The Deli Philly's Featured Artist(s) Poll Winner: Shy Boyz

By: Alexis V. & Michael Colavita

August 31, 2017

Much like their debut album 2 Horses (and 2 Naked Boys), Shy Boyz founders King SoloMon and Airyon Love offer up some intriguing insights into their origin, creative process, future plans, etc., when they answered our “get to know ya” questions (below), which correspond to their recent winning of The Deli Philly’s Featured Artist(s) Poll. Meshing influences of funk & soul, with the eclectic strangeness of The Mothers of Invention and Weird Al, Shy Boyz create an odd, groovy dynamic. However, once you think you’ve honed in on their point of view, a response emerges from left field.

The Deli: How did you start making music? 

King SoloMon: The first time I ever used a computer or had access to the internet was in 2001 (pre-9/11). I immediately started to record songs into the shitty microphone included with my Dell Desktop. The first song I ever wrote was from the perspective of an American POW in Vietnam. The rest is history.

Airyon Love: I always felt that I had something to express to the world, but had no outlet, until I heard Bob Dylan in my teens, and picked up an acoustic guitar. Writing songs just came naturally, and really filled a void for me. I just picked up the guitar, and started strumming, and everything just started flowing out. All these feelings and emotions I didn’t know were inside of me. Expressing myself is not only intensely cathartic, but it's also a way to resonate and experience the dynamics of love and poetry collectively with the rest of mankind. Sharing music and words is the greatest gift.

TD: Where did the name Shy Boyz come from? 

KS: Divine inspiration – I also have been diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder. I don't know, bol. I can't remember how we thought of the name. We was probably messing around on the porch, smoking, improvising, and God whispered into somebody's ears. I can tell you that the spelling of Boyz with a "z" is inspired by the 2pac song, "Better Dayz".

AL: The real history is that our friend John saw some graffiti that said "shy boys" and suggested we start a band with that name, so we did. 

TD: What are your biggest musical influences?

AL: Bob Dylan, Neil Young, War On Drugs, Santana, Led Zeppelin, Kurt Vile, and I'm not close-minded so I also listen to a lot of the cool pop stuff that's coming out now like Taylor Swift. Also think Major Lazer puts out some seriously sick shit. I’m especially into Kurt Vile and War On Drugs because they’re from Philly. We plan on collaborating with them soon because we are better than them and they’ll want to latch onto what we’re doing. My Bob Dylan impersonation rivals the War On Drugs guy’s.

KS: First of all, this is a terrible question. I hate answering it because it's so limiting and cliché. In general, I prefer groove-based music that's funky and has soul. Most of my musical heroes are black. Musically, I'm a black supremacist. Sorry if that offends you, but it’s true.

TD: What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to? 

KS: I only listen to WRNB "Old School" 100.3 FM Philly. I am totally out of touch with what the kids are listening to these days. Sorry to disappoint you.

AL: I’ll agree 100% on this point. I’m not seeing any questions here that address the nature of our band or our album so I’ll plug that here. We are the Shy Boyz. We do things differently from everyone else. Listen to our album “2 Horses (and 2 Naked Boys),” you will hear smooth soul, jazz poetry, synth-pop and much, much more. Come to our live show, and you’ll get wigs, diapers, blood, violence, beauty, pain, etc. It’s quite an experience, and it’s very therapeutic. We recently had our album release show, and had our friend spank King SoloMon with various tools and paddles as he sang. WE wanted to see how the vocals would sound with this X factor. We are constantly experimenting and trying to break new ground.

TD: What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?

AL: First concert was weird al yankovic; first album was Mothers of Invention – We're Only in It for the Money

KS: In 2001, I saw Tool in New Jersey during the Lateralus Tour. Mike Patton's band Tomahawk was opening. I said, "I want to do that when I grow up." The first album I ever bought was probably Rage Against the Machine's debut album. I grew up in the '90s, okay.

TD: What do you love about Philly? 

KS: The violence, degradation and insanity.

AL: The other day we were putting up posters to promote our show and stopped into my favorite bar, Dinic’s Beef and Pork Tavern, right behind the Melrose Diner. This bar has no beef or pork or food, so it’s oddly named. We went in, and were immediately propositioned for a blowjob from an old woman. The bartender was eating McDonalds, and greeted us with a FUCK YOU. A toothless patron told me about a woman who used to pick up quarters off the bar with her “big vagina.” A man screamed at the television…Donald Trump was on, and he said, “FUCK YOU! I voted for you, but you need a haircut!” Then he yelled at me, and said, “YOU NEED A HAIRCUT TOO! YOU’LL THINK BETTER!” Then the bartender started telling the screaming haircut guy that she’d fuck him, and she spit out some saliva and McDonald’s mayonnaise onto her breasts, and said, “This is what your cum would look like on my tits.” All this happened in about 5 minutes. Philly’s got good bars like this.

TD: What do you hate about Philly?

KS: All the people moving here from Brooklyn and DC.

AL: Nothing – Philly is perfect.

TD: What are your plans for 2017?

KS: This year is almost over! We making plannings for 2018! Shy Boyz will start to play shows regionally, up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

AL: Ya…and we have a guitar pedal review series on YouTube, which is revolutionizing that whole industry so you can plan on seeing us doing big things in that regard. It’s called Effects & Pedals Arena Corner. We review all kinds of pedals…red ones, blue ones, yellow ones. It’s pretty sick.

TD: What was your most memorable live show?

KS: Opening for a child Elvis impersonator and being kicked off-stage for stripping down to our diapers in front of a crowd of kids attending a youth soccer tournament. The kids loved us. First, the hotel staff whisked the children out of the theater, and then the curtain came down on us. Essington, PA is a great little town.

AL: Ya. Anytime we’ve been kicked off stage has been good. 

TD: What's your favorite thing to get at the deli? 

KS: Small Meatball. 

AL: Very clever. But we go to “Major’s” in East Falls for hoagies a lot. Very cheap, very good.

(Photo by Charles Wrzesniewski)