You may recall that I did a profile on Lostboycrow (LBC) back in February 2015 as part of my Next One Up series. Alternative Addiction dropped the ball on their usual Artists to Watch feature, so I didn’t get to do one of those this year. Instead, I thought I’d do a couple of posts catching up with past winners. Back when we first took a look at LBC, he only had two songs out, but was showing a lot of potential. For most of 2015, he kept releasing singles on the music site SoundCloud, and he released what is probably still my favorite one of his, “Say You Want Me.”
This song has a great beat that sounds creative and interesting without being overproduced in a Lady Gaga Artpop sort of way. It also has a sultriness that is characteristic of the R&B style that LBC identifies with. Combine that with the “we’ve all been there” lyrical theme of telling someone you want them romantically, and it’s a track that, in my opinion, is criminally underappreciated, perhaps even by LBC himself, as he hasn’t promoted it as much as many of his other tracks.
Lostboycrow has started to hit some milestones as an artist as well. Last year, he released his first EP, Sigh for Me. The songs on it are all solid, but the one I’d like to highlight here is “Powers.”
In a similar vein to “Say You Want Me,” “Powers” describes a relationship that hasn’t quite become romantic yet, but those feelings are bubbling under the surface. The main character of the song is clearly infatuated, and wants to do more than talk to the other person, though she keeps pulling away for whatever reason. The underlying beat is slower than the previous song, but at times he layers a faster beat over it, perhaps conveying the lyrics’ desire to speed things up a bit.
LBC has also worked on many collaborations with other artists during the last couple of years, my favorite of which is with LA-based DJ trio Cheat Codes, on their song “Senses.”
This one is much more overtly sexual than a lot of Lostboycrow’s other work, but again, it’s one of those “we’ve all been there” sort of ideas. I know I’ve been so attracted to someone it feels like sensory overload in the past. The beat here is much more straightforward than much of LBC’s stuff. Hopefully, his career can follow the trajectory of Cheat Codes’s, who lit up the “Bubbling Under Hot 100” charts last year with their single “Sex,” which samples the chorus of the classic Salt-n-Pepa song “Let’s Talk About Sex.” That single went Gold in the UK and Germany, and Platinum in Australia. They followed that up with “No Promises” this year with Demi Lovato, which is generating similar buzz.
2017 has seen Lostboycrow hit another milestone, with the release of two more music videos. The first, for the single “Verona,” features a mash-up of scenes from Franco Zefferelli’s film version of “Romeo and Juliet.” The song itself conveys similar themes to the play, dealing with the blind intoxication of young love. However, I’m more intrigued by his video for “Real Name,” which is more of a “proper” music video to me.
“Real Name” is a departure from his usual lyrical themes, instead dealing with how he has tried to move forward in his career while still being true to himself, and remembering where he came from. The video carries this theme further, with LBC encountering several pictures and words that remind him of his past as he walks through the scene, and near the end, he encounters a large version of the logo he currently uses, as if to symbolize the future. He also has his hair in braids, perhaps a nod to his growing up around the Crow Indian nation. There is a boy in the video wearing a jersey that says “Real Name,” and I wonder if he isn’t meant to symbolize LBC’s past self. At first, he ignores him, but the two end up dancing together at the end of the video, perhaps indicating that LBC intends to go forward while still embracing who he’s always been. In the description of this video on YouTube, LBC says this song is “off the first Legend,” which had me wondering if he’s about to release a full-length album soon.
So, since I profiled him a couple of years ago, Lostboycrow has continued to release quality songs, but I’m not sure he’s made many mainstream inroads just yet. That may be just fine with him, as it is frequently easier to maintain artistic integrity as an indie artist. But I hope he is able to find some higher-profile success, if only so his tours can cover a wider spread (his last major one, opening for indie-pop artist VÉRITÉ, was largely confined to the Northeast and Midwest) and he can come to Atlanta.