Roy Blair: A Representative of Teen Angst

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Photos by Graeme Jackson

Allinta Tadesse
Contributing Writer

To the delight of many of his fans, A.S. Program Board announced that singer, songwriter, and rapper Roy Blair will be performing some of his hit songs in the Hub at UCSB on Oct. 11. Despite his contributions to famous indie boy band BROCKHAMPTON’s album as a songwriter and producer, Blair’s solo work as an artist is rarely acknowledged; thus, this performance served as a rare musical treat for UCSB students and fans of his music.

Kevin Abstract, leader of BROCKHAMPTON, helped Blair launch into the music scene by including him as a feature on album “American Boyfriend” before Blair released his own studio album “Cat Heaven” and EP “Graffiti”. According to publication The Mars Files, Blair tends to stress the artistic caliber of his music to the point where he placed art and furniture from his childhood at a listening party so his guests could feel the vibes. 

The line of the concert was quite lengthy since the price of the concert ticket was very affordable ($12 a ticket with a student discount). Most of the people in line were what the internet likes to call “VSCO girls,” dressed in mom jeans and colorful tops with hair clips to match. The Hub is a very small venue and allowed for intimate interactions between Blair and the audience, especially for those who were lucky enough to get close to the front barricade. 

The concert opened up with some local EDM artists but was kicked up a notch when Blair started warming up his vocals and hyping up the crowd. Despite the majority of Blair’s music having a melancholic vibe, he constantly interacted with the crowd asking them to sing and jump with him and even wave their arms along with him. 

Interestingly, some of Blair’s songs such as “I DON’T KNOW ABOUT HIM” relied heavily on Auto-Tune and none of the instruments used in the concert were acoustic. He displayed an impressive performance filled with excitement as he played around with notes and showed an eagerness to improve as an artist. 

An avid listener of Blair, UCSB student Marie Tafese remembers passionately belting out the lyrics word-for-word to her favorite song “Jane” and was featured in YouTuber “enjajaja”(Enya Umanzor) and Blair’s girlfriend’s video. Another lucky fan, Orange County native Eric Nguyen was actually able to give Blair a t-shirt from his clothing brand @familyaffairsla during the meet and greet after the show. 

Blair mentioned that he didn’t receive the support from his friends and family in regards to his dreams of becoming an artist. As a result, he moved to LA after graduating to pursue his passion of songwriting and producing. Despite all of the odds, Blair is now a fairly successful artist able to perform for even hundreds of people, and his popularity is continuing to increase. 

Blair’s music often reflects his discouraged feelings, representing the frustrated youth who often feel barricaded from their true passions by societal expectations. Not only does he represent a voice for confused youth but his music also stands as a testament to his dedication in producing unique sounds and high-quality songs. 

Actively promoting and uploading his music on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music, Blair represents a glimpse of youthful musical talent for the upcoming generation of artists. He is expected to perform next in London at Electrowerkz on Oct. 22. 

Author’s recommended songs:Dennis,” “Jane,” “Perfume,” “Thunder,” “Hazel,” “I DON’T KNOW ABOUT HIM,” and “Happy.”

 

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