Pretty Boy Aaron talks music, life and more


Photo by Tyler Woodruff (@lord.woodruff)

Aaron Cunninghman, known as Pretty Boy Aaron, is working on new music to release in early 2021.

When Aaron Cunningham — known in the music industry as Pretty Boy Aaron — arrived at the University of North Texas seven years ago to study radio, TV and film, he had a surreal awakening and realized the need to dig deeper into his passion for music.

Being paired up for a group project with now-musician and close friend, Trey Patton (also known now by his stage name BRUHNICE), Cunningham and Patton started collaborating outside of their studies to make music together.

“After that, our friendship just started blossoming,” Cunningham said. “Doing house shows around the whole area, going to concerts together…we just kept going.”

With Cunningham’s niche for producing beats and Patton’s knack for strong vocals, they formed the musical duo Ray Andrews. They played small shows throughout their time in college in the Denton, Texas area near their university, and lived the life of any budding musician.

But in the summer of 2015, the Ray Andrews collaboration fizzled out, and Cunningham and Patton split off to focus on their individual craft in order to develop their own sounds under their new names “Pretty Boy Aaron” and “BRUHNICE.”

Influenced by the music scene in Los Angeles, Cunningham started learning how to play the guitar and studied the production and composition styles of Tyler, the Creator and The Internet.

Over time, Cunningham’s musical identity solidified into the unique multi-genre sound he has today by melding elements from the indie, pop, hip-hop, R&B and rap genres.

Going to college turned a new leaf for Cunningham and helped him realize that growing up surrounded by devout Christian conservatives in Texas made him expand his horizons.

“Once I got to college, my [mindset] snapped into a whole different direction,” Cunningham said. “I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to be here. I want to be in L.A.’ So, I was always looking toward L.A. and that’s where a lot of my sounds come from.”

There weren’t many inspirational figures who encouraged Cunningham’s musical dreams growing up, but a teacher from high school, Mr. Tarron, was the “closest thing [he] had to a mentor,” Cunningham said.

“He would always be like, ‘You can do anything you put your mind to’ and what not,” Cunningham said. “And he always told me, ‘You’re going to be able to move out there, and you’re going to be able to make the stuff you want to make,’ and he just inspired me in that way.”

After writing and producing more and more music on SoundCloud and reconnecting with Patton, Cunningham released his first EP called “Stay Pretty” in 2017. Three years later, Pretty Boy Aaron was featured on Spotify’s Bedroom Pop playlist for “Comb My Hair,” featuring Tesia Jaramillo.

Pretty Boy Aaron and Tesia Jaramillo released “Comb My Hair” which now has over 2 million streams on Spotify. (Photo by Tyler Woodruff)

With over 2 million plays on Spotify, “Comb My Hair” was a total success. Cunningham released a music video for the song, and it quickly became a fan-favorite.

This year, Cunningham released “Nicotine,” featuring BRUHNICE and Sabz and “Paper,” which also featured BRUHNICE.

Because of the social distancing and safety regulations put in place by lawmakers to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Cunningham will perform virtually until it’s deemed safe for live performances again.

For now, Cunningham will continue collaborating with fellow artists, and he says he hopes to release a project by the end of 2020 or early 2021.

“There’s more music coming, even if my voice is not on there,” Cunningham said. “I’m working with a lot of my good friends, and I’m in a good place…this is a time where we can really do something great, so I’m really working towards that.”