Opening the record, Billy’s stunning piano playing takes centre stage, traversing a delicate balance of soul and tempo. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching Billy in his zone, you’ll see a musical genius in play. Ever humble, Billy is quick to deny the compliment. Since Grade 5 he has been playing the piano, “My Mum tried me out on the drums, decided it was far too loud and so she got me on the piano.”
His late Mum’s influence is a strong overarching theme of the record, as it explores themes of family, fear, death, life, love, hope and as the name suggests, the notion of what’s important. There are more upbeat moments on the record, with big horns and rap, such as ‘Wilderness’ which features Phoelix, the Chicago-based producer, instrumentalist, and vocalist (Noname, Saba and Smino), Jordan Dennis and EMRSN, ‘I Ain’t’ featuring Grammy Winning PJ Morton and Jordan Dennis, ‘Headspace’ (feat. Jordan Dennis & KYE) and ‘Shoulda Known’ W. American R&B sister duo VanJess and MaL McGhee . As well as more introspective tracks like ‘This Is What’s Important’ and ‘With Me or Not’ with Aodhan King, David Ware and Guvna B and recently released track ‘Dream No More’ featuring Ruel and Gensis Owusu.
THIS IS WHAT’S IMPORTANT is the follow up from his stellar 2017 debut album A FAMILY PORTRAIT which featured break out singles ‘No Longer Lovers’, ‘Ball and Chain’ and ‘Goldfish’ featuring acclaimed American rapper Denzel Curry.
On the album, Billy says, “This album is a culmination of 3 years of emotions, the highs and the lows, the joys and the sorrows, the ups and downs. Certain songs represent periods of my life, whether that be in the features, the lyrics or the influence.” Those influences are just as eclectic as Billy’s sound – whilst creating the record he was listening to the likes of The Internet, Moonchild, Phony Ppl and Mac Ayres to name a few. He also drew inspiration from Doobie Brothers, who his Uncle introduced to him as a child.
Billy has amassed over 12 million combined streams and received accolades from Hypebeast, Sneaker Freaker, High Snobiety, Okay Player, LNWY, Acclaim, Purple Sneakers, Beat Magazine, Complex AU and Red Bull Music, as well as Australian national broadcaster triple j and Beats 1.
Billy’s unique sound, positive approach, and sheer drive quickly piqued the interest of international artists, who have become not just contemporaries but friends. He’s collaborated with the likes of Goldlink, Brockhampton, Tones and I, Amy Shark, music directing and performing with them on Triple J’s Like A Version, as well as music directing/ performing in Goldlink’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert.
Along with building up a global network of creative collaborators, Billy has shared the stage with Anderson Paak, NoName, Thundamentals, Ruel, Jessica Mauboy and Blackalicious, played at Australia’s most recognised festivals including Let Them Eat Cake, Golden Plains, Laneway Festival and Lost Paradise.
A musical juggernaught, Billy’s band The Good Lords are constantly evolving and expanding, featuring up to 11 members on stage at any given moment. Collaboration, with both his band and other artists is at the heart of everything he does.