Referring to his musical style as a “whole supreme pizza”, Billy Davis is a Melbourne-based artist who has quickly become a pioneer of the local R&B and neo-soul scene.
By offering a certain elegance that’s joyful and relentlessly upbeat, his unique sound, positive mentality and hard working attitude has piqued the interest of many international artists and tastemakers alike.
We were lucky enough to link up with Billy at the Sony Music Headquarters in Melbourne for an exclusive interview, where we chatted about a range of topics including his new single ‘Headspace‘, musical influences, top five artists of all time, obsession with horror movies, his forthcoming album, and much more!
Growing up in the western suburbs of Melbourne, Billy Davis told TLF that his taste in music was heavily influenced by whatever his family exposed him to.
For Billy, this meant listening to his Mum crank gospel records and having an Uncle who was a “proud 70’s, 80’s and 90’s music connoisseur.”
From an early age he was introduced to legendary acts such as George Michael, ABBA, Parliament, The Beatles and The Doobie Brothers, just to name a few.
It wasn’t until his high school years that Billy became more familiar with R&B and discovered an interest in artists to the likes of Ginuwine and Usher. However, his versatile taste in music would continue to expand after getting into jazz years later while attending university.
Today he ranks his all-time personal top five artists as; Kanye West, Michael Jackson, Pharrell Williams, D’Angelo and Kendrick Lamar.
Interestingly, Billy also spent a good amount of time going through various career changes where at one stage he became obsessed with writing scripts and composing soundtracks for horror movies he’d come up with.
“I pursued horror music so heavy I got invited to a private forum called House of Jigsaw, where I was pitching ideas to the creators of Saw,” he laughed.
Since then, Billy Davis has gone on to excel on a musical journey and deliver an array of highly accredited releases, including his successful 2017 debut album, ‘A Family Portrait‘.
This project features his band and frequent collaborators, known as The Good Lords, who are a musical juggernaut that’s comprised of up to 11 members when performing live.
Together Billy Davis and The Good Lords have spent the last few years immersing themselves into the fruitful neo-soul and hip-hop scene here in Australia.
Throughout his career so far, he has also managed to collaborate with a prolific list of globally recognised artists such as Goldlink and Brockhampton. Both of which he performed with on triple j’s Like A Version, as well as music directing and performing in Goldlink’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert.
Whats more, rising Florida-native and rapper, Denzel Curry, also appears on ‘Goldfish’ which is one of the standout tracks from Billy’s debut album.
More recently, in November 2018 Billy Davis shared a brand new single, titled ‘Shoulda Known‘, which was the first offering since ‘A Family Portrait‘. The track itself features American R&B sister duo VanJess and American rapper Matt McGhee for a mesmerising blend of uplifting and energetic sonics.
Now in 2019, Billy looks to be gearing up for the release of his follow-up album after sharing his second single, ‘Headspace‘, a song about the importance of detaching and recharging.
He told TLF the concept of the song explores the importance of “having some time to yourself, some time to disconnect and recharge away from the pressures of people, social media and the rest of it.”
LISTEN TO ‘HEADSPACE‘ BELOW AND TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!
The timing of the release also has a sentimental value for him as it came during the unfortunate passing of his mother. Billy told TLF that he couldn’t believe such an important record that resonates with him so strongly came out when it did.
As a way of taking his mind off of everything, he explained that he uses his enthusiasm for gaming as an additional outlet to gain headspace and detach from everything that’s going on.
“To be honest, my Mum passed two months ago and for the first few weeks I was playing UFC and FIFA for hours, just to get headspace and zone out,” he told TLF.
However, through this grieving process it’s also allowed him to reconnect with his family back home and see some incredible opportunities come his way.
For instance, while visiting the Philippines Billy by chance received a DM that lead to collaborating with some of the most dope and pinnacle R&B/rap crews, called Careless Music Manila.
“They asked me if I wanted to work together, and two weeks later I’ve literally produced half of their album that’s coming out at the end of August,” said Billy.
When asked about his own forthcoming album, Billy said we can expect to hear a more mature and levelled up version of his past project. He told TLF he’s pushing musical boundaries and not caring too much about what people think, he’s just making the type of music he wants to make.
“I’m definitely not trying to please everyone … it’s more this is what I wanna say and these are the chords i’m using … if it’s uncomfortable for you then you can just skip to the next song,” he explained.
Until then, Billy announced his next single is expected to arrive in September, and in the meantime we can look forward to hearing more music that he’s been working on with other artists.
Having already established quite the name for himself and performed in front of royalty figures; Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their Melbourne visit. TLF is excited to see what the future holds for Billy Davis, as he continues to push boundaries and further evolve as an artist.