TikTok’s favorite girl group Boys World is breaking new ground. The quintet — made up of members and close friends Olivia, Elana, Queenie, Lillian, and Makhyli — has released their new single “Something In The Water,” a smooth and danceable pop anthem about budding crushes that arrives with a colorful music video.
Formed by Los Angeles record company KYN Entertainment in 2019, the group has blown up since their January 2021 single “Wingman” put them on the map on TikTok. They followed that up with their debut EP While You Were Out, a five-track project that explores the complexities of adolescence, love, and growing up while highlighting the girls’ musical versatility, proving that Boys World is the next big girl group.
With no true lead singer — each member takes a turn occupying that role — Boys World is carving their own path to stardom while upending traditional girl group expectations along the way. The lyrical content of their songs reflects the reality of their lives and the band’s commitment to authenticity pushes back against any claims of a manufactured friendship. “I'm really glad we're not a bubblegum pop, squeaky-clean group,” Makhyli recently said in an interview.
Based in Los Angeles, the girls have recently embarked on another adventure: moving into a new house together. Their new home is larger and less isolated than their previous one, a bright symbol for the next phase of their careers — they have room to grow into themselves.
Ahead of “Something In The Water,” Boys World sat down with NYLON to chat about their new single, friendship, their future, and why it’s the perfect time for Boys World to be a girl group.
What inspired you all to write the new song “Something In The Water?”
Makhyli: We wanted to make a song that makes you feel good. It’s fun and you can play it when your top is down. We wanted a really good summer song you can play at the beach and we feel like “Something In The Water” has that energy.
Your most recent single “All Me”has choreography in it. Will that be in the music video for “Something In The Water?”
Queenie: “All Me” is one of the hardest choreographies we’ve ever done besides “Girlfriends'' and “Wingman.” It was the most challenging but it was the most fun.
Elana: We’re going to have choreography, so we’re really excited about that. We’re working on it right now.
In a recent interview with Billboard, Makhyli stated that she’s “really glad we’re not a bubblegum pop, squeaky clean group.” What kind of image do you want to have as a group?
Elana: We want people to think that we’re real and authentically ourselves. The five of us, the fact that we’re all (of) different backgrounds, different aesthetics. We all have something to offer. We hope that translates to the music. It’s the perfect time for Boys World to be a girl group.
Queenie: [We] also want to execute it differently than past girl groups. I feel all girl groups are always about female empowerment. We still wanna do that, but execute it in our own unique way.
How do you keep your friendships close-knit as your fame grows?
Queenie: We came into this group with all the same passions, our talent, and wanting to make a name for ourselves. At the same time, our friendship is just as important as Boys World. I think staying connected and staying grounded in each other at home and not just showing off on social media that we’re the best of friends. Obviously we are, but it took a lot of hard work for us to get here, so none of it is fake at all. We work through a lot of stuff together and communicate.
Elana: Even when we’re off hours and not working, we’re still always hanging out together. We ground each other. The whole pandemic made it hard to meet people, so we’ve just been together. We do obviously have friends outside of each other, but it’s nice to have each other.
Olivia: It’s so hard to make friends, but it’s the fact that we have four best friends and we don’t really have to worry about making more because it’s quality over quantity. It makes me feel secure to have these girls to lean on.
Makhyli: I tried to go to high school and that didn’t work. I’m not that type of person who needs friends. If I find people I like, like them, amazing, but I’m not gonna go, “I need friends.”
Tell me about moving out of the first Boys World house.
Elana: We’re growing, for sure. We really like this new house. It’s more in the city, so we’re just exploring every day. We all have our own bathrooms.
Lillian: It’s definitely more modern than our old house. It’s on the opposite side of everything from our old house. We’re so grateful.
Queenie: The moving time is perfect because we’re getting used to the city while the pandemic is ending. Us being in that other house, where it’s so secluded, made sense with the pandemic. This house is beautiful.
The band’s EP While You Were Out blew up quickly. What was your reaction to that?
Queenie: To this day, radio stations in the Philippines play “Relapse” every day. So, it’s nice knowing that people are moving onto the next and still appreciating the work we did before with “All Me” and now “Something in the Water.”
Olivia: It’s surreal. We worked on it when we got into the group and it’s been two years of work. It’s our first baby together. I love that everybody loved it.