ROYBOY, the anonymous Australian hip hop collective composed of poets, beatmakers and visual creators, today return with their new single ‘Busy‘. LISTEN HERE.
“Who is ROYBOY?” and “where did they come from?” is just some of the feverish questions that have followed ROYBOY since first appearing as winners of triple j‘s inaugural DIY Supergroup Competition last year. With no proper debut to their name and scant details of who – or what – was behind the project, their recontextualised snippets of Flume, Amy Shark and Tame Impala with ‘switchUP‘ was received with a frenzy of exhilarating fascination.
By their own definition, ROYBOY is amorphous, an autonomous entity that is completely independent and separate from its creators. Whomever’s voice has been recorded before being subsequently mutated; whoever’s tweaked the synth line to a high-pitched gnarl; whoever’s programmed the rattling drum track – the individual is not the point. ROYBOY is constantly in motion, expanding and contracting to take in everyone involved in the project. Rather than any set group of individuals, ROYBOY is guided and united by an energy, rendering themselves invisible on a personal level in order to find identity in the collective. This anonymity liberates ROYBOY from having to adhere to anyone else’s preconceptions, pushing against the set rules like a child who is constantly testing the boundaries of their own rebelliousness.
“It’s its own person, its own concept and character,” ROYBOY reveal, “with its own set of morals and we’re literally in the backseat,” allowing the creation to simply channel through them, as on ‘Bread‘, ‘Calamari‘ and ‘oursound‘. Now as their latest single ‘Busy‘ enters the fold, ROYBOY manifest themselves again to usher in the collective’s next chapter. Of the release, they share “We made Busy as a club anthem for the homebody. Sometimes the thought of going out with a bunch of half-friends doesn’t come close to locking down, making music, filling up your own bucket with ice and drinks, and being alone – and that’s what we’re celebrating in this song. The irony of the EDM soundscape contrasted by lyrics of being solitary is what we wanted to be at the forefront of the song, expressing the desire to “worship my sub speaker” and pleading “not to hit up my phone with any of your weekend demands.”
Whether online or in the studio, the process of ROYBOY is strictly internal and revolves around the chemistry and camaraderie pulsing through the collective, a fertile breeding ground of ideas and trust that decentres the individual self in service of collective vision. ‘Busy’ is sharp and vivacious, with a beat as commanding as it is addictive, fusing together the adjacent pop worlds of Billie Eilish with ZHU – as igniting on the bars as they are on the instrumentation. ROYBOY‘s sound is defined by the tone of their processed, effects-lathered vocals, an omnivorous melange of pitches and timbres that never seems to sit still, moving from shadowy murmurs to razor-sharp precision to boisterous frenzy and back again. ‘Busy‘s release brings ROYBOY into focus, as the collective usher in their position amongst the next legion of Australia’s trailblazing electronic producers. Stay tuned.
‘Busy‘ is out now, buy/stream it here.