The Bobo makes sure that nothing gets lost in translation on her new track, “Will You,” premiering today on HighClouds.
The Bobo got her stage name from a book written by political and cultural commentator David Brooks titled Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There. The titular “Bobos” refer to the French equivalent of “champagne socialists” and stand for “bourgeois-bohemian”. However, it’s also a popular interlinguistic term for a baby.
“I am still learning and pretty much a baby in the music industry,” the Oxford-based artist tells HighClouds ahead of the release of “Will You” tomorrow.
Although The Bobo exercises a refreshing sense of humility and self-awareness that is very rare in an industry which usually favours the “fake it till you make it” approach, this modest attitude about her talent is a massive understatement. There is nothing baby-like about a beautiful voice paired with incredible songwriting and stellar ethereal production. In fact, being able to write fetching, poignant lyrics is difficult enough on its own – now try doing that in two very different languages. “Will You” was originally written in Polish, which The Bobo is fluent in along with English.
Although the two languages seem to have absolutely nothing in common, she somehow managed to deliver two versions of the same song which we took the time to examine ourselves. The verdict? Both are pretty damn great. “I usually write in English so it was a real challenge to write good, not cliche lyrics,” says The Bobo, whose decision to write “Will You” in Polish was inspired by a friend.
“To be able to release the song in the UK I decided to translate it and keep the same meaning,” she adds. However, that didn’t come without its challenges.
“I did have to change a few words as they did not have their equivalent in English. I was struggling to find a good replacement for the word “czule”, which could be translated as tender but still does not carry the same emotion (at least for me),” says The Bobo, and she is right. The Polish word “czule” doesn’t come with the ridiculous connotations with chicken tenders as it does in English.
In general, The Bobo finds writing in English much easier, likely due to “the amount of music I was listening to when I was younger and the artists I look up to”.
“Polish for me is a beautiful language but I find it much harder to find the right balance with words so they wouldn’t be too simple or too pretentious,” she says, citing Daughter frontwoman Elena Tonra as her biggest inspiration.
The Bobo is quite unique in the ability to get this balance – between “simple” and “pretentious” – just right. And it is important to add here that, apparently, this isn’t even her final form. We couldn’t be more excited to watch her grow and, with The Bobo announcing that a new EP is in the works, we cannot wait to hear it.