Billy Lockett premieres new track ‘Who I Am’ exclusively on FAULT

Get to know singer/songwriter Billy Lockett, whose style of deeply personal and emotive storytelling translates into a body of music that sonically is akin to Bon Iver, mixed with the pop hooks of a London Grammar and with the piano elements of composer Ludovico Einaudi. With a 2016 debut EP under his belt that shot straight to the top spot of the iTunes Singer Songwriter Charts, Billy has taken 2017 by storm with a flurry of sold-out London dates and European festivals. With support slots for the likes of Lana Del Ray and Birdy, the 25-year-old Northampton native delivers a style of intelligent songwriting that is fiercely passionate.
FAULT spoke to him about the influences and narrative behind new single WHO I AM, and the tracks that helped him to shape this particular song. Get stuck into it here:

Read below to discover more about Billy and read about 5 seminal tracks that act as the inspirations behind the new track and stream it on FAULT exclusively ahead of its release tomorrow.
Cinematic Orchestra – To Build A Home
I love how the piano builds from 0-100 in this song, while the vocal stays chilled throughout.

Coldplay – Midnight
Initially I wrote Who I Am using a vocoder! Coldplay’s Midnight vocoder instantly grabbed me the moment I heard it and pretty much set me off feeling inspired to create something as amazing.

Foals – Spanish Sahara
 This track is an anthem, the structure blew my mind when I first heard it. I love the repetitiveness and simplicity in the track, constantly focusing on a build. I like to think I’ve achieved that dynamic with Who I Am.

Martin Luke Brown – Into Yellow
One of the weirdest tunes I’ve heard this year from a new artist but one of my favourites. His falsetto really cuts through the track, I can only hope my track can achieve the same feeling.

Everything Everything – Duet
One of my favourite songs from one of my favourite bands, the lyrics from this song were one of the main influences on my track.

 Catch up with Billy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Billy Lockett is picked as our latest FAULT Future Artist

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What was your experience touring with Nina Nesbitt late last year like?

Really great. I’ve known Nina for about two and a half years, and back then we were really different people. It was exciting to play to some of those fans who were 14 back then, we’ve kind of grown up together in a way.

 

The industry has seen a real renaissance of the singer-songwriter genre in recent years, do you feel that it’s a type of music that fans really respond to?

Yeah definitely. Kids are really receptive and they love to be the first person to discover something new, that’s what I love.

 

The crowd responds to your live set with a real intensity and this is surely down to the passion you show whilst performing. Have you always been conscious of this interaction?

Not really. To be honest, until recently I would just mess around and get a bit drunk. Now it’s all at the piano, and I really want to get across all that I’m feeling- not in a self-indulgent way! But the live shows are the best thing about the job.

 

Is performing live something that has always come naturally?

I’ve spent years and years perfecting what I do on stage, with my manager constantly tweaking. Everything from the set order to the jokes I make and when I ask people to clap along; it’s very crafted. I’m a real perfectionist that way.

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Has songwriting always been a natural process for you or was that also something you had to develop?

I always used to write alone but recently I’ve actually been working with a lot of co-writers, just because it’s a lot more fun. To be in the room and be able to bash ideas off each other. But I love writing- I’ve written about 6 or 7 songs just in the last week.

 

How was that transition from writing by yourself – and being an artist under the radar- to now having a following and all these collaborators?

It was where it had to go- you have to follow the path. You could be the best musician in the world but if you don’t have any fans you’re not really anything. I didn’t want to just be stuck in my bedroom. You have to see it like an actual job.

 

From what age did you know this was what you wanted?

When I was 16 I did a talent show at school. I was a bit of a loser- in fact, I wasn’t even a loser because I didn’t even have enough friends to be a loser I just didn’t really exist- and I’d never sang but I wrote a song for this talent show and I ended up winning it. Suddenly, I felt like I knew what I needed to do and from that day on, I got management and an indie label, radio support, tours … and now I’m here.

 

You make it sound easy but at your show at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill you thanked your Mum for standing by you. Has it been all that you’d hoped for?

It’s been a nightmare [laughs] There are so many times when you wait around, and so much worry, and you put so much into the music and sometimes it doesn’t click. And it’s not like other jobs- with music, you’re so aware of everyone who is doing better than you. They stand out on posters, on the radio, on the tube – everywhere you go! You have to stick to your sound and be confident that what you’re doing is right, and at some point the world will know. Nothing worth having is easy.

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In a digital age, with such an over-saturation of artists and sounds and potential influences on your music, is it hard to ‘stick to your sound’?

It’s hard to find it! [laughs] You always find that you lean towards whatever is doing well at the moment. But you have to look for where you fit in the scene, and I’m confident that I do fit somewhere. You don’t want to be another Ed Sheeran, or another Tom Odell. I feel like I know my own space now.

 

One way you seem keen to differentiate yourself is with your visuals- your video for Old Man uses really striking animation. Is this something you’ve pushed for, or is it something that’s come from the team around you?

That’s pretty much all me. I like it to be real. A lot of people say it’s maybe too personal but that’s something I like. I love that my fans feel my songs tell them secrets about me. People really relate to it because it’s real and it’s honest. People want honesty from art.

 

As you get more famous, do you think that level of honesty is sustainable?

I hope I don’t change. I want to always be honest with my music but you make the music to be heard, so the more people hear it, the better. But when someone comes up to me and tells me my song about cancer helped them with a family member’s illness, that means so much more than 1,000 drunk people dancing to a catchy chorus. Though my manager sometimes wants the latter! [laughs]

 

What is your FAULT?

I worry too much. Constantly. I ring my manager every week and even when everything’s going great, I worry. It’s pointless but it’s just in my nature!

 

Words: Will Ballentyne Reid