Pop Culture

Interview: COOL BOY

COOL BOY, the genre-shifting moniker formed by Zach Zono, progressed well since his debut release back in 2018. Starting 2021, COOL BOY released two singles which followed up to his new EP Classic Charm, Pt.1 bringing out more euphonious synth-pop music to our ears. To talk about the EP, he joined us for an interview.

Firstly, how are you, and how is your 2021 going?

Hey there, I’m doing super good. My 2021 started off slow, which was nice, but I’m excited it’s slowly starting to pick up, I’m always finding something to do now. I always think I’m more productive in February than January, it’s my favorite month, but I’m also turning 22 next week, so I’m not too sure how I feel about that. 

If someone asked what type of music you make, how would you describe your music in the form of an elevator pitch?

Hey, I’m COOL BOY, but you can call me Zach. I think there is something for everyone in my music, but it definitely falls under the genre of indie pop. 

You released your new EP Classic Charm, Pt.1, how did the idea for it come about and what was the process like putting it together?

I made Classic Charm when I went back home to Cape Town last March just when lockdowns started to happen. Even though it was such a surreal time, leaving London and not really having a plan on when I would be able to go back, I was really grateful to focus all the unexpected time on my music. I split the project because I felt like there were two distinctive experiences for the listeners and I wanted them to be heard individually before they were heard together. A big part of ‘COOL BOY’ is the visual aesthetic my brother and I try to create for each album. I think Classic Charm is no different and if not my favourite so far of everything we’ve created, it feels most me of all my music so far.

With it being a part one EP, how do you feel it will tie in with your wider discography?

I want my music to evolve and change with me, so I don’t really think about how my new music will fit with the old. I mean, I probably do subconsciously, but the reason I know it will always tie together some way or another is because it’s me, there’s no crazy list of writers and producers, it’s just me and my guitar hahah as cheesy as that sounds.

For the EP, did you utilise any new techniques or ways of making music? Do you feel you have developed on your sound?

I made the whole album in the first lockdown, when I was back home in Cape Town. I have a little studio setup there in my room at my parents house. It felt pretty surreal making this EP back where I started when I was 16, after being in London for three years, so I think the environment definitely impacted the songs. I had a routine; wake up, take the dog for a walk, eat, then make music. I tried to keep some structure in my little world, as everything else in the world kept changing. 

What do you hope the EP will bring to your listeners?

I really hope when people listen to my EP that they can find something they like in every song. I think the reason I enjoy the process of making music is the thought that maybe someone who is listening to my songs, can relate to it in one way or another. 

Lastly, do you feel the current COVID-19 crisis has made you think differently about music and how you present it?

100%. Everything I knew about releasing music has changed, for starters, no one is touring at the moment. I would always think how a song would sound live when I was making it, but now with this new EP I didn’t focus too much on that. So covid-19 has definitely changed how I think about making a track now. 


Classic Charm, Pt. 1 can now be streamed via Spotify.

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