Broke: Growing up

Woke: Glowing Up 

Growing up isn’t always fun nor comfortable, but thankfully we’ve got music to get us through it.

Billy Blond’s new EP Glow Up is what you need right now. Born and raised in the UK, Billy Blond has been writing music for a while. If you’re picturing an American poster boy gone wrong? You’re on the right track to Billy’s aesthetic. 

I’ve had the pleasure to interview him recently. Music helped me save myself,” he told me. Billy is a spiritual man, he believes words are spells and melody is magic. “A song is pretty fucking powerful you’ve got be careful what you say,” he continues, “thoughts are very powerful, then to speak and chant it is powerful.” 

For Billy, putting the rights words and desires to the Universe matters. Glow Up is about that: trusting the Universe and healing from heartbreak. This is how he approaches music: with respect and honesty for a craft that has the power to change the world. 

Inspired by Gospel singers, and with an idealist look on the industry, Billy thought everything would be fine once he got a publishing deal but, like many of us, he realized that your first job isn’t what it seems. “It was too early days, I didn’t know how to say ‘no’ and I didn’t know how to put my boundaries up.” Job descriptions versus reality can sometimes be worlds apart. 

Heavily directed, Billy started taking on everyone else’s opinion about him, so much so that he lost his own perspective on his music. “I thought music wasn’t for me and that I was never going to be making it again.” So he did what he had to do: disappear from the industry, retire and take care of himself. Initially scared to put himself out there again, Billy told me “now it’s my second time around and I have learned from my mistakes, I know how to look after myself, I know about self-care.”

Self-care is today inherent to his music. Describing it as positive and inspirational, he wants to help others pick themselves up: “I want to make music which brings light to people.” Inspired by his everyday life Billy translates his emotions into music to inspire others. Musically, Amy Winehouse is his biggest inspiration. With a similar upbringing as well as attending the same music school, she has a massive influence on his work. 

Billy Blond
Billy Blond

The dark and at times uncomfortable aesthetics of Glow Up is somewhat reminiscent of the works of David Lynch. The song was inspired by American Honey, a coming-of-age movie about a teenager running away from a troubled home. Glow Up tells a similar tale, acknowledging Billy’s sexuality and the fact that ‘life gets you down but love brings you round again’. Love is at the heart of Billy’s music. One of his biggest dreams is to open a trashy drive-thru wedding venue on the British seaside. 

Billy confessed that “if I like someone, he will mean the world to me and nothing else matters and I would do anything for that person I am so over the top.” His song Without Warning narrates the story of sudden love. It’s a catchy melancholic melody that Billy says was inspired by his lover at the time. He confides that this man continued to inspire him for other songs, even after their breakup. Following from Without Warning, a new track called You Killed Me First is in the works and set to be released next year. 

Billy’s approach to music is very visual, which he says is funny’ because he is losing his eyesight. Diagnosed with a hereditary degenerative eye condition, Billy struggles with night-time vision but this doesn’t prevent him from creating a strong visual aesthetic. He knows a song is complete when he can see the full visual experience, and when all the senses connect.

As for new music, Billy has got an entire movie playing in his head already. Now in control of his own destiny with the freedom to write and express himself, his focus is to get a team together and to keep writing.

  • Alice Rizzo

    Alice Rizzo is a culture and music writer interested in all aspects of our social and cultural lives, online or IRL.