If you haven’t seen him online, you’ve definitely seen him in the streets.
Bobby is the self-declared “tall guy living in the Big Apple,” and can be easily spotted towering above the average New Yorker with giant pink converse and extra long jeans that give him the gift of “knowing it’s raining before you.”
A gentle giant, he always carries a walkman and headphones with just one track playing on loop: the eponymous single, “Bobby,” by South African alt-R&B artist Nick Leng, who lovingly cast the song’s muse in his new music video, out today, directed by Nick Ventura and Felix Heyes.
“Bobby” is lifted off Leng’s sophomore album, Spirals (via SOTA Records), and explodes with optimistic electronic that’s just as chaotic and cheerful as Bobby himself. The entire LP explores an array of colorful emotion: “dissonance, tension, but also joy and beauty,” and arrives July 22.
Below, Leng and Bobby catch up to celebrate today’s big video premiere on PAPER.
Bobby: Hey Nick.
Nick: Hey Bobby. It's good to see you up there. Wait, I can't see your head. You mind just crouching just a hair?
Bobby: How's this?
Nick: Great! So, where are you?
Bobby: Downtown New York City.
Nick: It's been a couple of months. How've you been?
Bobby: Good, yeah. Just been walking and now I love music, so mostly walking and music. You?
Nick: Splendid, splendid. Just finished an album and a tour, so that’s cool for me and stuff. Hey, I was meaning to ask: where did you get your jeans from?
Bobby: They just appeared.
Nick: That’s lucky. What’s your favorite pizza in New York?
Bobby: Never had one.
Nick: Wait... well, what’s your favorite burger then?
Bobby: Never had one.
Nick: You’ve never had a sandwich?
Nick: A foot long. A nice, long subway sandwich.
Bobby: I can’t ride the subway.
Nick: Ah, so you’ve tried?
Bobby: Just once. Walked down the stairs, but I didn’t get on. Couldn’t fit.
Nick: Oh no, so you basically walk everywhere?
Bobby: I love to walk.
Nick: Charming. You ever been to the Eiffel Tower? You might actually like it, it’s a tall tall bui–
Bobby: Sounds awesome, I’ll walk there.
Nick: Anyways, it’s actually a tall, tall building in Paris, which is in France, which is in Europe, which is not quite walking distance. But you and your long limbs would love it.
Bobby: That sounds cool. Sort of like the Empire State Building?
Nick: Yeah, have you been there?
Bobby: Not yet.
Nick: It’s been a couple months since we bumped into each other.
Nick: How’s that CD that I gave you ?
Bobby: It’s great, I listen to it every day.
Bobby: I can’t stop listening to music now.
Nick: You hadn’t heard music before that?
Bobby: No, thank you for introducing me.
Nick: Wow, I’m flattered and honored.
Bobby: It’s great.
Nick: I’ve never seen you without headphones.
Bobby: I always listen to music with headphones.
Nick: Hey, look I just wanted to say thank you for being in my music video. You’re just a wonderfully positive dude. It’s been a real pleasure.
Bobby: Ah man, I loved it! So cool you made a video for music and I was in it. Thank you.
Nick: Okay so, some quick fire questions. What’s your favorite thing about New York?
Bobby: The people.
Nick: Not the skyscrapers.
Bobby: Love those, too.
Nick: When you stop to smell the roses, how long do you usually stop for?
Bobby: I haven’t smelled roses, but I always find myself surrounded by the leaves on trees. I feel at home.
Nick: Favorite number?
Nick: How tall are you?
Bobby: I’m 6'2.
Nick: Favorite basketball player?
Bobby: I don’t know much about basketball. People say I should play.
Nick: Favorite tree?
Bobby: The tall ones.
Nick: No surprise there. Favorite animal?
Nick: Goodbye or so long?
Bobby: So long.
Photos courtesy of Nick Leng