Boo Hoo is the folk music project of Bernhard Karakoulakis. Named after the elusive Nintendo ghost character, Boo Hoo stands out not just for its name but for its unique storytelling. As a singer-songwriter, Bernhard crafts introspective songs reminiscent of artists like John K. Samson and Sufjan Stevens that reflect his cultural influences and personal experiences.
Bernhard’s stories are rooted in his bicultural heritage, embodying both the richness and the inherent melancholy of living between worlds. Growing up half Greek, half German, his summers were spent immersed in the warmth of Greek family life, only to return to Germany, feeling the poignant sting of separation. This duality has not only enriched his life but has also imbued his music with a sense of longing and a deep appreciation for the beauty found in transient connections.
It was only after moving to New York in the early 2010s that Bernhard found a reflection of his own experiences in the city’s diverse and accepting antifolk scene—a community where the blending of cultures was celebrated, and the complexities of identity were embraced in song. This revelation became a guiding light in his musical expression, allowing him to infuse the nuances of his upbringing into his sound, making the in-between not just a space of transition, but a home.
After returning to his hometown Frankfurt from his New York adventures and extensive tours across Europe, Bernhard focused on composing original pieces for Schauspiel Frankfurt and releasing “Boo Hoo Live,” a project brought to life with the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign.
“Fray Willy” (2024), the latest Boo Hoo release, marks a significant evolution from the early DIY sounds to a more refined folk-pop. Transitioning from a bedroom project to a richer folk and acoustic sound, Boo Hoo’s music has grown, yet it retains its core of introspective lyricism and wondrous outlook on the world.
Collaborations with artists like The Burning Hell, Toby Goodshank, Michael Scheuber, and producer Brian Speaker have played a crucial role in shaping Boo Hoo’s sound, adding personal and distinctive touches.
Currently working from his home studio in Frankfurt, Bernhard’s music is a sonic journey through warm, acoustic landscapes, often with tender finger-picked guitars that weave intricate tales, occasionally brightened with the jangly echoes of 60s folk. At the heart of Boo Hoo’s sound lie bittersweet melodies, carrying the weight of nostalgia and the lightness of hope. These contrasts are a comforting embrace, a reflection of life’s ever-evolving complex beauty.