of him? I like the lazy, cosy boy shit that he does. He does these slip-ons, like adidas slippers, they’re like disco ball and platnium silver. He’s cool. He combines the walking-to-the-bodega look with high fashion shit.
MA: What was your worst outfit choice of all time?
SP: Aw damn, I don’t know. I never really had a bad outfit… well yeah, I get made fun of. Probably the whole slippers thing I get made fun of for. I wear regular adidas slippers all the time with socks.
MA: Do you know Mellany Sanchez? We did a Hey, You’re Cool! piece on her a few months ago.
SP: The name sounds familar.
MA: ‘Cause your song, “ Leather Weather“…
SP: Ohh, okay. I know of her now because we both happened to use “Leather Weather” but it wasn’t inspired by her. Maybe I should hit her up and be like, “Hey, I’m cool now too.”
MA: What’s your guilty pleasure song?
SP: Like a song I wouldn’t play in front of other people? Probably some John Mayer’s Continuum album. When I was alone in LA when all the homies left I was listening to that. That would not be banging in the car but John Mayer is one of my favorite artists for sure.
MA: Apart from music what are you into?
SP: I like food. I come from a mixed background so I grew up eating Thai, Filipino, Chinese food… I typically go for Asian food but I love Italian. French is probably my least favorite actually. I love street food and hole-in-the-wall spots.
MA: If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
SP: I would say fish tacos that’s how I’m feeling right now.
MA: If you could go back in time and steal someone’s song and claim it as your own. What song would you steal?
SP: Holy shit, that’s a really good question. Um… There’s so many. Pharrell “Frontin” because when that song came out everyone wanted to be with Pharrell or be Pharrell. I feel like that’s a cliche thing to say but that was such a golden era for me as far as the early 2000s.
MA: Cam’ron has capes. When you get really famous and you can make anything and people will buy it. What will you make?
SP: I would do the flip flops. My own set of flip flops.
MA: Would you have to wear them with socks?
SP: Hell yeah.
MA: What fashion trend do you wish would just go away?
SP: God, there’s so many. I really want the rapper/Givenchy thing to go away. That’s really annoying. It’s really played out.
MA: In terms of music, who do you respect from New York?
SP: Dev Hynes. He’s not from New York but he reps New York pretty hard.
MA: What’s next for you?
SP: Right now we’re just dropping a lot of singles. The pick up has been good. I have a lot of songs I’m just sitting on. I want to put out an album eventually. Touring, you know, I want to open for an act that would match me. Maybe move out of the city or being bi-coastal. Make my mom happy. That’s it.
You can download BOY/FRIEND’s Leather Weather on SoundCloud.