There has been much contestation between what the archetype should be of the Carefree Black Boy. While the visual aesthetics typically feature Black men and/or boys adorned in flowers, it rids the possibility of accepting that being carefree and joyful manifests itself in a variety of ways, and thus, will look and sound different. Being carefree and joyful is simply being one's true self without any inhibitions and Daz Rinko sonically captures Black boy joy in his new EP aptly given the same name. The Memphis native's debut project explores themes of love, happiness and overcoming difficulties; a juxtaposition between the album's heavy topics and the production they are paired with. Listen to 'Black Boy Joy' and read our interview with the artist below.
Noisey: What does having 'Black Boy Joy' mean to you?
Daz Rinko: Maintaining happiness through the everyday struggles that come with being a Black male. Simply striving and exceeding the expectations placed upon us from before we were born.
The sonic stylings of 'Black Boy Joy' are predominantly upbeat. Was that a purposeful decision so that it matches the lyrical content or themes in the EP?
Yeah, I knew I wanted to touch on topics with an upbeat feel to make it more appealing to listeners. Whether it be getting laid off from a job or a bad break up, I wanted to show an upbeat side to it; the joy after the storm.
Why is this album and its message essential amidst the current social and cultural landscape and for you as an artist?
I feel like 'Black Boy Joy' will touch someone from just the topics covered and how honest I am about them personally. I really never hold anything back in my music. I think that's why some gravitate to it. As an artist, I feel as if it's my proper introduction as Daz Rinko. There's a wave of music that's trending, but it's not timeless. The sound changes every few years. My early stuff was kinda me searching for a sound of my own. I found it on 'Black Boy Joy.'
Sharine Taylor is a writer from Toronto. Follow her on Twitter.