Billy Lockett is a singer songwriter who has struck a deep vein of truth. “The most important thing any artist has to offer is honesty,” he insists. “You’ve got to make sure the songs are perfect and your voice is flawless. The rest will take care of itself.”
Billy plays piano and guitar. He sings from the heart about things that matter to him. And his resonant, tremulous, poetic music has touched something deep inside, rising from the vast morass of new music offerings on the internet and finding an audience. Last year, Billy’s self-released Burn It Down EP topped the iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart. He has garnered over eight million streams across all platforms. “When I saw the Spotify counter going up, I thought it was broken,” Billy admits. “I had 100,000 plays in two days. I thought I needed to get my computer fixed.” But what was happening was that Billy had found his people, and they found him.
Having toured supporting Lana Del Rey, KT Tunstall and Birdy, Billy has been headlining his own sold out shows in venues as illustrious as London’s Union Chapel. All without a record deal. “It’s a bit like being invisibly famous,” he says. “I’ve built up an audience of real people, rather than numbers and stats. They know the stories behind my songs. They know about my dad. They know the name of my cat. It’s like we’re all sharing a secret.” Now, at 26, Billy has signed to Warner East West Records. His talent won’t be a secret much longer.
It has always been music for Billy. “I didn’t really have a choice. I was writing songs with my dad on the piano when I was five years old. It’s therapy, it’s part of me, there was never any question of anything else.” But it took a life-changing, soul-rattling event for Billy to actually get to grips with his talent. “I was playing guitar, making pop music really, giving audiences what I thought they wanted. And it was going well, getting somewhere. But it had no substance or meaning. And then when I was out on tour, my dad died. I just stopped and came home. And everything changed.”