“NYC Ate Your Soul” is a punchy pop single layered with a sampling of acoustic, eclectic and synthetic sounds that keep the listeners on their toes. Upon first listen, the song is a trope about a small girl lost in a big city that manages not to feel corny or cliche. A heartthrob in the making, Boyu carries the music along with his familiar and soothing voice, not dissimilar from the boyish crooning of a Dominic Fike or a Jeremy Zucker. The best part of the song has to be Boyu’s ad-libs, an improvisational and thrilling splash of playful youth injected into the soundscape (“ewe-ewe-ahhh”). A close second is the sinusoidal vocal chop and synth keys Boyu adds into the second portion of the track, vibrating over the electric guitar that has suddenly replaced the acoustic one. The electric guitar then takes over in the finale and plays a dramatic and reflective tune through the end of the song.
Although the lyrics are clearly criticizing the soul-sucking life of a corporate sell-out, they are also pleading and hopeful:
“So are you proud of who you have become / And is this how you act when you’re alone?”
Boyu is addressing a girl, but any speculator might suspect that it's more probable that he is really talking to himself. Boyu’s early career started in the high-rises of Boston and drained his time and inspiration during long, 60-80 hour work weeks. In a statement about his inspiration for the song, Boyu stated, “Before taking the recording artist route seriously, I was all in on the corporate banking path, thinking if I worked really hard and climbed the corporate ladder, I would be wealthy at an early age, then I could do the things I love, such as music.” The relatable struggle of creative versus financial freedom finally gave way as Boyu finally pursued the music route in April of 2021, and has found his way onto bedroom pop playlists across streaming platforms.
Other notable lyrics on the track include the entirety of the second verse, which is profound and comforting:
“I see you’re betting on the fame upon your name,
To feel that rush within your veins,
You know these Wall Street boys got dough from daddy,
And when you feel alone well you should know,
Theres 8.4 million souls That feel the way you do,
So sip that poison til’ you’re happy.”
The future for Boyu is a bright one. Breaking out from crafting his music after a more formulaic pop-success model, “NYC Ate Your Soul” is Boyu’s most innovative song yet.