About Cola Boyy
Making shimmering neo-disco and sophisticated R&B that has plenty of smooth soft rock in its DNA, Cola Boyy (aka Matthew Urango) creates music that's tailor-made for alternately dancing under a disco ball and chilling on a couch. With the support of French label Record Makers, the SoCal native reached an international audience with his bubbling debut EP, Black Boogie Neon, then with the help of a star-studded cast, delved into his feelings of being an outsider -- brought on by discrimination and spina bifida -- on his radiant debut album, 2021's Prosthetic Boombox.
Urango was born and raised in the Southern California city of Oxnard, also home to Madlib and Anderson .Paak. Born with spina bifida, he struggled with his health and the realities of not fitting in. The latter changed when he discovered the city's hardcore skate punk scene when he was in his early teens. This led to an interest in making music, and after playing in a series of punk bands, he joined local indie pop band the Sea Lions. First as a bass player, then as lead guitarist, he contributed to a number of singles and the group's 2011 album Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Sea Lions But Were Afraid to Ask.
When he began to make his own music, he did so under the name Cola Boyy, so named for his love of soda pop. Instead of indie pop, he turned to funk and disco for inspiration. Spotted at a 2016 concert in Los Angeles, the French label Record Makers, home of artists like Sébastien Tellier and Kavinsky, signed Cola Boyy and set up recording sessions in France. The first results of this was the 2018 EP Black Boogie Neon, which featured "Penny Girl," a neo-disco track that garnered attention on the club scene. That same year, he toured as opening act for MGMT and appeared on French producer Myd's song "Muchas." While making a name as an international recording artist, Urango was busy in Oxnard working for the activist groups Anarchist People of Colour (APOC) and Todo Poder al Pueblo.
In 2019 he released the single "All Power to the People," then in 2020, he appeared on albums by Nicolas Godin of Air (Concrete and Glass) and the Avalanches (We Will Always Love You), where he sang alongside Mick Jones of Big Audio Dynamite and the Clash. While doing this, he was working at writing and recording his debut album, on which he utilized the musical skills of Andrew VanWyngarden of MGMT and keyboardist John Carroll Kirby, as well as the production acumen of Corentin 'nit' Kerdraon, the Avalanches, infinite bisous, Godin, and Myd. As the record was being readied for release, he recorded the reggae protest song "To Be Rich Should Be a Crime" and guested on Juan Wauters' album Real Life Situations. Made up of songs that nodded toward disco, soft rock, and R&B, Cola Boyy's debut full-length, Prosthetic Boombox, was co-released in June 2021 by Record Makers and MGMT Records. ~ Tim Sendra