It seems Ireland’s music scene is blooming with musical talent at the moment, with the likes of Fontaines D.C spearheading this movement. Now, Smoothboi Ezra, who hails from Greystones, is undoubtedly another name to add to your Irish music watch list.
At just 18 years of age, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Smoothboi Ezra has already amassed over 10 million Spotify streams, despite releasing their music entirely independently. With influences ranging from contemporaries like Phoebe Bridgers and Mitski, to legends like Elliott Smith and Kate Bush, Smoothboi Ezra’s sound leans towards bedroom pop or anti-pop. They admit that their songwriting process is very laissez-faire, yet the results are there to be admired. Warmth and charm exudes from Smoothboi Ezra’s music; it’s reminiscent but also distinctly Gen Z in its innate ability to tackle relevant topics like gender, identity, and depersonalisation.
Speaking on their latest single “My Own Person,” Smoothboi Ezra says in a press release: “I wrote this song when I was 16. I had one or two outfits I would interchange and I wore the same grubby pair of shoes every day. They were replicas of a previous grubby pair I wore when I was 14 and 15. The song is about not being happy but not being able to do anything about it.”
Blending into lo-fi sounding drums, subtle, textural guitars, and beautifully balanced vocal harmonies, the lyrical content of Smoothboi Ezra’s latest track is its real standout feature. For a songwriter of such a young age, it’s highly impressive how they write lyrics of such honesty and authenticity, which is something that many artists may spend years trying to grasp in their work.
Ezra talks vividly about the topic of depersonalisation throughout the track: “Can’t help but think I just stand out / No matter what I do it’s bad, it’s hurting / And I don’t feel like I’m my own person.” Major guitar chords in the verses accompany these lyrics, which give off a very melancholic feel. The bridges add tension with diminished chords, further embellished with vocal harmonies, and outlay the most noteworthy lyrical content in the track: “I wanna blend into the background / I wanna be nobody, never make a sound… / Wherever I go my thoughts are lurking / I try and I try, but I’m not my own person.” It’s pervasively blue, but also beautifully written and sincerely honest with every word.
“My Own Person” makes clear that Smoothboi Ezra is a young, Irish artist full of precocious talent. Their strikingly truthful lyrics are imbued with authenticity, and it’s easy to see why Smoothboi Ezra is gaining deserved recognition for their work.