Cool Boy talks influences, beginnings, his debut EP, and more
January 31, 2018
Photos by William Sheepskin
Zachary Zonomessis has just launched his solo project in which he goes by the name Cool Boy. We previously got to know Zach as one-third of the indie rock band Youth Gallery. This time around he’s Cool Boy and just a few days ago he shared his debut EP ‘Midnight Gentleman’ via Zonosphere Records. The EP features 5 songs that carry catchy pop melodies, dreamy guitar riffs, and a collection of teenage narratives. The project first emerged after Zach made a move from his hometown of Cape Town, South Africa to London, England. We caught up with Zach and talked about the EP, his influences, future plans, and more.
To start off I’d just like to ask, how did the name ‘Cool Boy’ come about for this project?
The name Cool Boy came from a fan, yeah a fan that blows wind haha. About 6 months ago when I came across to London, the place I was staying at had a fan in the room, an old retro one. It was silver and blue and said big on it Cool Boy. So when I started coming across this new sound I had, I just looked at the fan and thought might as well call it Cool Boy. The orange circle came from the London Overground and oranges. I’m trying hard to keep the theme of Cool Boy high so whenever someone sees an orange circle they think of Cool Boy.
You just recently moved from Cape Town to London, did this project start in London? If so has the move influenced your music?
Yeah, 100%. Cool Boy started in London and the move defiantly brought this new sound out of me.
Can you tell me a little about the music scene in South Africa and how it differs from the scene in England?
The music scene in South Africa is very small, its much harder to make it and stand out, it’s also very clicky. So everyone knows everyone haha. London music is on the next level, so many places to gig and people to meet, also the connections are everywhere, you kind of just need to put yourself out there.
Why is this EP titled Midnight Gentleman?
I had so many names for this EP, that I left naming it to the last minute and when it came around to naming it I actually just put all the names I had into a Wu-Tang name generator and got Midnight Gentleman. It fit so perfectly and described the EP as a whole the best way possible.
Musically who would you say your influences are on this EP, what was the recording process like, and how would you describe your sound?
I take influence from almost every artist I listen to. But I can say that I was listening to some Toro Y Moi, Matt Corby, and Frank Ocean. I try not to listen to that much music leading up to recording, I feel it helps me come up with melodies. I recorded all the demos in my room in London and then did the final recordings in Cape Town. I like to bounce between places, adds some texture haha. Describing the Cool Boy sound is a hard one, Its like a bedroom party with heartbreak and indie hit playlists on in the background haha.
On this EP what inspired you the most lyrically? Are the songs connected in any way in terms of their theme?
I feel like the EP does have a theme throughout it, I refer to some stuff in more than one song. Also when writing, I plan to write an EP or album and then go from there, I’d not really just write one song, I have way more fun building a project.
Can you tell me a little about the video for London Room? How did it come about and what is the idea you had behind it?
I worked with two artists (Albert Riera Galceran & Reuben Beren James) and there production team (Adeo Studios) to do the video. We worked a lot on the theme and idea and made sure there was a story to it. The whole video was based about the song and the lyrics and meaning behind it. I don’t really want to give everything away, I really enjoy people finding there own meaning in the song and video.
Where would you like to take this project next? Will there be any upcoming releases, shows?
This is just the start of Cool Boy. There are new releases coming and shows. I can’t say when because of all the logistics, but sooner then you think.
Anything else you’d like to mention?
My band Youth Gallery is also still working on new releases and shows. We have new music and content coming soon. I’m working hard on keeping the two projects separate and making sure they can stand on there own. I get different levels of joy working on different projects. With Cool Boy I do everything, the music is 100% what I want it to be and with Youth Gallery, there are 3 minds working together to make something everyone likes which has its fun in it too. But yeah 2019 is going to be a big year!
Follow Cool Boy on Instagram here
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