Going Focus – biLLLy
We fell in love with biLLLy‘s music two years ago, when the demo for Up In The Air surfaced online. The cool mix of synth-pop and groovy funk rhythms offered by the London-based producer is highly irresistible and inevitably lead to the dancefloor. So it was quite natural to have a chat with him as next featured artist for our column Going Focus.
Going Solo: Hi! Thank you for taking the time to answer our question. First of all, why biLLLy? What’s the story behind the moniker?
I just wanted to keep the name as simple as possible and everyone knows me as Billy anyway, it needed extra dimension to set it out, so the extra ‘L’ jumped in.
You released an EP two years ago, titled Finally Out There, which sounds like a liberation. Production there was quite minimal but there are some point of connection with your actual sound (I’m thinking of the funky-ish vibe for exable). How was your life back then.
Yes it felt good to let that EP go, it was my first piece of work and I was much less experienced as a producer back then. I didn’t really have too many expectations but felt like I had to let it go and put it out into the world.
How would you describe your sound by the way? ‘Cause it’s not really that easy. It’s soulful, it winks to funk but it’s not ashamed to experiment with electronica.
I think that’s pretty accurate. It’s catchy and soulful. Ultimately groove based pop. I like to mix up live instrumentation with electronic beats and push the production ideas as much as possible.
It has been a long run since from the release of the Up In The Air demo to your new EP, which drops this week. How do you feel right now?
I’m always thinking about what’s next but I’m really happy that ‘Up In The Air’ has been fully realised. That track is another chapter of my life and work.
You produce your own music. What does it mean being so independent for a musician in these days?
It’s incredible how much as an artist you can do right now and of course this means more creative control. I’ve always been a multi instrumentalist so being able to play everything on my records means the sound is exactly how I want it and there’s no compromise.
Since you’re from London, I think you manage to talk with a lot of other musicians, with whom you exchange ideas and thoughts. Does the City still inspire you? Who are the other up-and-coming artists you like the most / hang out with? We know you produced Lao Ra’s music (big fan here!).
Even though London’s becoming increasingly more difficult to survive, it’s still got an amazing music scene. It’s pretty inspiring being in such a culturally diverse city where there’s always someone new and interesting to hang with. I’m currently working with a bunch of new artists. There’s a new girl called Suzi Wu I’ve been working with. Her energy alone is inspiring, she’s gonna be special. Tunes soon!
I’ve always been a multi instrumentalist so being able to play everything on my records means the sound is exactly how I want it and there’s no compromise.biLLLy
Are you planning to tour anytime soon? I might have missed it, but it doesn’t seem that you’re really into the live side of your project. I think a lot of people would love to dance to one of your shows.
I want to do it properly with a solid band and right now my focus is more leant towards writing + producing. I’m doing more and more DJing though so there’s no excuse not to get the dancing going now.
What excites you most in 2017? In music but not only.. (I mean, Twin Peaks and Star Wars are coming back, how someone cannot be excited about that?)
I’m always excited about what’s gonna happen next in new music, I’d love a new Kindness record and dying to hear what Kaytranada comes up with. Somehow I haven’t yet watched Twin Peaks but Lynch is the bomb!
What’s next for biLLLy?
I’ve already got my next single to drop and it definitely feels like a progression from the Up In The Air EP. I just want to keep a flow of creating music, whether for me or other people. Right now, I’m loving collaborating, so maybe a first biLLLy feature this year.