South Florida-based nu-pop/melodic rap duo, the ET Boys, recently unveiled their third single/music video, “Nowhere.” “Nowhere” follows on the heels of “Sober” and “Something Love,” both of which collected hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, along with placements on various playlists.
Made up of two brothers, Tacboy and Sharkeyes, the ET Boys’ sound is distinctive and oh so alluring, blending elements of pop, hip-hop, and R&B into dazzling leitmotifs. Sharkeyes provides the rhythms and music, while Tacboy handles lyrics and vocal melodies.
Their collaboration began when Sharkeyes began sending his compositions to his brother, Tacboy, to get his input. The result was more than 30 finished songs mirroring their unique musical chemistry. Frequently compared to Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek of The Doors because of their balancing gifts, the ET Boys offer songs teeming with stylish colouration, tantalizing creamy textures, and lush vocals.
XS Noize caught up with Tacboy to discuss the inspiration for “Nowhere,” his influences, and upcoming new music from the ET Boys.
What inspired your just-released single/lyric video, “Nowhere?”
‘Nowhere’ was written when I was studying engineering in college. I had periods of low lows that were followed by high highs. This song was written during one of the latter where I felt as if I were king, and I think the lyrics reflect that. I think college is a good place to be most of the time.
Which singers/musicians do you count as influencing your sound?
My favourite artists include System of a Down, blink-182, Taking Back Sunday, and rappers such as Bladee and Wintertime. I think this is sort of what makes our music special, as the influences that I derive my sound from aren’t necessarily heard on the beats I perform on. But they are influences any way you want to look at it. Everything affects us. That’s for sure.
Did ET Boys’ sound develop naturally over time, or did you push it deliberately in a specific direction?
It developed naturally over time through my brother, Sharkeyes and me. I believe he is the keystone of ET boys, as, without his beats, we have nothing. I’ve never heard another composer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer that sounds remotely like him. If you take one of our beginning songs and compare it to what we’re making, the level of progression is crazy. You could hear the potential early on – or so people told us, but now we’re able to fully express how we want it to sound and are only going to keep levelling up.
Which artists, in your opinion, are killing it right now?
I wouldn’t know I haven’t heard the top 100 since I was in middle school. I have to pay respects to the early South FL SoundCloud wave such as XXX, Ski mask, Buffet boys and others. They are what I grew up on and would frequent their early shows. That makes me remember the very first concert I ever attended was Linkin’ Park. They were unforgettable, as you might guess. I was a little kid, and we had great seats.
What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from poems, music, TV, or other media?
I take inspiration from music, television, anime, and manga. I would say manga the most. So many panels are just insane and can be incredibly motivating. My brother, Sharkeyes, and I would often use them as our song covers during the time when we were posting our songs on SoundCloud. One of my favourites is a manga called Gantz.
What can you share about your writing process?
Usually, my brother sends me a beat, or I’ll hear him make it if I am with him. Then I smoke a couple of cigs while I listen to it, and eventually, I will have the song mapped out.
You released your debut single/music video, “Sober,” to critical acclaim a few months ago. How important did that moment feel in your development?
Oh, it felt crazy! I’ve always had people tell me that our music was special and that we had a chance, but to see actual numbers drives both of us to keep going. There were times where I was demoralized, but I always had my brother to hype me back up. Now when I’m feeling down, I look at the numbers go up.
You will be dropping your debut album soon. What can you share about the album?
I cannot share much as Sharkeyes, and I are still in the early stages of creating that. I’ll have to wait until I see him in person as we create our best work when we are together in the studio. You’ve heard people talk about studio magic. Well, it is real.
What can your fans expect over the next six months? New material? Live gigs?
We just dropped a new song called ‘Nowhere’, so go check that out. We also have a song called ‘Long Night’, which should be dropping in about two weeks, along with a video shot by the Kid Dom (Domonick Giorgianni). He did the video for our first release, ‘Sober,’ which is an amazing work of art and exactly our vision for the song. Well, this next video for ‘Long Night’ connects the two songs in the life of the ET Boys and the characters we are representing in the videos. I’ll be interested to see what people think of these connections. Let us know what you think.
I often liken you to Jim Morrison. In my mind, I also equate you to Steve McQueen because you have that same calm aura about you. How do you feel about such comparisons? I mean, do you like them, or simply not care one way or the other, or do they piss you off?
The comparisons are crazy to hear, but I don’t think I deserve them yet. I did have to look up who Steve McQueen was, though, haha.