Central Coast R&B/Hip-Hop musician BOY SODA (real name Brae Luafalealo) has released a "self-help
tape" consisting of two brand new songs, "Take Your Time" and "See Someone".
Born and raised on the NSW Central Coast, Luafalealo has recorded and produced the majority of his tracks from his Terrigal bedroom, making him one of many self-made musicians. This journey leads to a lot of self-reflection, which BOY SODA describes as "a beautiful thing".
"You definitely get used to the experimental trial and error process", said Luafalealo.
"Having a completely open space where I can discover the way I want to sound has been really enjoyable.
"Some people ask me if it gets lonely, but I don't consider it lonely at all. Making music is what I want to do for the rest of my life so I'm very happy".
Luafalealo himself has also worked with producers Rod McCormack and Gina Jeffreys, but admits he loves making music from his bedroom. One of the things that appeals to him is the ease at which he can create a track and have it shared around the world.
When talking about his two new releases, 'Take Your Time' and 'See Someone', Luafalealo says the songs were written separately, but he can't imagine them not being released together.
"'Take Your Time' is the song that tells me not to rush", Luafalealo said.
"I felt like I was constantly feeling like there was a place I had to be in my career. When you're 21 you have your life planned - when you'll have a house, get married etc.
"This song is reminding myself not to rush and to take my time to enjoy life."
Enjoying his life might appear easy from the outside - from the trips to L.A to perform and song write, to performing on stage at The Beery in his hometown, to collaborating with fellow Central Coast musicians, to getting an Instagram shoutout from Brisbane pop singer Wafia - it appears form the outside, that BOY SODA has a pretty good life - and he does.
However, that doesn't mean everything is rosy on the inside. Just because someone is "famous", it doesn't mean they are immune to feeling down. It doesn't mean they aren't allowed to feel sad. It doesn't mean they can't seek help - and that's exactly what Luafalealo did.
"'See Someone' is the follow up to 'Take Your Time' because I was at a point in my life where I had to seek professional help", said Luafalealo.
"That process was very rewarding and healing for me, but the process leading up to that can be quite abrasive due to the stigma around men and their ideas of strength and mental health. I wanted to write a song through my experience so other people can relate and be inspired to be open and vulnerable."
That is one of the goals Luafalealo set for this release - to try and normalise the process, especially for men, about seeing a professional to help work through your mental health issues.
He admits he was a little hesitant in seeing someone about his health at first, but he doesn't regret his decision.
"I always consider myself an emotionally strong person", Luafalealo said.
"I was always the person who would offer a shoulder for my friends, so when it got to this point I felt defeated and a little ashamed of myself because I never pictured myself ending up there.
"But then you go there and you get the progress you didn't think you were going to get. I can't imagine going through life now, a year on, if I didn't go to therapy. I can't imagine carrying that extra weight around now".
Listen to BOY SODA's powerful and moving music here
Hear the interview in full here