Gathering a dedicated fanbase through his early releases and support slots with the likes of KT Tunstall and Nina Nesbitt, Billy Lockett exploded back onto the music scene last year with his new heart-felt, piano-driven EP Burn It Down. His recent transition from a primarily guitar-led sound to the piano has seen Lockett produce some of his most critically acclaimed and brutally honest work yet. We catch up with him after the release of his incredibly well-received track ‘More‘.
We’re massive fans of the new single ‘More‘, how was working with Mike Crossey (British music producer who has worked with Arctic Monkeys, Wolf Alice and The 1975)?
It was amazing. He’s the best around and I know it’s quite difficult to get him to even be into something. I like the fact he’s the sort of producer that doesn’t really work on something unless he really believes in it. When he sent me the first mix of ‘More‘, I instantly just like yes. Normally with producers you have notes and comments and things but he just nailed it first time.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
I’ve just released ‘More‘ and I’m releasing another single in June. I released a EP called Burn It Down and that felt like it needed to be a EP, it was suited to that. I think with the songs I’m releasing now, they’re important in their own respect and stand out on their own.
How do you find being independent as opposed to being signed?
I think when you’re signed that obviously comes with a lot of money behind you. There’s some positives from being with a label but things like Spotify have helped artists like me see you don’t really need a label for exposure. With me, I’ve just been putting songs out on Spotify independently and I think I’ve got like 2 million plays with 5 songs, without much PR or Radio support at all. I’ve actually really enjoyed doing it on my own and having complete creative control over my work.
What bands and artists do you tend to find inspirational?
I find most of my inspiration from a guy called Ludovico Einaudi, he’s an incredible pianist. He taught me you don’t have to be clever on the piano, it’s all about the notes rather than how fancy you are. I’m self-taught so when it comes to piano I was always kind of worried that I wasn’t good enough. Einaudi’s music and way of playing is so like mine, I guess I’ve based mine on him. He proved as long as you feel something from the music, it doesn’t have to clever or technically brilliant. I feel the piano allows me to create honest and real work, something I found difficult to with the guitar in the same way.
Supporting people like Birdy and KT Tunstall you must have played some amazing venues, have you got any venue you would love to go back to headline?
The Paradiso in Amsterdam supporting Birdy was incredible. Although, nothing beats headlining intimate church venues where the people there have come especially just to see you and hang on every word. I’ve found that size doesn’t really matter, well it doesn’t always matter…