Get to know the on-the-rise New Yorker and his mesmerising DIY blend of indie.
“Do you wanna know when I’m at my best? / 2am in my bed, watching some Game of Thrones.” With near-poetry like that, how can we not stan? If you’re not acquainted, these stream of consciousness lyrics are out of the mouth of exciting Brooklyn-based newcomer Aaron Taos.
DIY production, catchy indie melodies filled with irresistible grooves, and Taos’ effortless expressive lyricism – it’s not surprising that the artist has been making waves since his arrival on the scene, thanks in part to bops such as “Control” and “Closure”. No doubt one to watch.
Get to know the singer below…
What was the hardest part of forming Birthday Boy? In turn, what was the best part?
“Birthday Boy” was an amazing experience for me, taking what I learned from my opportunities, working with seasoned producers and using it to make something totally on my own again. The hardest part was just that – handling all the writing, producing, recording by myself. It’s an amazing process to get lost in the isolation of being on your own, but at the same time it can be a little maddening wondering when a song is actually finished. The best part – feeling free to express exactly what I was feeling in the moment. I love collaboration, but deliberating for hours on certain vocal lines can be a little taxing. In “Control” I say a line “Do you wanna know when I’m at my best? 2 am in my bed, watching some Game of Thrones” – I can imagine that being shot down in a writing session, but on my own I was just like fuck it, that’s some real shit.
What did you differently on that record as opposed to Night Thoughts?
“Night Thoughts” was a much more collaborative process. I had just been introduced to the writing/recording scene of LA and NYC and was taking full advantage of access to bigger studios, writing partners, and better producers. In that sense, it came together more slowly and has more variation of sonic expression. “Birthday Boy” on the other hand was pretty much made using two guitars pedals, my Stratocaster, and a $2 retro keyboard I bought from a garage sale. It was the summer, I was staying up in my family’s house til 4am throwing paint at the wall, then would wake up at 1pm and sift through all the raw material from the night before. It was a fun routine, very personal, and in that sense that project is closer to my heart.
What is it about The Strokes and the Arctic Monkeys that inspires you?
Those are my two favourite bands, they are the GOATS. I discovered them in my teens at that very impressionable age when, if you connect to an artist, they stick with you forever. I remember being 17/18 scouring Youtube for live vids, fan-boying over the coolness of having a band and commanding a stage like that. It made me want to take this whole music thing up. Sonically and writing wise, the lyrics of Alex Turner always get the wheels turning. It’s like fuck, I need to step my game up.
Why is DIY so important to you as an artist?
Control. I think the most important part of being an artist is that you have a certain perspective or point of view that should shine through all of your material, whether it be the actual music, art, video, and even roll-out. It has to feel right and authentic. If it’s not, you won’t be happy, and people can sniff out whether or not you’re into it. This is a hard feat to accomplish even when you’re DIY, so to have a bunch of folks with input on all that can throw that off more.
How was touring with King Princess? Did she impart any wisdom that has stuck with you since?
Touring with Mikaela was the best part of my 2018, hands down. I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to share the stage for her first tour. She’s the homie, we’ve known each other for a while. More than wisdom, it’s continued love and respect. What really stuck with me from this tour, was the connection Mikaela has with her fans. It was amazing to witness every show. I think that speaks to the honesty in her music… Anything she says on tape is exactly what she believes and might say in conversation.
I’m sure you must have some incredible stories about meeting your fans, what interaction with a fan has struck you the most, and why?
I really, really, really appreciate all the fans that reach out daily on social media. It may not seem like a big deal, but just getting little messages from folks around the world who connected with songs that I’ve recorded in my bedroom is such a trip. Specifically my track “Loneliness” which I wrote about a depressive episode a couple years back. Having fans message me about how it helped them through a hard time is very special to me.
Who is your dream collaborator?
Drake. I love Aubrey. I don’t know why, but everything he puts out I throw on repeat. If I could produce an indie-leaning guitar record for him and sing on the hook that’d be some serious goals.
Can you tell us about what 2020 has in store for you?
A lot! But even before 2020 I have a new single called “Saboteur” dropping December 20th. I wrote it with a really dope producer Drew Pearson who has done a bunch of stuff with Kesha and Galantis among others. Not surprisingly, it’s about self-sabotage and very 90s rock influenced. So keep an eye out. Other than that planning to release singles and drop a project in February. Also going on tour with Great Good Fine OK for all of January so come if I’m in your town.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself in either two scenarios: touring the world and winning awards for my tunes, OR, living down in the Florida Keys fishing everyday. Either scenario I’m gonna be always making music I’m proud of.