WFA is all about putting the spotlight on creatives who push boundaries with their art. Our interviewee this time is definitely a member of that club. Whether it's working in the film world as "Pierre Marku" or allowing his words to be enveloped with sound as as a rapper, Lobby Boy is no stranger to introspection.
Born in the Ivory Coast but moving to London at a young age, Lobby Boy lightly touches on the dichotomy of these two worlds in his debut EP: "Falling Forward." On this offering, Lobby Boy tells stories his way and takes the listener on a journey through his life. Read more below as we dive in and get to know him more.
As Lobby Boy, you know the true interpretation of your music but imagine you were a fan of LB. How would you describe what his music is about?
A wavey rapper who uses clarity, flow & melodies to touch on his social circumstance, relations, goals? Oh yeah, did I mention he's wavey?
Now back as Lobby Boy, what are you trying to achieve with your music?
Initially when I started writing music, it felt like writing a diary, so whenever I would spit the lyrics again to myself later down the line, it was like reminding myself of a time I felt a certain way; that made me realise that, your thought process will always change with time but the goal & the mission should never change. That shit is motivating to me. I’m hoping people listen to my tunes & feel motivated to act on their visions also.
You are not a stranger to the creative world as you are also do spoken word as Pierre Marku, what made you want to move into creating music?
I entered the creative world through acting and performing, which meant I was constantly surrounded by scripts & creative writing.
After being introduced & taught poems from writers like Benjamin Zephaniah back in primary school, writing my thoughts as rhymes was always subconsciously there. On the odd few evenings, I’d let loose & write what I was thinking. However, I never really took it seriously because the younger me saw poetry as a boring version of Rap.
Although when I was in year 7/8, you know the times when everyone had graffs (tag names) and wore Lot 29 tracksuits? A close Homie from the area, Gabs, had the full recording set up in his living room, so when his marg was at work, like 15 odd people would be in there freestyling/recording to beats like nutty violin & ghetto Kyote. So I think it was from there I could tell I really enjoyed the process of writing & performing music to my peoples.
Poetry was just something I did for myself to mobilise my writing skills.
Poetry and rap are intrinsically linked, did you feel that it was a natural transition from the former into the latter?
Definitely, the wiser I grew, the more I learnt that raps that have a poetic foundation to them tend to teach more & give off a deeper meaning to the listener. And most importantly survive longer as music. Obviously you need to find the balance or you’ll just have boring music.
“Born in the Ivory Coast but London raised me.” How did these two places influence your strife to be within the creative industry?
I don’t remember much from living in the Ivory Coast but I do remember being a very observant kid; I’d just sit and observe whatever was going on. One thing I remember seeing repetitively was whenever an entertainer or artist had a show in the neighbourhood everyone would go crazy & find ways to attend. This observation was sort of my introduction to celeb culture and how your art can bring joy to people that have literally more or less nothing. Living in London just made that vision seem more achievable.
Now let’s talk more about your debut project as Lobby Boy, called Falling Forward. These words together are an antithesis; why did you choose to call it this?
I’m a very optimistic person. So the idea was that, there’s a rise and fall to everything but as long as you fall knowing you're trying, things will be the best they can be and essentially a better version of what they could have been if you didn’t try….. if that makes sense.
The very first song on your EP: Ends Meet begins with some spoken word (initially without an accompaniment). What was the intention of having this at the start of the EP?
I needed a way to set the tone. A lot of projects I’ve listened to have samples or interludes or just go straight into it. I thought why not perform a poem that summarises my thought process & gave the project some sort of theme/spine.
As we move through each song on the project, we’re taken on a journey with you - how did you come up with the concept of this EP?
Initially it was just putting songs in order based on the vibe we got from each track but then when we completed doing the recording for “Pride” (which was the mid point of recording the EP) because we really liked the reminiscent feel it gave, it only felt right to give the whole EP that same feeling.
The best way for the listeners to get to know me as an artist was to hear my story, not just through one track but through a whole project.
You collaborated with producer: ARCHR for Falling Forward, how did you two decide to work together?
ARCHR is a Homie from Uni. We had some mutual friends & always bumped into each other at parties etc. When I met him, he was producing more house music & party tunes, the minute I mentioned that I was trying to release some raps, he was open to experimenting with different sounds and collaborate. Besides, he had a such a plethora of taste in music that whenever I’d pitch him an idea, he’d come back with some wavey beats. A couple of months of consistent bedroom studio sessions helped us to form a common understanding of the music we were trying to release. Before you know it, brainstorms & ideas were being formed towards a project. But seriously, the guy’s a genius, can’t wait for the world to hear more of his work.
On Do or Die you comment: “Flow is so vivid how could they doubt me?” - how do you deal with your own self-doubt?
Sometimes I like self doubt, it allows me to question things about myself I wouldn’t have thought about if everything was smooth sailing. But, most importantly I’ve got good energies around me. Honest people that can advise me on my doubts. Success isn’t created in isolation.
Generally, some music will be here today and forgotten tomorrow whereas, others will stand the test of time. Where do you think your music fits into this spectrum?
Honestly, considering it’s my debut project, I feel I have a lot to learn in order to create that timeless sound we all seek, however from the feedback, I’m positive things are going in the right direction.
“You dream of success but need more than a dream to make it.” - this is a line taken from Realist but what does success mean to you?
I have so many things I aspire to achieve before I’d like to consider myself successful, mostly humanitarian things to feel like I’ve left some sort of mark on this world.
But most importantly having the time and freedom to create whilst knowing my people are good in every way possible is also something I’d consider a success.
Finally, how would you like to be remembered?
As the selfless Ivorian kid that said he would do it & he did.
Thanks to Lobby Boy for taking the time out to chat to us. To keep up with this multi-talented artist, be sure to follow his socials below: