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SHELOVESBOON, a rapper from New York City, speaks about his mental health, his drug use, his portrayal of his mental state within his music as therapy, as well as who he is behind the scenes. BOON also speaks about his tour in New York City and the experience that listeners can get from attending.
Read below to discover who BOON is and why you should be excited by his revolution within the music industry.
How did the name Boon come to originate? Does it have some significance to who you are?
“Boon” really was a nickname I’ve been called by people who I’ve worked with. This whole “SHELOVESBOON” alias really came out one day in the studio with my gang and they all were like “that definitely fits my aesthetic”. I guess it’s some way of saying that women love me; platonically and romantically.
I usually pull a lot more girls to my shows than guys. It was all really an idea that we all thought of super high but then slowly I started to realize what it originated from and I can definitely see that with my crowd and relationships. “SHELOVESBOON” is kind of my twist on being a little playboy. I find it amusing, to be honest.
“Boon” originally was just a nickname but a boon, textbook definition, is essentially a blessing. I think it has some significance to my music career because it’s been quite a blessing for the year that I’ve pursued this [music] actively. Everything I’ve done so far has been a blessing and I’m so excited to continue to see how much more I can strive.
What style of music are you heavily involved with? Why is that?
It’s hard to pigeonhole my music. I wouldn’t say I’m involved in a certain style but all my music seems to be “hip-hop/r&b centric”. I’ve been more experimental with other sounds of mine, which if you really dig up on SoundCloud, you may be able to find. I’ve always categorized my music as “hip-hop/r&b” but I like to infuse as many genres and styles as I can. I have songs such as “And I’m Gone” that really is an uptempo slapper for turning up to. Then again, I have more self-reflective music such as “Losin’ My Mind” which delves into my own thoughts and headspace. I don’t like to limit myself to any subsection of hip-hop music, but I would say it is all “hip-hop-centric”.
How do you incorporate mental health into your music? What is its effect on you as well as your listeners?
As I said before, I have a lot of songs of mine that really talk a lot about what is going on in my head and my personal life. I feel that my listeners identify with the level of vulnerability I can have in some of my songs. Recently I posted “Might Be The Drugs” which was supposed to be a tribute to Lil Peep’s passing but also a tribute to kids like me who are lost in this world of ours and go through the things I am going through, such as substance dependency, loneliness, heartbreak, etc.
I have a bunch of other old songs, such as the tracks on the MUSE EP, which was really a whole EP about a relationship of mine I was going through which is what I drew all the inspiration from.
Something my listeners might not know is that certain songs that you’d think wouldn’t relate to my mental health, the crazy turn up songs to get the shows rowdy, are actually products of my mental health. Sometimes as an artist, I need to make songs that would take me out of the emotional mind state that I’m stuck in. The turn-up songs and the creation of them help me escape from the despair I may be feeling, even though people would assume those songs don’t reflect on my mental health.
Who are you behind the music? What do you do like to do when not involved in the music industry?
Behind the music, I’m really the same person you hear in the music. I spend hours in my studio and in my boys’ studios bouncing back ideas, constantly working on tracks. If that’s not what we’re doing, we’re smoking mad gas, turning up, throwing shows, performing, and just in general, being super involved in the underground music scene in New York City. Music has taken a bunch of my life up, to be honest, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Besides music though, I do have a job in fashion design for a very reputable brand. I like to keep my persona in music separated from my professional life, but I can say I work for a company that is known for their iconic boxers.
“BOON” in his element.
What is the story behind how you became involved in music?
Man, I’ve been writing songs since I was about 12 years old. When I started to take it professionally, I released my first song on SoundCloud close to two years ago. It was called “Sixteen” and it was all about a relationship I had gotten out of at the end of high school. At the end of that relationship, I really was thinking all about how I put so much energy into a relationship that I was in when I was really young and that was when I started realizing I had way more to accomplish in music and in life, that I couldn’t let myself stay in that toxic relationship any longer.
