IMRO Creative Rooms is an online content series that invites artists to share an intimate insight into their creative process, by showing the spaces they create in.
Local Boy is a Dublin based musician who creates highly idiosyncratic pop music which he
oversees entirely from inception to mastering – having spent years honing his abilities as a
producer and an engineer despite his young age. He invites listeners into his sonic and lyrical world packed with hip-hop beats, colorful guitar chords and creative wordplay.
In the short time he has been releasing music under the Local Boy moniker, he has racked up millions of Spotify streams, supported international acts such as Easy Life, Hobo Johnson, and Open Mike Eagle, sold out his several headline gigs in both Dublin and London. In 2022 he signed a lucrative publishing deal with industry giant Peermusic for his original compositions and his burgeoning crafts of production and songwriting.
Following up on the successful release of the ‘Local Boy Helps Himself’ EP in summer 2021
which saw several tracks added to high-profile Spotify editorial playlists such as ‘New Music
Friday’, ‘Our Generation’, and ‘Peach’ – Local Boy then returned with his well-received 2022 single Reality, an honest rumination of the artist’s mental health struggles.
Local Boy is now gearing up for the release of an album which will complete the trilogy he began with his 2019 EP release. The album expands on the themes explored in Local Boy’s previous releases, with several songs critiquing the difficulty of making a living in modern Ireland – Local Boy however never loses his optimistic outlook throughout the record with several tracks including lead single ‘Milkshake Pilltaste’ celebrating life’s simple pleasures.
How important is it for you to have a dedicated creative space?
I think any artist, be it audio or visual can attest to how much of an effect your immediate surroundings can have on your workflow and creative process. If you don’t feel completely comfortable in your environment it’s a lot more difficult to let yourself be as vulnerable as is necessary for self expression!
I’m lucky enough to have a spare room in my parent’s house that I can use as a little makeshift studio. It’s not the most hi-tech set up but I’m mindful of how much of a privilege any extra space is in our housing and rental market. Access to a dedicated space is just another way our material conditions dictate who does and doesn’t get a voice in arts and culture, so it’s extremely necessary to invest in programmes and advocate for political change so we can ensure everyone has a chance to create!
What makes this space work for you?
Although my room isn’t soundproofed or treated as a high end studio would be, I’ve come to understand how to work around this and compensate for it in my mixing. I also like to do endless vocal takes until I’ve found the one so recording at another studio would get extremely expensive very quickly!
As you can see it’s extremely messy and chaotic, but I’m a real creature of habit when it comes to production so I have it drilled into me where every instrument I need is and I can navigate it surprisingly efficiently. I could definitely use a few YouTube tutorials on cable management though!
In what way(s) does this space influence your output?
People often comment on an element of childlike innocence in some of my music that I’ve always attributed to one of my major influences, Daniel Johnston. Now that I’m looking at it in the context of this question though, I think some of that feeling might come from the fact that I’ve been working on music in this room since I’m a child. In fact, I used to keep my toys here but they’ve slowly been replaced by more adult concerns like glockenspiels, kazoos and melodicas.
What’s your favourite instrument/piece of kit? And why?
My Cam’ron poster is important for inspiration but I think my Focusrite 2i4 audio interface is an amazing and very affordable piece of kit! I use it to record almost everything from vocals to guitars to all the other little instruments I throw in my songs and to me ear it holds up against much more expensive alternatives.
What would make this space better for you?
Ideally it would be soundproofed and I’d add a little more analog hardware to my workflow, but for the most part I’m very happy with how it’s served as a home studio for the past few years! Computer software has made the gap between home and pro studios a lot narrower over the past couple of decades and I’m really happy I’ve been able to avail of it!
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