Northampton’s Billy Lockett has been sweeping up attention from all the right people recently. His latest single, Pathways, has been added to Radio 1’s playlist and with a fanbase that is growing daily, support slots with some of the biggest names in music, he is soaring to greater heights with each new day. Billy is heading out on his own headline tour later this month, and with numerous dates already sold out, it’s looking like a success already, be quick if you want to catch this young singer/songwriter as tickets are running low.
I caught up with Billy before his set at a sold out show at London’s Forum with Birdy to talk about everything from the success he’s been having, his new EP and his song lyrics, plus, much, much more.
Firstly, I’d like to say thanks for this interview. What’s one thing that we should all know about Billy Lockett that we might not know about you yet?
I love cats and tea.
Did you ever expect your song Pathways would have blown up as much as it has done?
No, not at all. It was strange because I recorded it and wrote it, almost a year before it kind of took off and flew, no I didn’t have any idea that it would do as well as it did. But I’m really grateful that it did.
You’re next EP is coming out in May. What can we be expecting to hear from that, how many tracks are on the EP and do you have a favourite?
We haven’t completely decided on how many tracks are going to be on it yet. I do have a favourite although I can’t really say obviously because I don’t really want to announce the tracks yet. But yeah, I think what we can expect from this EP is how my music is going to sound from here on. Production wise I think, it’s gonna be a lot more me. The other EP’s were a little bit more just finding my feet, whereas now with this one I’m a lot more comfortable with my sound, so it’s going to sound a lot more confident.
I’m always fascinated by song lyrics and phrases; you’re particularly good at writing the perfect lyric. So I wanted to ask, what’s your favourite lyric that you’ve written so far?
Oh gosh, that is a tricky one.
I do have a favourite lyric but I don’t know whether it’s a good one to print, to be honest, because it’s a song called Hard Land which is not exactly very PC.
Honestly, Your love hurts, I know that’s obviously the chorus to one of my singles but it’s one of my favourite lyrics, because it’s kind of saying how love isn’t always a good thing, which is quite cool.
BBC Introducing is a great platform for new and unsigned artists and it’s helped you out a lot in regards to radio play and spreading the word about your music, gaining you plays on Radio 1. Would you say BBC Introducing has been one of the most instrumental things in spreading the word about you?
Yeah, yeah definitely. I think because obviously it got me on Radio 1, they really helped through that, so yeah. I mean, obviously I’ve had other ways of trying, I’ve been doing a lot of tour supports and everything and my manager and agent are great, but obviously BBC Introducing gave me that platform to get my songs listened to by millions of people, which I just would not have been able to do without them.
Tonight you’re playing a sold out at The Forum in London, the last date of your tour with Birdy. How’s the tour been going so far? Is this the first time you’ve played at The Forum?
Yes, it’s the first time I’ve played The Forum. I’ve never even been to The Forum to be honest. But yeah, it’s been incredible, it’s been an amazing tour, an amazing experience. I’ve got a lot of fans from it, which is great and yeah it’s just been an honour to support Birdy on this. I’m sad that’s it finished but I’m kind of ready to, sort of move on and get on to my own headline tour now.
You’ve supported the likes of KT Tunstall, Lana Del Rey and Nina Nesbitt before, what’s it like touring with these big names, did you ever get any time to chat to them, did they give you any advice?
Yeah, Lana not so much. But with Nina and KT Tunstall, yeah definitely. You’re on the road with them for like a month, so you do get to hang out with them, some more than others obviously, I think I’ve hung out with Birdy a lot more on this tour than I do normally with other people. But yeah I mean, obviously you’re in the same cities every day, we don’t travel on like a tour bus or anything, but we definitely get a chance to hang out.
What is it like getting to play on these huge stages?
Yeah, it is great. I’ve sort of slowly started to get used to it since Lana Del Rey, but yeah it’s really, really good. It’s gonna be strange going back to a headline tour, my headline tour.
Yeah, the smaller venues.
But yeah, it’s great. It’s great to be able to play in front of that many people and the atmosphere is always very good, it’s nice because of the volume of the show and stuff, it’s really good yeah.
In a couple of weeks you’ll be heading out on your first headline tour across the UK, how excited are you for that? You’ve already sold out a few of the dates, but for anyone that is still on the fence about coming to a show, convince them why should they come.
Yeah I can’t wait actually, I’ve been looking forward to it for months and it’s so nice that it’s sold out, well most of the dates are sold out, there’s still some tickets left for a few of the shows. I literally just can’t wait to play a longer set and play new songs to my fans who are really there to see me, so it’s gonna be a great feeling.
Even if you haven’t heard my music before, it would be worth coming just because it’s going to be quite special, special moment, it’s my biggest ever tour. It’s the only one I’ve ever really come close to selling out, so it’s all sort of happening now.
It’s great that nowadays with websites like twitter and facebook it makes it so easy to connect with your fans in just the click of a button, which you seem do at every opportunity. So is there anything you’d like to say to your fans now?
Just keep supporting me, keep liking everything, keep caring basically.
You just reached over 15,000 likes on facebook, so congratulations on that, it’s a big achievement.
Yeah, cheers. Thanks, yeah that was a big one for me.
You’ve been sending postcards to fans while you’ve been on tour, that’s a great idea and I’m sure everyone’s really grateful that you’re doing that. Has there been anywhere that you’ve travelled to that’s stood out in particularly?
Yeah I mean a lot of the time when we’re on tour, we don’t get to see the areas that much because we spend loads of time backstage, soundchecking, just sorting the hotel out and everything. But I really like Paris, I think that was one of my favourite places to play on the tour. It was a great show as well because it was the biggest one of the tour but I think in general, the city, it’s a really nice area, a really nice place, really nice people. That one stood out.
We’re big supporters of new music here at Bitter Sweet Symphonies. Having said that, are there any new artists that have caught your attention recently that you’d like to share with us?
Yeah I’ve really got into this guy called Cosmo Jarvis, he’s been going for a while but he’s really great. He’s kind of like folky sort of rocky, slightly heavier than my sort of stuff, but it’s great.
What has being a professional musician taught you about yourself?
It’s taught me how hard you have to work, when I started out I didn’t realise it would be this hard, but it is great, I love it, what I do. It’s just taught me that if you want something this bad and it’s going to be good, you really have to work hard for it, it won’t come easily. It does for some people but if it’s ever going to be worth having you got to kind of fight for it.
A special thanks to Billy Lockett for this interview and for more info on his music, check out the following links below.