Starting out as solo artists, rapper Justin Trash, singer Joe Rascal, and singer/sound engineer Roc Lee, each developed specific and distinct creative foundations, that they realized once combined, could breed a unique style.
Their grouping was encouraged by a series of sold-out and enthusiastically received local live shows (performed under the name UPTOWN after the area of Toronto where all three grew up). The Korean-Canadians were convinced that there was a special chemistry present when they performed together, which prompted the addition of “BOYBAND” to the group name in 2016. “We wanted to add this satirical notion, where we’re all tatted-up and not perfect on screen, but we can do everything boy bands can do,” says Joe.
UBB are forging this new mainstream, borne from the need to create spaces where there are none for different cultural identities. “We don’t really have many Asian-American or Asian-Canadian figures to look up to,” says the Korean-born Roc Lee, “and we definitely live in that middle ground where we have a Korean background but we live a Canadian lifestyle. We want to be the bridge that helps close that gap.”
With that specifically Torontonian formula of multicultural synthesis and punkish ambition, UBB is ready to make noise.