Bôa on Reuniting After 1998 Single Duvet Enchants New Generation of Fans

British alt-rock band Bôa has lived more than a few lifetimes. The group comprised of vocalist Jasmine Rodgers, and musicians Alex Caird and Lee Sullivan, got its start as a casual jam session between local musicians in Rodgers’ home studio in the early ’90s. Rodgers wasn’t even technically in the band at the time, but the upstairs studio they rehearsed in was attached to the home she shared with her brother Steve, and her father Paul Rodgers, singer for the classic rock bands Free and Bad Company.

“It was natural for everybody to go there and rehearse and I wouldn’t stop singing downstairs,” Rodgers tells Variety over a Zoom call. “I remember Alex being like, ‘Do you want to, just kind of, sing?’… When we were coming up, locals knew locals and all we would do is play… I don’t remember actually going out. We would go on long walks through the forest on the outskirts of London, the summary backwater, at like three or four in the morning when we were done rehearsing and it was actually quite weirdly healthy.”

Listening to Bôa’s 1998 single “Duvet” will give you a similar feeling. It’s nostalgic and tender, painting a colorful picture of intermingling instruments that come together to build a chirpy, guitar-pop sound. It’s the kind of song that would play in a romantic scene of a ’90s rom-com taking place during a pivotal summer in the main character’s life.

Today, “Duvet” is also the reason Bôa has reformed some 18 years after they put out their final record. The song has found a niche audience on social media and has earned seven million streams per week so far this year. It’s been used as the soundtrack for over 250,000 TikTok videos — that’s not counting the sped-up or remixed versions — and it’s also the reason the band is gearing up to release a new album for its new-found fanbase.

“It’s equal parts delicious and terrifying,” Rodgers says. Caird adds, “We’re so happy but at the same, there’s a desire to really get it right. Because it’s a brilliant opportunity. And I think we’re just really grateful that people still want to hear new material and support us. We want to give them something good.”

When Rodgers officially joined the band, members of Bôa had circulated in and out, including Steve who covered guitars and vocals until 1994. In the end, Bôa lived on with Rodgers on vocals, Caird on bass and Sullivan on drums. They released two studio albums as independent artists, “Get There” in 2005 and “Twilight” in 2001. The latter featured “Duvet,” which gained its first wind of momentum being featured in an anime series called “Serial Experiments Lain” and became a huge success in Japan.


In the years that came after “Get There,” Bôa remained relatively inactive, with all of the previous members going on to pursue other interests or their own solo careers. Rodgers had been a solo musician for the last 12 years and in between that time, she earned her degree in psychology. Sullivan was splitting his days between music and family, while Caird was off teaching guitar.

What happened next could only be the product of algorithmic synergy. “Duvet” by Bôa began its renaissance online in August of 2021. The band noticed the track was starting to take off when it was sampled in a song by Spanish urban-trap singer and producer Yung Beef, who worked with producers Metro Boomin and Southside in the early stages of their career.

After the track proved to have longer momentum, labels and publishing companies reached out to the band with the proposition of deals but in the end, it was Sameer Sadhu — vice president of A&R at Nettwerk Music — who caught them “at the right time for us,” says Caird. “He seemed to be the most honest and out.”

“It was a time when we were still trying to understand what the value of TikTok meant,” adds Sadhu who discovered “Duvet” on a viral songs chart. “I saw TikTok as a momentum starter, and I knew there were alternative artists going viral that would be a better fit at an indie label. If we kept to our principles of why we sign and how we built on momentum as a label, we could really add long-term value that wasn’t just about a moment.”

During their first call together, Bôa relayed their story in full: the deep, borderline familial history, and “Duvet’s” spaceless resonance. “It was clear… how much they embraced it — the anti-TikTok narrative to an extent — where this was a platform giving life to genuine songwriters in a brand new format,” says Sadhu. “They were truly so happy that people were discovering and relating to their song 20 years later, and to me, there’s a lot of romance in that, which I think sometimes we overlook.”

“He also was encouraging us to record new music and it became even more exciting,” adds Rodgers in a chipper tone. “We were already jamming out on our own and had come to the consensus that ‘We can still read each other. We still enjoy this.’”

Bôa’s new record is said to be released later this year and houses a variety of sounds, but a majority of those new songs started as jam sessions, which still sound as they always have. “We’ve been playing and having a lot of fun. It feels natural and good,” says Lee, adding that it “definitely [has] a large connection to the last album.”

“I think it’s quite exciting to have that space as well — and seeing that we’ve developed as people and and maybe there’ll be less squabbling,” laughs Rodgers. “With these guys, we just straight away go into recording. I just vocally go bigger than what I do in my solo work and lyrically, I go different. It’s powerful.”

With the band active on social media, the group has grown quite the fanbase — many of whom weren’t even alive when the band recorded “Duvet.” “I like to think that the song’s magic relies on its level of relatability — it’s quite an emotional song,” says Caird.

“Still to this day, the theme of identity is something I’m always writing about and I think that resonates with some people,” adds Rodgers. “And I think that’s lovely. Because when I was growing up as a mixed East Asian child, I had a lot of questions as to why things were the way they were and I think those themes are timeless. I hope people enjoy it.”

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