Weeks or so later, I dropped my second ever song “Binge” which was all about drug use that was starting to creep up into my life. I was in a period of where I felt an emotional void, that I seemed to compensate for with a constant and reckless lifestyle. My first two songs really we’re all about me in the moment that they came out. To this day, they’re still some of my fan favourites even though I look back at them now as my rawest work. Ever since those songs though, I continued to work on music because I was saw that people were identifying with it and showing my humble first attempts some love.
SHELOVESBOON and Lily Jiang, A Member of Boon’s Creative Team.
You state that Depression has been prevalent in your life? How has it affected you? How do you keep motivated on days that you feel low?
I mean in this age, can we say depression hasn’t affected a lot of the underground and upcoming rappers? It’s more than the depression, it’s about the bipolar tendencies, the manic tendencies, the ridiculous emotional spectrum that people go through. I feel that artists, in whatever realm whether it is music, art, drama, writing, etc, all have a similar plight. They’re emotions drive their work and I feel like the struggles I’ve had with my own mental health and depression itself has caused me to make certain music.
Certain songs of mine are about exact moments of my life where I was in a dark place. Other songs of mine were made in an attempt to get me out of a dark place and put me in a more upbeat vibe. It’s interesting because emotional peaks and plateaus have always been rampant in my life, so I turn to music to be my own form of therapy. It helps me understand myself but it also helps me avoid the darker sides of me as well.
An examination of “BOON’s” mental health depicted in his music.
On the days that things are specifically bad and if you’re reading this and are having one of those days, just know things get worse before it gets better. S*** will happen and s*** will hit the fan to the point where you don’t even know how to function anymore. Each day becomes more painstaking than the last and you’ll resort to things to numb your pain. But the most beautiful part of it all is that things will always get better, no matter how worse they get. Along with my love for music, that’s what motivates me to keep going every day.
Drug use is a part of your life as shown in your music, how does this impede and/or help you in regards to your mental health?
I do experiment with some drugs, that definitely does come through clear with my music. I’m not the type of person to condone drug use but I’m not the one to fault you for it either. We all have our vices and we all have a reason for our vices. All I want is for people to be safe. For me, my vices help me escape some of the depression and old thoughts/feelings that I had experienced. They help me keep going and numb the pain that I feel. Sometimes it brings out a different side of me and it really does help my creative process too. All that being said, I make sure to stay safe with what I use. I make sure that I’m not developing unhealthy habits and I make sure to be in safe situations. That’s all I recommend for anyone reading this because who is anyone to talk about your own decisions?
You are going on tour soon, what will readers have to look forward to? Where will you be playing and with who?
I’m doing a show this NYE weekend with Lonny X, Goth Girlfriend, and Doro. It’s at The Gateway (1272 Broadway, Brooklyn), and it’s gonna be one of our most turnt up shows ever. I’m performing some new music during the set. If anyone’s around the New York City/Brooklyn area, definitely come through. The shows I’ve been doing in the New York City area have been so popping and the energy is unreal. I have more shows lined up for the new year also in New York City so if you want to keep tabs on those shows, the best way to keep up with them is following me on Instagram and Twitter.
SHELOVESBOON’s tour alongside artists “LONNY X”, “GOTH GF” and “DORO”.
If you can give advice to readers who may be struggling to get their name out there and/or start their journey into the industry, what would you say?
The only thing I think I could say to people trying to break into the music industry is to keep grinding. No matter how small the shows, no matter how few the plays, no how little the “clout”, it doesn’t matter at all. Keep grinding and the more work you put into yourself and your content, the more success you’ll see. It really all depends on how far you want to take this music. I know people that make it for the sole purpose of enjoying their craft and I know people that want to launch a lucrative career off of their projects, but at the end of the day, it comes right down to your work ethic. Work harder than you’ve ever worked for music if it’s really your passion.
To follow SHELOVESBOON’s career, make sure to check out his social media accounts and follow him: