Byink is the stage name of American singer Ethan Cox. Byink plays drums, guitar, piano, bass, but manages to handle any instrument that gives music, as well as his voice! He began his journey in music by recording and starting to write songs from his teens; from pure fun, he felt the need to become Byink and now it is the passion and love for music that drives him! His main influences are artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Johnny Winters and Cuco. “I can’t go back” is his last single, recorded alone in his bedroom, written, mixed and mastered by Byink himself! The song has a modern indie blues taste with some hint of hip hop and rap, and the bass and drums frame the track. The song gives us a look at how life was before, fun and always full of people, while now things are very different, everything has changed, but you can not go back…
YMX: Hey BYINK, how is it going? some of our readers might not be familiar with your project, how would describe yourself, in a few words?
BYINK: I am just another indie solo artist who makes music all by myself alone in my bedroom. What makes me different though, is my infatuation with old blues and soul music, that I blend in with my modern sounding indie pop music.
YMX: Your current work is the result of a long journey; What first drew you to making music?
BYINK: I have always been a fairly quiet person, and have always had a lot of difficulty interacting with people and communicating my thoughts. Like many people, music is how I have learned to express my self (even though my lyrics sound pretty incoherent to most people). I have played guitar since a pretty young age so once I got in my early teen years I started making music nonstop because I felt like it was the only thing I was I could do. So what drew me to making music is the fact that it gives me a voice. Now over the past five years I have just been trying to get better and learn more at what I am meant to do and become a more diverse musician.
YMX: What would be your dream collaboration?
BYINK: My dream collaboration would be with some of the popular trippy bedroom Indie pop artists like Cuco, or Clairo that I have always loved since the first second I heard their music. But that’s like the big big dream, really though the best collaboration is just playing with and discovering other unheard musicians that do the same thing you do.
YMX: You recently released “I CAN’T GO BACK“. Can you tell us how that project came about?
BYINK: I recently released the second single (and quickly just two more) under my new name Byink. This single is called I Can’t go Back, and it started when I had the idea to have an 808 bass with Stevie Ray Vaughn/Eric Clapton type inspired blues solos over top of the heavy bass line. At the time i was in a moment where quite a lot of things were going through my head and without having much lyrics planned i just made an Instagram video with the song and it got more likes than I’m used to (Im not used to many, I’m pretty low-key). 2 months later I recorded the song and got it mastered!!
YMX: What inspires your songwriting work?
BYINK: I am inspired by quite a lot of different music. My biggest influences though is all of the blues artists I love like Clapton and SRV. No matter how hard I try every time I pick up a guitar i have to play the blues. But I am also really inspired by people like Cuco and Mac Demarco, Clairo, and also a little of older soul artist’s like The Mar-Keys and Otis Redding.
YMX: We are all missing live music at the moment. Once on the other side, which music venue would you choose for your first gig?
BYINK: I do really miss doing live music and I haven’t played any live music at all since January of 2020. I never started going by Byink until Nov 2020, so at the moment, I’m an all bedroom studio act. But the first place I would want to put on a concert as soon as I can is somewhere here at home, so a local bar or something around Fremont County or Laramie, Wyoming. The Aggie Theater in Fort Collins, Colorado is pretty dope too though.
YMX: What’s your band strategy in terms of music promotion? Direct-2-fans or via the “big dogs”?
BYINK: My strategy as far as promotion bases mostly off of my playlist I curate or spotify. I have an “Indie/ lo-fi pop/ all things psychedelic” (My spotify username is iamnotarealcat, I have lots of other cool playlists too) playlist that is currently my biggest that focuses on music that sounds trippy. Whether its bedroom pop, classics like The Grateful Dead, or unheard indie rock, just as long as it sounds psychedelic, and i try to keep Byink sounding that way also. Other than that i rely on other playlist curators i reach out to and reviews and this like this YMX interview!!
YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future?
BYINK: I currently have no plans for gigs other than some local open mic shows and whatnot around this small town, but my big plans are all about the singles coming out. I have many singles planned for the next few months coming into summer time and by the time summer time comes, I’m sure I’ll have some more ideas (probably a lot more singles mostly) and maybe can start doing real shows frequently, hopefully. But all of my singles i release as Byink focus on all sorts of different sounds and audio experiments mixed in with normal modern sounding music. My main “experiments” have been with blues and soul but this March and April I’m going to be mixing in some other sounds in the Byink Singles that haven’t been heard from me yet. My next currently unnamed single will be released this March 5th.