At the Bar with Big Phony
I'll be honest...I don't typically bother with current artists because I've lost faith in "modern" music for the most part. But this is one artist I simply cannot ignore and have to give credit where credit is beyond due.
As many of you may know singer/songwriter, Big Phony (real name Bobby Choy) recently unveiled an outstanding double release. First there's Bobby, an acoustic album written in the classic Big Phony style, with his signature soft, moody vocals, accompanied by his lingering, evocative guitar.
Next there's Long Live the Lie, a nostalgic, experimental foray into electronic new wave. And though Bobby was successfully recorded on a laptop with "a cheap mic" and a "$40 guitar", Long Live the Lie took some doing, including flying out to Taiwan and Los Angeles to collaborate with Enik Lin of iAMMEDIC. The result was an impressive collection which got Big Phony fans doing an aural doubletake.
The enigmatic artist himself was not only kind enough to grant me an early listen, but generous enough to answer a few questions. It was an immeasurable privilege and pleasure to have a second chat with the legendary Big Phony.
So, Bobby...why a double release (not that we aren't grateful)?
I was originally going to just release the electronic album but I didn't want to confuse anyone in thinking I was switching genres. I'm still a singer/songwriter at heart. I wanted to reinforce that statement by releasing Bobby.
Bobby...this double release has got folks talking. I see enthusiastic updates cropping up everywhere I look. How do you feel about the response thus far?
I'm so grateful for everyone's support. I really didn't know what to expect. I'm incredibly thrilled at the response so far.
Bobby was recorded in your bedroom, on a laptop, with a $40 guitar. I'll be honest; I didn't know. Every song was so hauntingly crafted, so genuinely moving. What was the emotional drive behind this album?
Most of the songs on the album are about "leaving" or "separation", though not all. Especially since moving to Korea from the US (about 2 and half years ago), this theme seemed to be relevant in my life.
Long Live the Lie had my jaw on the floor because one, I didn't think modern artists could still create "deep" electronic music, and two, it's soooooo not "Big Phony." But this was outstanding. Do you intend to experiment with the style more in the future?
If it's still fun to make I'll continue to create more electronic songs.
I fell in love with "But I Will, Everyday" years ago when I first interviewed you (it was one of the reasons I sought you out), and I thought the original was flawless...until now. How the hell did you manage to make a perfect song even better? This version is so beautiful, it rendered me speechless the first time I heard it. Second time made me tear up.
Thanks for the compliment! I had a different version of that song that I recorded as a demo with my friend Wendy Wang. For this album, I approached the recording of it to be more in line with the rest of the tracks. It's a bit more mellow and perhaps moody?
I promised to keep things short and sweet this time around so I'll just end things here, but Bobby...thanks so much for coming back to the Bar.
Thanks again, Ankhesen!!