Interviews

Boox Kid chat their incredible debut single Hold My Hand

Earlier this month, when we first stumbled across the endearing indie-pop sounds of Boox Kid, we were immediately immersed in their music. With strong vocal hooks and shimmering production, the Perth duo craft music that you can’t rip your attention away from.

So fresh off the release of their debut single Hold My Hand, we caught up with Jarred Wall to chat about the new song, his experience working with children in the Department Of Justice, and what the future will hold.

Fresh off the release of their incredible debut single Hold My Hand, we caught up with Perth’s Boox Kid to chat about the track.

HAPPY: Hey how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?

JARRED: Hey man, going pretty well. How about yourself? At the moment, I’m having a bit of a tinker on Ableton whilst listening to Khalid’s Sun City EP… really digging his voice, tone and the vibe with his latest releases. That and Billie Eilish. Really love her When the Party Is Over!

HAPPY: We’re really loving your latest single Hold My Hand… could you tell us a bit about the song?

JARRED: Thanks for the kind words man, really appreciate it. I actually wrote Hold My Hand reflecting on the work I do with Youth Justice. I thought of the young people I have worked with over the years and reflected upon the difficulties the kids face, the lives they live, the backgrounds they come from and the opportunities that just aren’t as available to them due to a number of reasons. Lyrically, I tried to write as if I were seeing things through the perspective of a young person. Often when I write, I try to set a scene in my mind and how I envision the song in a literal sense and how people might connect with it. For me, the song depicts a young person living in a household of chaos. Despite the chaos surrounding, this young person has the strength to go to school and for them, school is actually their haven. This young person is fortunate to find someone they connect with. It doesn’t say who this person is in the song, but if you can imagine, it could be a teacher or a peer. It’s that one person who doesn’t judge or criticise. It’s that one person who is willing to give them a chance, to give a damn, willing to listen and willing to care. It’s that one person who has belief in that young person – like the chorus depicts “I’ve been searching, for someone to hold my hand, I’ve been searching, for someone who understands.” It’s a story that rains true for many young people who face hardship and a sense of condemnation and hopelessness – quite often all they may require, to see some hope of a different future, even if it is just for a fleeting moment, is someone who truly cares.This is what I hear, but that is exactly the beauty of music, their is room for interpretation, meaning and connection.

HAPPY: How are you feeling about the track now that it’s been out for a little while?

JARRED: I’m feeling good about the track and the traction it has received thus far. It was a great boost being added to the Deadly Beats Spotify playlist and I must say a big thank you to Rhianna Patrick from the ABC and Alethea Beetson (Deadly Beats Curator) for the love they have shown the track. I wrote the song at home, produced, mixed and mastered it all at Boox Kid Studios (aka my backyard shed), which I decked out to be as close to a studio as it can be. My brother (Jon, other half of Boox Kid) and I are proud of the product but even more excited for the releases to come.

HAPPY: You mentioned before that you work with youth in the Department of Justice… how do you feel your experiences doing this have affected your music?

JARRED: I have a lot of writing material to put it simply. Australia is a great place, yet there are a lot of people doing it rough and particularly young people who sometimes have no choice and are a product of their environment. Working in Justice can be tough and it’s a place where you see a lot of heartache. For me, music is a space where I feel I can really contribute. Unfortunately, Youth Justice in W.A. is over represented by Indigenous young people. Being Indigenous myself, I hope that Boox Kid can be a positive light for the Indigenous community and that we can role model to the youth and inspire. Personally, I am super proud of my heritage and I know that with our music, Boox Kid can showcase that in a contemporary sense and that our music can stand up to the best of the bunch.

HAPPY: You’ve got a very fully-formed sound… how long had the Boox Kid project been in the works before you released Hold My Hand?

JARRED: Music has always been a part of our lives since we were young. To the days when Jon was in an a cappella group, to when Dad bought my first guitar, to when we previously performed together as a little known duo called The Hill (Hill being our Indigenous family name) and to the few years I spent performing with my good mates in our Indie Band Jake And The Cowboys. I always loved performing with my mates but with the sibling connection, I always knew there was something special in that and the way the music seems to construct itself. Officially though, the short answer is that Jon and I formed Boox Kid in 2017 and since this time, we have been writing together and I have been honing in on my production skills on Ableton ever since.

HAPPY: Could you walk us through your process of constructing a tune? Is it a long process for you?

JARRED: Depending on the mood I’m in and how creative I am feeling, this will often predict how long or short a song will take in its construction. Sometimes you just get in the zone and the song flows from start to finish. Hold My Hand probably took about 2 or 3 weeks to complete. I think there was a period there where half of the music sat there for a good few weeks and then one night I re-listened to the idea and then the hook just hit me and it flowed from there. With the production/composition side of things, quite often I will start with a piano or melodic synth sound and then I will fiddle with a lot of other melodic sounds. Generally I try and use instrumentation that you don’t usually hear and I think for Boox Kid. This, along with our harmonies and the hook, is one of the draw cards to the music. I have a real thing for Mallet sounds at the moment – not quite sure why. Lyrically I would say that Jon is the deeper songwriter than I. When I write, quite often I will try and visualise, set a scene and envision how I would see the song play out on screen. I find that this helps me tell the story.

HAPPY: We’re picking a lot of different sounds in your music… are there any particular artists you seek inspiration from?

JARRED: In the electronic world, I would have to say that Miike Snow were a huge influence. Finding a lot of inspiration at the moment though from artists like LSD (Labrinth, Sia and Diplo), Sigrid, Mo and Billie Eilish – loving all their sounds. From artists and pure singer-songwriters whose music never ages – I would confidently say for both Jon and I that not a lot can beat The Beatles, Stevie Wonder and David Bowie. Just the other night I found myself listening through the Beatles catalogue and thought “shit these guys could write a tune.” 4 dudes who just knew what would work. The melodies, harmonies, instrumentation, even in their experimental phases, were genius.

HAPPY: What else does the future hold for Boox Kid? Any other exciting plans in the works?

JARRED: Looking forward to the future and what the music world holds for us. Definitely keen to collaborate with other artists and am very keen to explore the different avenues Boox Kid might be able to take, maybe constructing a few scores/tunes for films and games. Always something I would love to venture in. I think the next few releases (which aren’t far away) though will really help in defining Boox Kid. Personally, I am super excited to hit the stage and perform again too. I feel that this is probably where some of my strengths lay and I can’t wait to share more of Boox Kid and get some ears buzzing and spreading the word.

HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!

JARRED: No dramas at all! Cheers for having me and for the support.

Hold My Hand is available now.