PREMIERE: KYOSi channels classic literature on “Boo Radley”

You should read more. Yes, you. I know you’re on this website right now, but I’m talking about picking up some books. Reading can be so relaxing after a long day of work, and it’s the perfect activity before bed. On top of that, it can help us identify with and understand different characters and viewpoints. NYC artist KYOSi has set out to understand one of the classic characters of literature on her new single, “Boo Radley,” taken from her upcoming EP Negative Space (out on June 21). I am thrilled to give this literary track a premiere this morning on Substream.

What makes “Boo Radley” such a captivating listen is the difference between KYOSi’s electronic sound and the setting of 1930s Alabama from To Kill A Mockingbird. The instrumental is urgent and driving, hurtling forward with the isolation and paranoia Boo Radley feels. KYOSi’s lyrics extrapolate that feeling out into the general population, connecting the physical and emotional isolation of Radley to a lack of human connection in the modern world. It’s a fascinating take on the themes of Radley in the novel, and showcases KYOSI’s thoughtful writing.

KYOSi explained her view of the inside of Boo Radley’s mind, saying

“The second single from my upcoming EP, ‘Negative Space, ‘ reimagines the character, Boo Radley, from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ as a modern Everyman— a guy who’s a cog in a machine. He learns to love the machine but is deeply conflicted too. I remember reading the book as a kid and wanted to know more about Boo Radley. He was mysterious and relatable somehow. The lyric and production evolved out of thinking about the panic he might feel, the way he might start to internalize the feeling of a captor, either real or perceived. I wanted it to feel frantic.”

You can listen to KYOSi perform “Boo Radley” below.