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Written bySaien Benjamin

Take a Sonic Journey Into Boko Yout’s Enthralling World of Afro-Grunge

Exciting Swedish Artist and creative Boko Yout has continued his thrilling rise with his Experimental debut EP “AS SEEN ON TV“, which was released on May 26th via the independent label Hoopdiggas Recordings. Boko Yout, also known as Paul Adamah, has quickly moved from the depths of the Scandinavian underground music scene to establish himself as a promising artist with global potential.

This collection of songs represents a significant milestone for him, following the release of three tracks from the EP over the past few months. It is presented through the lens of the fictional TV network Boko Communications which Boko uses to tackle stereotypes associated with black masculinity. Whilst I loved the whole project, there were a few tracks that particularly stuck with me. 

Starting with the opening track “Morning” which is the perfect introduction to Boko Yout’s “Afro Grunge” Sound with its sludgy basslines, soaring lead guitar riffs, and rich, layered vocals. Lead Single “TikTok” is a more Lo-Fi track that blends Elements of Psychedelic and Garage Rock to create a distinctive track that really sticks with you, whilst Boko’s lyrics explore the consuming nature of social media and television and how they can warp your self-image.

“Dead” is a fairly experimental short track, which finds Boko doing some introspective spoken word reflection. “News” is a Radiohead-esque Indie Rock tune with hard-hitting lyricism and some fantastic riffs, that slowly builds up to an absolutely epic crescendo. The last track “Anxiety” is one of my personal favourites, a crooning love ballad that showcases Boko’s unique voice and outstanding vocal range.

Starting with the opening track “Morning” which is the perfect introduction to Boko Yout’s “Afro Grunge” Sound with its sludgy basslines, soaring lead guitar riffs, and rich, layered vocals.

Boko Yout’s creative palette encompasses music, fashion, design, and performance art, all aimed at challenging societal conventions and perceptions of young black men. Over the past year, he has already unveiled three tracks from the EP,  “NEWS,” “ANXIETY,” and “TELEPROMPTER.” Each track on “AS SEEN ON TV” represents a channel in the fictional TV network Boko Communications.

Boko explains that the TV network serves as a metaphor for the experiences he has encountered as a young black man. His project draws inspiration from the Jamaican-British Marxist sociologist Stuart Hall’s theories on media representation and the tendency of producers to rely on stereotypical narratives, which resonates deeply with Boko Yout’s own experiences.

Reflecting on the significance of television in his life, Boko Yout remarks, “Since my childhood, TV has provided an escape from reality. This project is both a celebration and critique of the stereotypes that have emerged from our shared history. ‘AS SEEN ON TV’ represents a TV network showcasing channels that delve into the subconscious, manifesting as stories that I wish I had been exposed to during my formative years.”

Reflecting on his personal journey, Boko Yout shares, “In the past, I struggled with shame, religious values, and internalized homophobia, which hindered my ability to create authentically. It was only when I confronted the impact of black masculinity stereotypes on my life that I started breaking free from them. Through my creative expression, I process the shame and learned behaviors often associated with being black and queer.”

“In the past, I struggled with shame, religious values, and internalized homophobia, which hindered my ability to create authentically. It was only when I confronted the impact of black masculinity stereotypes on my life that I started breaking free from them. Through my creative expression, I process the shame and learned behaviors often associated with being black and queer.” – Boko Yout

Boko Yout categorizes his music as Afro Grunge, a genre that extends beyond the traditional rock band setup of guitar, bass, and drums. His live performances are captivating and intense, characterized by improvisation and his explosive stage presence. Joining him on stage, alongside his exceptional band, are the hand puppets Gooch and Glinda, who frequently appear on his social media and have become symbolic figures for him. Sometimes, a fish even makes its way into the audience, leaving audiences pondering the deeper meaning behind these elements. Boko Yout describes his artistic endeavors as follows: “To gain control of my narrative and create the representation I yearned for in my youth, I must explore all facets of my being. However, I acknowledge that I still have a long journey ahead.”

Having gained recognition through a notable summer tour last year, including performances at Way Out West and Debaser as a supporting act for Black Midi, Boko Yout has established a reputation as a captivating live performer. Earlier this year, he had the opportunity to open for Punk Rock giants Viagra Boys on their Scandinavian tour.

Make sure you give “AS SEEN ON TV” a listen. I am sure you will be captivated by Boko Yout’s unique and thought-provoking approach. 

 

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