Photo: Kurt Lavastida

Boys World

Just like any friendship group, every person is different. It’s not until everyone comes together, that the blend of personalities, interests, aesthetics, and backgrounds mix to form the perfect team. This is exactly what it’s like for Queenie, Olivia, Elana, Makhyli, and Lillian of Boys World. “We are very different individually, but as Boys World, we know what that vision is”, Queenie explains.  “We know what that means and we know what we want, so it’s a mutual understanding of our journey.” Makhyli adds, “So lucky it works out. We’re going up!”

boys world
Photo: Kurt Lavastida

From the first single, “Girlfriends,” it is clear to see that Boys World has bossed up once again to show their fans that they are and will always be the same group of girls who can rely on each other no matter what.  With the release of their latest EP, me, my girls & i, meant new music for their fans, new experiences that they went through which they shared in the form of new music, but most importantly, the chance to say that they’ve had the opportunity to take the reins with this project and finally be capable of what they thought they couldn’t do. “I think we’ve opened Pandora’s box! We’re like sponges, Olivia says with excitement. “We know what we like and do not like. So that has helped us get to the point where we can wear all the hats.”

“We do everything now.  We write, we do our makeup, we direct. Anything you need we got!” Makhyli says proudly. 

Now having creative control over what they wanted their new music to sound like, while still keeping the Boys World sound, it is more personal in every aspect. From co-writing to directing the choreography in their music videos, they give the fans what they want. “When it comes to our fans, they always want us to include more ballads,” says Elana. “As the only one we have out so far is ‘Relapse’, it was important for us to have two on the EP which are ‘Funeral’ and ‘Wrong Side.’” The inspiration for the latest record came from the group’s life experiences. “What’s nice is that you’re not the only one going through something,” said Queenie. “So whenever you write about life experiences, there’s someone out there who can relate in some way. I think it would take a lot longer to heal if I wasn’t in this group when it comes to certain things. Like with a breakup for example. It was around 2 months but felt like two weeks because I was with the girls.”

boys world
Photo: Kurt Lavastida

The group then dropped their feel-good, summer anthem, “Pina Colada.”  “Queenie got to choreograph the dance video we released for ‘Pina Colada’ and I got to creative direct the music video for the track”, Olivia explained. “We really fought for this. A lot of our fans wanted it to be released. We styled it all. It was Boys World driven. When we were first starting out,  it made sense for people to tell us what to do. We were still learning, but we all have creative minds individually to be able to bring things to life.”

Proudly, Elana mentions, “This is the first song that we are speaking a different language, we’re speaking Spanish. So it’s really important to me that we have that representation and our Spanish fans can feel included. So exciting!”

Being able to incorporate all their ideas to create music that they are proud of is another reason why Boys World works so well. It was from the experience of writing the track, “Wingman” as a group that also helped them write new material. “We’ve gotten to the point where we help each other out when it comes to the vocal production, Lillian explained. “We’re also very respectful of each other as well.”

“It’s way better being able to have your creative input. It’s easier to say what you want and don’t want with production or lyrics for example. It feels authentic and more Boys World,” says Elana. “When you’re getting demos, it doesn’t always fit. But we’re still thankful. ‘So what’ was a demo and we still move that song, it’s a give and take.”

Music isn’t the only way Boys World expresses themselves. From collaging, creating vision boards, retail therapy, and journalling, these are just some ways that Lillian, Queenie, Makhyli, Elana, and Olivia express their emotions. Music is though an important part of how Boys World focuses on getting themselves out of a negative headspace. “For me, says Elana, when I was going through my breakup, Olivia Rodrigo’s album, Sour, really helped.” For Queenie, it was Rihanna’s album, Anti, “which helped me boss up after the breakup. It made me feel like I was hot again.” 

“me, my girls & i,” co-written by Olivia and Lilian is a track that focuses on the breakup of a friend, and the way in which your friends are able to uplift you in the healing process. “The healing process is not linear,” says Olivia.  “There are moments when you don’t want to leave your room, but your girls need to help you get out, party, make some friends, and be yourself again.” We needed a song about friendship,” adds Lillian. “‘Girlfriends was our debut, and it has a special place in our hearts. This is a continuation since the concepts are similar. It shows people who we are as a group.”

boys world
Photo: Kurt Lavastida

The music video for the single was a lot of fun for them to film. Behind the scenes, one memorable moment that they all remembered was when Olivia broke her ankle! “We were wearing these really tall heels in a convenience store and we didn’t have much space to dance. So I rolled my ankle in this tiny space,” she explains. Makhyli expresses her favorite part of the shoot. “I love the part at the end where we had French fries.” We were so delusional by the end of the day. We were working overtime but it was so worth it!”

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the genuine friendship between the five of them. Living together and therefore spending every day with each other, being able to find a balance of who each other were as individuals was very important from the start. “I was homeschooled and I didn’t have many friends. When we met, they all became my sisters,” Olivia said excitedly. “I packed my bags and I was ready. The things we went through early on definitely shaped our friendship to where it is now. It’s the things we dealt with and our traumas. We can all connect in some way.” Elana added, “I was thinking if you’re funny, you’re my friend! It’s so much deeper than that as well though. We love each other so much and we know everything about each other. Being a team means we get to wear all the hats.” Navigating through the forever-changing industry will teach them a lot along the way. But having each other will make this journey even more fulfilling.

Bringing fun/relatable vibes through their music is all Boys World wants to do. It’s not always easy, but small steps in the right direction can make positive changes. Some things that the group would like to see happen are “signed artists should get insurance for the label,” says Olivia. “Sometimes people who work for the label do, but the artists don’t. I think artists don’t get paid a lot in general and they should be entitled to make it equal. Also, our label offers us therapy which is important. Labels should give their artists better resources to help with mental health.” 

Queenie added, “There are a lot of mental health issues, and because of the industry that we are in, being so exposed to social media takes a lot on someone’s mental health.” Makhyli concluded the changes they wanted to see by wanting to see more artists like them. “I want to see more labels build artists from the ground up like us! More authentic growth and artist development. It won’t last if they do not have all of it.”

Boys World’s latest EP, me, my girls & i, and new single, “Pina Colada,” are out now.