For your information, BOY is actually two girls. It was when Swiss singer Valeska Steiner and German bassist Sonja Glass met via mutual friends in Hamburg, that Sonja fell head-over-heels in love with Valeska’s featherlight vocals. Her voice seemed to naturally pair with Valeska’s tunes, and so their ideas blossomed into the band we’re completely obsessed with today: BOY.
Along with their dreamy, feminine, acoustic-pop sounds, the duo have this uber-pretty girlish allure, but in that nonchalant European way of no-makeup makeup, hair they woke up with, oversized jumpers and men’s shirts. Y’know, the kind of undone look we spend hours trying to put together. Despite their model-like Germanic looks and enviable skill, they’re not the kind of girls you get jealous of, because Sonja and Valeska aren’t crassly sexed-up like most female pop-talent is these days. Their music is sweet and uplifting, their lyrics are relatable and reassuring. BOY are like the girls you hang out with, and this is why we love them so much.
The band’s success rose with their first album Mutual Friends which shot to success internationally in 2011. If you like Feist or Haim, then we thoroughly recommend you pre-order a copy of their latest debut, We Were Here, which is dropping on March 11th via Berlin’s Gronland Records.
Peep the artfully shot video for the single We Were Here, below, and fall in love with the visuals.
How did you two meet and what made you start working together?
We met in Hamburg. I heard Valeska sing and just fell in love with her voice. So I asked her if she would be interested in making music together.
How has your journey to stardom been so far and was it ever tough along the way?
Stardom. That’s a funny word in my ears. There was a time when Valeska and I decided that we really wanted to work together, so we started to write songs and to play live. Just the two of us. We took every opportunity, in Switzerland and Germany, and I think that planted the seed for what BOY is now. It’s hard work, both of us are very involved in what we do, but above all it’s a passion and we are very grateful for what we have.
You have really unique, dreamy imagery, do you get involved with the visual side, too?
I think that these kind of things are very important, because they can help to convey certain moods that suit the music, and for us all of these things belong together. It’s not just music, it’s how you look at things in general. But I have to admit that I am not happy with every image or video of us that’s out there. It’s just impossible to control everything, so sometimes things turn out differently than you thought they would in the beginning.
Are there any artists (dead or alive) whom you’d love to collaborate with?
For me there’s a difference between the artists that I admire because of their crazy good work and the people I work with because they can help me, or us, to get our music to where we want it to be. So if I enjoy the work of Marina Abramovic, I wouldn’t necessarily wish to work with her. Aside the fact that I have much to much respect for such great artists. I would never dare to ask Bon Iver to make music together!
What kind of concept did you start with… was it just a feeling, a mood… How were you inspired to make We Were Here?
For me, as the part of the band who writes the music, I can say that I don’t think so much while writing. It’s more like playing around looking for something that sounds and feels good or transports a certain mood that’s close to my heart and if I like an idea I send it to Valeska. So this album kind of came into being song by song, story by story and in the end, not before we had everything together we could taste the vibe of what is was.
How long did it take you guys to complete the album…
We worked for two years, not hidden but kind of secluded from the public, which was important for us to be able to focus and concentrate on the music. It was a long and very intense time, because we always take a very close look on every detail and that’s exhausting, not only because there are always two opinions in the room.
Does We Were Here have any special meaning?
There’s nothing like a “message” but It would be the best thing if it would mean something to other people. For us it’s the second album, I feel that we grew as songwriters – at least that’s what I hope – and I am very happy with what we did. And still there are things which I would do differently if I could. That’s the restless soul of many musicians, I suppose.
Your taste is amazing. Name us your top 5 tracks for us to check out…
Let It Happen – Tame Impala
It’s just great!
I See Monsters – Ryan Adams
It haunts me.
Zebra – Beach House
I love these guitars and her dark voice
Whistle Blower – Bonaparte
I like to dance to it
Call Me In The Afternoon – Half Moon Run
Watch this song live on BBC Radio 1!