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Hoboken, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2018 | SELF

Hoboken, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2018
Band Alternative Indie




"Phoneboy interview: New band already a Stevens sensation, success on Spotify"

On a freezing day in early February, I met with Wyn Barnum, Ricky Dana, and James Fusco, the musical creators of Phoneboy, the band behind “Acid Girl,” a song that could warm up any northeast blizzard and was responsible for the most memorable social media moment in local music last year. When the song came out in December, it was ubiquitous on Instagram; posted by many Stevens students on their stories, the song received instant local exposure.

“I remember looking at my Instagram stories and seeing the whole thing was the color of pink and red because everyone was posting it. It was crazy. Friends from home, people from our fraternity. If we didn’t have that support, it wouldn’t have gone anywhere or gotten that exposure at all,” Ricky recounted about the release day of “Acid Girl.”

A music video came next, and the organic sharing and support soon caused the song to explode on streaming platforms, seeing its stats steadily increase. As of early February, “Acid Girl” has cracked 70,000 streams, a number completely unexpected by Phoneboy and extremely promising for this new band. I was lucky enough to speak with the core musical members of Phoneboy and ask them about their history and what’s to come.

One of the most startling facts about Phoneboy is that the band almost never started. Although Wyn and James were longtime friends and musical collaborators, growing up together in San Francisco, California, when Wyn arrived at Stevens (James attends Fordham University) and met Ricky, it took them more than a semester after meeting to realize each other’s talents and their shared musical compatibility. Although Ricky hoped he would click with someone musically, he also explained the cynicism he felt when first arriving at Stevens, claiming that he “wasn’t expecting to find anyone to jam with.” And although he and Wyn lived in the same hall and met just a few days into their first semester, he actually avoided Wyn, who was eager to play with him after realizing their similar tastes in music.

“I didn’t even think anything of it; I just thought he was flaky,” said Wyn about the cancelled plans. It wasn’t until a rush event in the spring when Ricky heard Wyn on guitar and reversed his feelings.

“I heard him play and was like, ‘wow, he’s better than me,’” said Ricky, and all of us laughed. “So, I stuck with it, and that’s where we are now.”

The riff for “Acid Girl” was one of the first ideas Wyn and Ricky came up with from an early jam session, and the lyrics came less than a week later. After officially adding James, who plays bass, to Phoneboy over the summer, the group began refining the track. Speaking to their writing process, Phoneboy seemed even more compatible; while Ricky called Wyn “the king of hooks,” Wyn applauded Ricky for “writing all the long verses [he doesn’t] have the patience for,” and they both agreed that James was the best at writing bass lines. This collaborative nature and the attention to detail is evident in the opening seconds of “Acid Girl” as multiple guitar tracks layer onto each other, each with a new idea, like a jam session coming to life on the track. And as excited as the group is to share new music ideas with each other, they seem even more stoked about sharing their music with their audiences as well. They shared stories of listeners shouting back the choruses of their songs at gigs and of being approached and congratulated by people they hardly know at Stevens and Fordham, and they seemed overwhelmingly grateful for the reception of “Acid Girl.”

Still, though, the group is confident that even more exciting projects than “Acid Girl” are to come. James firmly stated, “I’m happy to see that people are enjoying the music, but I’m excited to show what we have in store,” and Ricky emphatically agreed, saying, “The songs we have set up blow ‘Acid Girl’ out of the water.” If “Acid Girl” is any sign, the world should expect another banger perfect for the approaching summer.

To end the interview, I spoke with Phoneboy about the Stevens and Hoboken music community, and how they would like to see improvements in the latter. Wyn, a Music and Technology major, has felt the effects of the program, as it provided Phoneboy with studio experience and connected them to someone who has produced and mastered their song mixes. As for Hoboken, all members agreed that the city’s music scene could use a facelift.

“If you look at Hoboken, it seems like there should be live music playing everywhere. It’s that kind of town. We want to work on revitalizing the music scene around here in Stevens and in Hoboken,” said Ricky to nods from James and Wyn. This was an interesting point; live music in Hoboken seems rare even though the city practically never goes to sleep on weekends. It will be interesting to see how this changes over time, and whether Phoneboy is involved in that change.

Along with their future-focused mentality, Phoneboy also expressed many thanks for those who made “Acid Girl” possible. They thanked Luis Ogaz, a Stevens student and their creative director, who directed the music video and created the album cover for “Acid Girl,” and Jeremy Roche, a recent graduate of Stevens who has been helping them secure gigs. - The Stute

"Jesse McCartney announced as TechFest 2019 headliner"

Across America and pop music culture, Jesse McCartney’s fame has expanded over the years. The child TV actor turned boy band member turned international megastar is your 2019 TechFest headliner! TechFest will be held Saturday, May 4 beginning at 5 p.m.

