Out recording artist Binoy drops his new single and music video, “Boyhood” from his upcoming EP of the same title.
The project centers on the artist’s adolescence and prompts the question – “What we would say to our younger selves?”
Binoy co-produced “Boyhood” with renowned producer and multi-instrumentalist, Arthur Besna.
Moving from Indian-infused synth pop to meditative alt rock with effortless fluidity, Binoy makes his own musical lane amid lyrics that explore themes of masculinity, bullying, family turmoil, and queerness in an attempt to navigate and heal old wounds.
In the animated music video, Binoy envisions school bullies as demons, larger than life parents at odds with each other, and ultimately his own empowerment in the temple inside himself.
Born and raised in Kenya to Indian and Sri Lankan immigrant parents, Binoy has an affinity for leaning into cinematic pop music. Being raised around an amalgamation of cultures enabled Binoy to a variety of sounds and musical perspectives not often found in Western music.
Influenced by idols including Taylor Swift, Fleetwood Mac, and Mika, Binoy uses his songwriting abilities to authentically represent his experiences and feelings as a queer person of color.
I recently had the chance to ask the artist about the inspiration and genesis of the project, as well as a few other topics that helped shape his artistry.
The Randy Report: Congratulations on the new single! I loved the different musical flavors of “Boyhood.” Did you have a certain sound in mind when creating the song?
Binoy: Thank you for the kind words and for having me! “Boyhood” is definitely a collision of many different worlds and influences, all of which represent parts of my identity.
I started with the singular reference track of “Str8 Outta Mumbai” by Jai Paul, who himself is a British artist of Indian descent. When I first heard the song over a decade ago, I remember being awestruck by its fusion of Alt-Pop with Indian chants and rhythms. It was one of the first times my own native culture felt accessible to me, sparking an intrigue in fusion and crossover that has since only grown.
My goal with “Boyhood” was to create a song that embodied my own strange amalgam, blending the influences of my taste, culture, where I grew up, and my identity as a queer person of color.
TRR: Tell us about the music video for “Boyhood” and how the story developed from beginning to end.
Binoy: I wanted to create a music video that went hand in hand with the song’s thematic exploration of adolescence. Animation felt like the perfect medium not only for the nostalgia, but also because it allowed us to bring ideas to life that would have otherwise been unfeasible.
I started by writing a very detailed video treatment, filled not only with storyline but also sketches and references to help guide the animation artists. Scenes from formative shows in my life were used as inspiration, for instance with the dragon dance in “Boyhood” paying homage to a very specific episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Getting to reimagine these scenes in the context of my life and story felt like an incredibly full circle moment, and I’m so proud of how the video turned out.
TRR: How is this single a reflection of the upcoming EP?
Binoy: My upcoming EP, also called Boyhood, furthers its exploration of the adolescent experience. It tackles matters of identity, trauma, and healing through my lens as an adult now a lot more at home in my own body.
It’s very sonically diverse, drawing inspiration from artists including Daft Punk, Nelly Furtado, and Taylor Swift while continuing to incorporate Eastern sounds into the mix. I’m so proud of what the EP turned into, and I feel like the sheer range of what we cover and how we do so is going to really surprise people.
TRR: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Binoy: That’s tough because I’ve been given so much great advice! If I had to pick I’d say, it’s okay to simply exist, be a good person, and experience life at your own pace. You don’t have to go fast in order to go far, for there is no real destination.
TRR: What do you do outside of music to stay on balance?
Binoy: I play tennis at least once a week, ideally 2 or 3 times. It’s something I’ve done since I was young and truly feels like my biggest life passion outside of music, not to mention it has brought so much great community into my life.
I also really enjoy rock climbing and often use it as a means of disconnecting from the world and happily sinking into my own little bubble. I’m incredibly lucky to have great friends around me, and pretty much any activity with them helps refill the tank and reminds me what’s really important.
“Boyhood” is available now on all major music platforms, and you can follow Binoy on Instagram here.