This isn’t Billy’s first rodeo when it comes to the creative industry. Starting out as a professional break dancer, Billy has always had a toe in the creativity pond.
Kill Billy, the 11 track debut solo album comes from the Scottish born Billy Got Waves and is definitely a step in a fresh direction from his past projects. Launching his career in the creative industries as a break dancer, Billy frequently jetted across the globe to perform on highfalutin contracts. With the combination of performing through dance and dabbling in musical performance since a young age, it’s easy to see this art come naturally to Billy.
Kawasaki takes the lead into the album, and with the pianos and slow pulsating bass it’s the perfect 73 sec intro to the project. Shows On Lock follows, with PAQUE on the track as the first of 8 features on the album. Clicks in the pre-chorus, tropical melodic synths in the chorus, and PAQUE’s verse doesn’t make us wait long for the Quentin Tarantino Kill Bill reference with the PAQUE lyric “this ain’t no Kill Bill no you can’t Kill Billy”.
We can hear Mura Masa’s Firefly influence the intro to the track 10/10 with the use of Caribbean steel pan style percussion. The production on this track is one of our favourites. Lyrically it’s such a catchy composition, though we must admit all the Kill Billy songs have this addictively funky characteristic.
We can really see Billy experimenting with different styles and sub-genres in this Album. Kawasaki (track #1) and You (track #8) have more of an RnB vibe, while Macintosh (track #9) and Chemtrails (track #5) is more Trap. This experimentation works so well on the release, the album flows smoothly and really shows his diversity as an artist. In addition to Billy, the 4 collaborated producers on this project are namely the primary influence for this diversity.
With the more trap influenced tracks there are some real iconic characteristics, as well as unique additions that Billy has layered. This is really evident in Henny feat. Woozie. The 120bpm beat and quick sharp ticking snare are key reflections of the genre. A combination of both Billy’s and Woozie’s vocals mix effortlessly on this track, it’s such an easy to listen to slow jam.
The Scottish Hip Hop culture is vastly different to other UK cities, particularly London, having a comparably healthy and diverse scene. Billy used to be apart of the Edinburgh based collective 131 Northside with notable members like Joell (feat. on Bounce) and Woozie (feat. on Henny). 131 Northside had their debut EP, Digital Memories, take off with a feature premiere on Complex and visuals shot in Dubai. Since then, the collective has expanded and each member has dabbled in their own solo projects.
Billy told us the whole project took around 5 months from start to finish, and said this is just the beginning. With the music industry currently bursting with talent, yet, relatively overpopulated with “conventional” content, it’s refreshing to listen to a project from start to finish and enjoy the whole journey. Moreover, it’s great to see the Scottish Hip Hop scene is not only alive and well, it’s booming with talent.
So what can we expect next from Billy Got Waves? He mentioned 2 possible upcoming projects, one very experimental and one kept on the DL. Upcoming shows and a possible tour for the album was teased, so stay tuned into KEAKIE for the latest updates.
Our picks: 10/10, Motion, Bounce, You, Chemtrails.