Music has the power to change people. Interview with Billy Lloyd
Last Saturday (October 18), a concert of a beginner British musician Billy Lloyd took place at the Workshop Club Theater, at which, according to his own assurances, he played “absolutely all the songs that he has.”
Angelic appearance, charisma and openness to the public quickly won the hearts of all who came to listen to the melodic harmony of electronics and piano.
BritishWave.ru managed to meet the musician just before the concert and ask him a couple of questions about creativity, image and outlook on the world.
This is your first performance not only in Russia, but also abroad in general. Did expectations from Moscow come true?
I did not see many photographs of Moscow, so I did not know what to expect. It seems to me that Moscow is very beautiful when we drove through the night streets yesterday, everything was beautifully lit, lights were everywhere … Great.
You have already met quite a few Russian people. Do you think the stereotypes that are prevalent in the West are true?
No, absolutely. Our media show the Russians in a rather unpleasant light, the British media in particular, and the Western media in general. I myself became convinced that all this is not true.
What were your feelings when you got an invitation to perform in Moscow?
I was incredibly happy. I know that ideas about a country beyond its borders almost always turn out to be myths. Many of my friends dissuaded me from traveling: “Will you seriously go to Russia?”, But I looked forward to it.
Now a rather tense situation has arisen, does this somehow affect the music? Or do you think that politics and music are two completely different areas that should not be mixed?
No, I think they can and should be mixed. Music has the power to change people, to talk about certain problems, I try to achieve this with my creativity. I’m talking about problems that some may find boring, or maybe they don’t want to hear about them at all. But if this message is woven into a song, then maybe they can understand something, look at things from the other side. The political situation, on the contrary, only strengthened my desire to come and support people, in particular, the LGBT society of Russia.
And will we hear it in your concert tonight?
Yes, of course, many of my songs are based on political subtext, LGBT issues.
Did you say that your main source of inspiration is Patrick Woolf?
Yes, it means a lot to me, just like Björk. But I am often inspired not so much by musicians as by artists and writers.
Did you always imagine your way in music or was it rather difficult to find yourself?
Finding my voice, my sound, my image for me is an ongoing process, I never stop doing it. In the past two years, I tried to focus on the question of what exactly I want to do, how I want to look and how I want to sound. But I remember last year when I wrote the EP that was just released, I had a crisis: “And this is exactly what Billy Lloyd should sound like? Will people understand this?”
What helps you in such cases?
Honestly, this will not be the answer of a creative person (laughs). I am a very organized person to write my two EPs, I have compiled a list of topics that interest me, a list of things that define me. Orderliness in creativity helps me clear my head of unnecessary thoughts. “Here’s what sounds like Billy Lloyd, here are the topics I want to talk about.” I take it as a basis, add something, expand, until you get the final result.
Tell us a little about your upcoming EP.
I plan to release the EP trilogy “Who,” and this is the first part. They are about identification, cultural, personal and social, about its various aspects that interest me: who we are as a country, who I am as a person, who we are as a generation. We grew up in a rather depressing time: crises, wars, etc., but on the other hand, we have so many new opportunities, such as the Internet.
How would you describe your sound?
Gloomy electronic pop, piercing emotional melodies.
And with whom would you compare yourself?
The most obvious variation is, again, Patrick Woolf, he also writes a lot about social issues, but he has more folk elements in his music. Björk, probably even Lady Gaga, she uses her fame to draw public attention to social contradictions. She is not afraid to go beyond, look crazy to express herself.
What about your fashion inspirations?
There are a lot of them, to be honest. I adore Alexander McQueen, he is my favorite designer, I’m also interested in Rick Owens. I like young designers, for example, Hood By Air, they take existing fashion laws that are dictated by houses like Prada and turn them upside down. Hood By Air is well aware of the problem of racism in the fashion world, so their models have completely different skin colors and body structures, some of them transgender. I think it’s great, this is the future of fashion.