In preparation for the Cut The Crap Poetry evening, I:M sits down with the poets and performers. With honesty the core theme for the event, we look to hear some truths from the artists and to also celebrate the beginning of the new poetry section of the magazine. The event is fast approaching, on October 17th. We spoke to Felix Hewitt, aka Blue Boy, about his music and how we need to cut the bullshit when it comes to discussing mental health.
What is your name and what do you do/study?
My name is Felix and I study music – no! I study geography, but I do thoroughly enjoy music. I came to Bristol to study geography for my degree but also because it’s got such a great music scene.
When and why did you start making music?
I don’t think there was a definitive point as far as I can remember. When I was little I was part of organisations where you’d get paired up with other kids to play in a band and even then I was writing songs, obviously terrible, but still. There hasn’t been a time when I’ve not been doing music. My dad’s a musician so we always had guitars around the house. I use to mess around on the music software on his computers.
What music does your dad make?
He’s a guitar teacher at the moment but he makes electronic, dub-y stuff. He hasn’t really released music though, its much more for fun. He did a music production course for a year.
Your stage name is Blue boy, why?
Its not purposely ripped off from a Mac Demarco song, but maybe I did subconsciously. I feel like a lot of the songs I write are blue. Then there’s obviously the alliteration - makes it catchy, you know.
You could have had brown boy?
Browns not as much an appealing colour. Blue fits more with the songs, they’re quite melancholy.
Who are your main inspirations, music and art wise?
Lyrically, Arctic Monkeys are my favourite band - just like everyone else. Alex Turner is just such a great lyricist.
What do you think of the new album?
I really respect that they haven’t just made another AM, which they easily could have. Even the album name, Tranquillity Base Hotel and Casino, I think alone is such a powerful metaphor for how isolating fame is. Like he’s saying that he lives this life of luxury, like living in a hotel, but he’s so alone because he’s on the fucking moon. He’s so fucking clever, such a great lyricist. The Beatles are another big influence. Of course.
Haha, I love that. That seems almost like saying, “What influences me? Oh, just the world.”
You have a new EP coming out, what should we expect? Will you be performing any new stuff at Cut The Crap?
I will definitely be performing some new stuff! So its still guitar-based, indie rock but the songs are more about relationships. I got into a relationship in the past year and so it’s the first time I’ve written about it before. When writing music it’s really important to have meaningful lyrics and you can only really have those when you’ve had an experience. And for me that’s the whole point of art; to capture an emotion and evoke that feeling again. That’s when I write the best songs, when based on a specific emotion.
What does Cut the Crap mean to you?
The discussion around mental health is the main one for me. Having experienced it myself and witness those around me deal with it, its so clear that it happens to so many people, but its still not talked about as openly as it should be. Obviously, women experience mental health issues in the same way but with men there’s the extra layer of “man up” to get over which prevents guys talking about it. And even once you’re aware it’s hard to get out of that mindset. That’s the bullshit we need to cut.