McCartney began his music career in 1999 when he joined the American pop boy band Dream Street. He was a member until 2002, and began his solo career in 2003 in a dominant way with his first EP featuring the pop hit, “Beautiful Soul.” He continued writing and eventually released his debut solo album, Beautiful Soul, where the song went platinum and reached number 15 on the Billboard 200. Co-writing several other songs on the album, his music touched the hearts of teenage girls enough to sell 1.5 million copies. He followed “Beautiful Soul” with the double platinum single “Leavin'” in 2008 on his album, Departure. The single was his highest-charting one yet, having over two million downloads on iTunes. In 2014, he released his third album, In Technicolor, and after taking time to focus on other projects, he returned at the end of 2018 with new songs “Wasted” and “Better with You.”

In addition to his own music, McCartney was behind Leona Lewis’ 2007 global smash, “Bleeding Love.” He collaborated with Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic to produce the song which was initially intended for McCartney’s upcoming album, but ended up giving it away to Lewis. “Bleeding Love” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 2009, showcasing McCartney’s songwriting skills.

McCartney has also kept a steady stream of projects coming in the film and TV industries. He has starred in films including The Chernobyl Diaries and voiced characters in Alvin and the Chipmunks, Horton Hears a Who and video game series Kingdom Hearts. He’s also made appearances on shows such as Law and Order: SVU, Summerland, and Greek.

McCartney is currently booked for several other college gigs, including Georgetown University and the University of Kansas. Here at Stevens, lovers of both McCartney’s old and new music will surely enjoy his TechFest 2019 setlist.

MC and DJ: Antonio Elters

Antonio Elters is a junior here at Stevens. He’s not an art major, but he loves all sorts of art, such as photography, videography, poetry, and music. You might know him as Chad Aura, or have seen him DJ, and you might get a taste of both at TechFest. He can’t wait to get everyone pumped up and ready for the night!

Opener #1: Agoraphobia

John Geldart

John Geldart, also known as Agoraphobia, is a producer/DJ hailing from Boston, Massachusetts. His work seeks to break the boundaries of genres that exist within the Electronic Dance Music scene. Geldart is the CEO of Agora Compositions LLC, a record label that has worked with many local artists and has hosted a number of shows in the NY/NJ area.

Opener #2: Erwiin

Joshua Torres

Erwiin, also known as Joshua Torres, is an alternative R&B artist that uses raw lyrics and melodic production to drive his stories. Gaining a love for hip hop in high school, the vocalist began producing music at the age of 16 and then continued on to writing lyrics. The 19-year-old producer has cited to artists such as 6lack and The Weeknd as major influences in his own work. Erwiin is currently on all major music streaming platforms.

Opener #3: Phoneboy

Members: Wyn Barnum, Ricky Dana, Luke Malvey, Jordan Torres, James Fusco

Ricky Dana, hailing from New Jersey, and James Fusco and Wyn Barnum, hailing from California, combine forces on Phoneboy, an indie-pop force to be reckoned with. Blending mellow indie-pop and hypnagogic-pop roots with their punk and progressive rock influences, Phoneboy creates a unique style for themselves. Their imaginative lyrics and catchy hooks stand out from the rest of the Hoboken music scene, where Phoneboy was born. - The Stute



  • Released: February 14th, 2020
  • Format: EP, Electronically
  • Label: Please Sign us Inc
  • Producer: Lakehouse Recording Studio
  • Songs: "Cocolalla", "1987", "Fomo", "Lately", "Handheld", 
  • Singles: "Fomo", "1987"
Sweater Song
  • Released: May 3rd, 2019
  • Fomat: Electronically 
  • Label: Please Sign us Inc
  • Producer: 
Acid Girl 
  • Released: 2018 
  • Format: Electronically 
  • Label: Please sign us Inc
  • Producer: 



Ricky Dana, hailing from New Jersey, James Fusco and Wyn Barnum hailing from California combine forces on Phoneboy, an indie-pop force to be reckoned with. Blending mellow indie-pop and hypnagogic-pop roots with their punk and progressive rock influences, Phoneboy creates a unique style for themselves. Their imaginative lyrics and catchy hooks stand out from the rest of the Hoboken music scene where Phoneboy was born. -Jack Kostelnik

Band Members