With limitless energy, the new album from the moniker of Arlo Enemark captures you right from the start.
Reminiscent of an island beach party, boasting dancefloor-ready beats, semi-fictional character and ‘ambassador to the Space Tropics’ Watermelon Boy is igniting our summer with his wild and energetic new album, 101 Tropical Hits from Cosmic Space.
The moniker of musician and music industry professional Arlo Enemark, Watermelon Boy has delivered a vibrant collection of 15 tracks full of infectious positivity, confident experimentation and tropical beats.
Ranging from laid back, sunbathing grooves to PA blasting, rave smashers, this album sees Enemark’s prowess shining brighter than it ever has before.
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For years, Enemark has worked at forming his own lane within the music industry. From writing electronic music at the tender age of 14 and playing in metal and industrial bands during his later teen years, Enemark soon fell in love with the recording and production process.
Returning to the electronic/dances genres, he began DJing and producing bass music and electro as Smile On Impact before officially launching Watermelon Boy back in 2016 with his debut EP consisting of three experimental electronica tracks.
“[It] was the first time I really had a creative vision around a genre. I wanted to combine Moombahton and the Australian Sound into something genuinely unique,” he explains.
“Since then, I’ve played a little more with tempo and expanded the Watermelon Boy style but I still think the project has a distinct sound and that’s something I’m really proud of.
With 101 Tropical Hits from Cosmic Space, the tropical reggae electronic foundations on which Enemark built his sound continue, yet pulled and stretched in completely new ways.
Awash with tropical, outer space, summertime textures, the album is a delightful sonic journey, taking you from chilled sunbathing pop tunes to a sweaty carnival rave. Every single track is drenched in fuzzy synths, tuned percussion and complex rhythms as per usual, but he has elevated things to a completely higher level.
With limitless energy, 101 Tropical Hits from Cosmic Space captures you right from the start with the opening track ‘Candy Jackfruit’ and mesmerises with 50 minutes and 13 seconds of infectious, joyous sounds.
From the swirling and hypnotic hyper-pop single ‘Remember Summer’, the anthemic Afrobeats influenced ‘Kibaye’ and the carnival rave anthem ‘Bring It Further’, to the thumping, heart-rattling beats of ‘Just Start Party’ and the radiant synths and energy-filled melodies of ‘Same Day, Same Thing’, the album is an absolute summer jam that you’ll be spinning on repeat.
‘See No Other’ hosts a juicy mix of lively beats, lush soundscapes and gorgeously smooth vocals from LA rapper/singer Christian Enjel, while Melbourne songstress Paris Well’s electro-soul vocals are dreamy, soaring over a catchy beat with percussion and synth in the final track ‘Nerve’. Wells and Watermelon Boy are a match made in heaven here, ending the album on a track that feels like sand between your toes at sunset.
With a passion for global sounds and summer themes, the album surges and flourishes with influences from Latin American and African sounds as well as the iconic Australian Sound of the last decade. Blending his playful EDM-pop fusion with a whole lot of interesting layering of these sounds, Enemark is leading the way in elevating unique sounds from the global south on a local level.
“I have a deep love for Afrobeat and Reggaeton and it’s a huge influence on Watermelon Boy but I would never refer to myself as an Afrobeat or Reggaeton act. These styles have been building for decades and have deep cultural roots,” he explains.
“When entering these spaces, it’s important to make sure artists from these cultures are elevated and they are given a chance to represent their sounds. As the music industry becomes more global, it’s important for advocates of these styles not to grandstand but to tastefully promote the contemporaries of the genre.”
Recorded during lockdown, the record revels in the beauty of collaboration and connection in isolation. Reaching out to guest musicians from all across the globe, the album comes bolstered with talent, featuring the likes of BRYAN THE MENSAH from Ghana, Green Baker from Nigeria, Christian Enjel, The Color Duchess and Tolu Ade from the US. Honing in on the talent available down under, local collaborations see names like BIG BOSS, Freeds & Paris Wells also make their way onto the album.
“Most of the collaborations happened online, even with Melbourne artists. It seems so easy and low pressure just to allow collaborators to work in their own space, in their own time and that’s something I think a lot of artists appreciate,” he says.
“The collaborators bring so much personality to this album from the vocal textures to the melodies to the attitude. There’s an authenticity to everyone and it feels like such an endorsement to have them on board.
“I want to give special mention to both BRYAN THE MENSAH and Freeds who are really starting to blow up at the moment and deservedly so because they work hard, make great decisions and incredible music.”
While his ability to give lively, sunshine-filled electronic music and dash it with just the right amount of Latin American and African sounds is unmatched, it’s the collaborations that truly tie this album altogether, allowing each of his vocalists to take creative control. Packed with party anthems, plenty of romance and a bunch of sounds designed to get your oxytocin gushing, Enemark was eager to not get in the way of the stories his collaborators wanted to tell – and it shows. The result is an entirely organic, infectious collection of tracks that bring out the best in every collaborator on it. Add in mixing and mastering by Klaus ‘Heavyweight’ Hill and Steve Scanlon for ‘Nerve’, and you’ve got a meticulous record that goes against the grain while still feeling refreshingly familiar.
Having spent nine years as a music industry professional, working on content strategy, A&R and digital distribution for labels and artists alongside creating music, the album marks a significant moment in Enemark’s career, taking on the life of a full-time independent musician.
“In 2020 I quit my music industry job to work on music full time. I have a chiptune project that releases new music every week and has an audience that massively outweighs the Watermelon Boy fans,” he says.
“Being an independent musician in 2021 has given me different values around success than I would have had as a teenager. Being able to have a few projects on the go has taught me how to make a living in the music biz while still being free to pursue creative ideas.”
For an album that comes from a transition period in the producer’s life, 101 Tropical Hits from Cosmic Space is full of infectious positivity, confident experimentation, lively Afrobeats and an overwhelming sense that Watermelon Boy presence within the scene will bolster from here on out.
101 Tropical Hits from Cosmic Space is out now and available on all major streaming platforms. Check it out here.