This past week at Austin’s annual South by Southwest (SXSW) music and film festival, I experienced one of the most serene and beautiful musical performances I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. Performing in St. David’s Bethel Hall was little known singer-songwriter, Bobby Choy, also known as Big Phony. Contrary to his name, he is certainly no amateur. He is the real deal. This self-proclaimed “sad song writer” has a tranquil voice that ripples through the soul with each strum of his acoustic guitar. Having remained behind in New York to attend the School of Performing Arts and Music and Art after his family relocated, Big Phony immersed himself in writing. It was after he joined his family in Los Angeles that his dream to be a singer-songwriter truly began to materialize. Over the years his efforts were rewarded with the support of fans in both Los Angeles and New York. As of 2011, Big Phony transitioned to Seoul, South Korea, where his parents are originally from. It is here that he has continues to grow as a musician and create the beautiful music like that performed at SXSW.
His self-composed songs are soft yet alluring with gripping lyrics that touched the hear t deeply. Big Phony sang in such a sweet, versatile voice. The most memorable song of the night for me was not one of his trademark sad songs, but instead a love song inspired by his recent marriage, Be My Baby. The only way to describe it was simply that it was really nice. I mean really nice. Even his usually solemn voice was lifted exposing the purity and sincerity in which the song was written. I found myself swaying to the melody thinking of loves lost and that high one feels when they are truly in love. “Be My Baby.” It reminded me of those indescribable feelings. I could have listened to him sing for hours. By the time I walked out of the performance hall, I was completely sold on this guy.
His music was so refreshing for me. It literally cleared my jumbled thoughts and relaxed my mind. If you have any huge decisions or heavy thoughts weighing on you, Big Phony’s album, Bobby, could very well be the key to restoring your peace. Listening to it is like driving along the Pacific coast in a convertible with the wind blowing coolly in your face and the enticing scent of the sea in the air. Whether the answer is yes or no, right or wrong; it doesn’t matter. It just feels good. It comes as no surprise to me that I am equally impressed with Big Phony’s Long Live the Lie album. Long Live the Lie has incorporates electronica into Big Phony’s usually indie sound. I was worried that this type of arrangement might overpower his quiet melody but instead it complimented the depth of his voice. Specifically, “The Hours” has truly become one of my favorite Big Phony songs that I repeat at least twice every time it comes up on my playlist.
Even more than his musical talent, I was impressed by Big Phony himself. He is such a genuinely nice guy with a modest and humble spirit. He has earned a devout supporter in me and I will cherish the opportunity to make his acquaintance. I’m looking forward to what this gifted singer-song writer creates in the future. Check out my favorite song, The Hours, and his other great songs here. Learn more about the artist himself here. I hope you will show your support to this amazing artist and his work.