FSU grads become Boys Who Cry

Boys Who Cry. Photo courtesy Boys Who Cry

T-Pain, Creed and Mayday Parade are well-known artists or bands that had their start in Tallahassee. And headed in the same direction is one of Tallahassee’s up and coming bands, Boys Who Cry.

Boys Who Cry is a cross-genre band made up of FSU graduates Alexis Howard (guitar/vocals), Joey Dickinson (drums), Elena Vallalta (trumpet) and philosophy major Abigail Leaman (bass). The band’s name is taken from the boy band on “SpongeBob SquarePants” that played at Pearl’s 16th birthday party.

The group originally started as friends through mutual friends, eventually leading Howard, Vallalta and Dickinson to form a SpongeBob cover band. What were meant to be playful jam sessions transformed into the possibility of something real in October of 2017 when the band wrote its first song, “Una Noche Mas.” February 2018 jam sessions turned into rehearsals when they decided to become official.

“Our favorite rehearsals are spent writing,” Leaman said. “Someone will come up with an interesting chord progression or melody, and we jam on it for as long as we can stand it, trying out different melodies and styles.”

After signing with Cat Family Records, the band was introduced to its latest member, Leaman, in April of 2019. From there, the band went on performing its original songs at venues like the Wilbury and the Litterbox.

“We like to call our music jazzy R&B funk fusion with Latin inspiration,” Leaman said. “But we are very genre fluid. On the new (unreleased) album, there’s musical references to punk, Mexican folk music, jazz, soul and more. We take inspiration from so many artists … Erykah Badu, Cuco, Prince, and Kali Uchis. Every song features lyrics in both English and Spanish, inspired largely by Elena’s Venezuelan pride.”

Howard said their songwriting is inspired by their audience.

“Our fans really enjoy the song ‘Ruck All Night’ from our 2018 EP ‘Los Chicos Que Lloran,’ which is one of our more rock heavy songs,” he said. “We’ve also gotten great feedback from our newest (unreleased) song, ‘Mi Amor’ because it has a section where the audience can easily sing along. We’re looking forward to writing more music geared towards audience engagement.

“If people hear our music, move their feet, and put a little love into the world, we are satisfied,” Howard added. “We just want people to be engaged and to feel their energy.”

Boys Who Cry’s goal is to be world peace ambassadors and replace all war with dancing. Band members said they hope their music inspires pride, specifically for the LGBT and Latin communities, but also for every unique person.

Their next performance is Sunday, Jan. 26, at the Wilbury on Gaines Street along with the band Black Lips. You can get updates on the band’s shows and merchandise through Facebook, Twitter: @WeAreBoysWhoCry, and Instagram: @_boyswhocrymusic. Also, their music can be found on Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube.