The Ugly Boys are a hip hop trio from Santa Cruz, California consisting of Quinn and Jacob Pfeffermann, as well as Sam Bortnick who are quickly making a name for themselves with their versatile music. Thier small but versatile discography ranges from rapid fair flows to multifaceted psychedelic works. They just released their debut album Game of Chance just this year and its a stellar work of art with so much versatility. It really shows just how versatile they are as musicians and songwriters.
They have a strong following on social media, where they post various videos on TikTok and Instagram where they are making new songs out of pretty much anything, like the Farmers Insurance jingle, or the Phineas and Ferb song. The possibilities are endless with these boys. Just this past July the boys released their new single “Life Could Be a Dream” which has already gained over 500,000 streams and is all over social media.
We recently got the chance to chat with The Ugly Boys about making music in quarantine, the story behind some songs, and some of their inspirations so be sure to check it out below!
1. Hey! Appreciate you taking the time to chat. For those who may not know who you are
give us a little background on yourselves.
What’s up! We’re The Ugly Boys and we’re a hip-hop trio from Santa Cruz, California. We’ve been friends for years and have been having a lot of fun making music together.
2. We’re in some weird times, how has quarantine been treating you? What are some things that have been keeping you sane?
We’ve been having a productive quarantine! We started gaining some popularity at the very beginning, so it’s been nothing but growth and music making for the entire time.
3. Have you been making any new music in this quarantine? If so has the process been any different?
Of course! Our process hasn’t changed much though we’ve gained a whole lot of experience
4. How would you describe your music in three words?
Fun, unique, creative
5. Your new single “Smoke and Sunshine” is coming out soon, what was the story behind that one?
The title itself is a reference to the California forest fires that we experienced toward the end of the summer. The song is a reflection of the contrasting feeling between the days where the sky was a dark brown, and the days where the weather was clear.
6. Your debut album Game of Chance is a stellar album, how was the process behind
recording that? Did you do it all remotely?
We were actually able to record 99% of the album before quarantine, so it was all in person. The recording took place over the course of 2019, and it was really interesting creating a cohesive mood across the songs while keeping it as versatile as possible.
7. You guys post a lot of different content on tiktok and youtube, making songs out of
different things, (my personal favorite is the Jason Derulo video), how long does it take
for you to make something along those lines? What’s the process?
It’s not as intense as making a full song, but it’s definitely its own process. It can take from 2-5 hours to make any given video, and it usually starts with a concept, and then a song, and then the video.
8. Which song or project of yours are you most proud of?
Probably Smoke and Sunshine! It seemed to accurately portray the feeling of the summer, and has some of our favorite performances and production of all of our work. It’s always really satisfying to be able to improve with every drop.
9. Is there a moment or memory in your life that you always want to hold onto? Or a
moment that has taught you a lot?
For all three of us, probably when we first started gaining popularity online and realized that music was a viable career opportunity, and though it’s exciting it can be overwhelming and stressful. We feel like we are just learning to take things as we go and not freak out about every little thing.
10. Where do you take inspiration from musically?
We take influence from a wide variety of musicians, anywhere from Travis Scott to the Beach Boys.
11. What music have you been jamming to lately? Favorite artists?
We all discovered AG Club at the same time and have been listening to them a lot! As far as hip-hop goes, Jacob’s favorite artist is Kanye West, Sam’s is J. Cole, and Quinn’s is Jay Critch.
12. Lastly, once this whole quarantine is over, what is one thing you can’t wait to go out and do again? (Thanks again for your time!)
We’re excited to be able to see our friends again, and we’re super hyped to be able to finally perform
Keep up with The Ugly Boys!