[Exclusive Interview] Billy Kenny Shares What Makes Him Happiest, Tour Details & More!
It has been a long 6 months since Billy Kenny unleashed one of his non-conventional and energetic sets in Canada's Capital. When we got word that the British producer was coming back to town, we knew we couldn't miss his set for the world! The rave Gods were undeniably looking over us as we were blessed with the opportunity to sit down with the talented musician for an exclusive interview.
On Saturday, January 4, 2020, our spirits were high and our excitement was through the roof as we eagerly anticipated the event to roll around. We've been following Billy Kenny for several years now and absolutely couldn't wait to start picking his brain. With a lengthy list of questions prepared, we were ready to meet this living legend!
We proudly suited up in our official Flag Gang jersey and made our way to Barrymore's Music Hall. Upon entering the venue, we were greeted by friendly staff and by some equally thrilled partygoers. We darted over to the stage to catch the opening act. Return of the Jaded warmed things up nicely before Billy Kenny took the stage. When the local superstar dropped his chart-climbing single 'Acid Baby', the club lost it! That's when we knew this night was going to be one to remember.
When the clock neared 1:00 a.m., Billy Kenny took the stage. The record label co-owner wow'ed the crowd by his well-known charismatic personality and masterful blend of ear melting house music. Throughout his set, he continuously kept everyone on their toes by dropping unexpected tracks like OutKast's 'Hey Yeah' and throwing in some drum and bass. It was a pleasure to see an artist defying the norms!
The moment we had been waiting for had finally arrived! We picked our jaws off the floor and were ready to get a better glimpse into who the man behind the legacy truly was. Immediately, we were struck by the sheer gratitude that Billy Kenny possessed. He took the time to meet with his fans and made sure to thank them all for coming to catch his show.
When we finally linked up with Billy Kenny, we were ready to tackle some of our lingering questions. Immediately, we were put at ease by his down-to-earth nature. At that moment, we knew we could jump right into it! We started by congratulating him on his successful year in which he released a ton of new music including 'SWEAT' and 'Just Came For The Music'. When we touched on his current tour, Another World Tour, he beamed and seemed most proud of this accomplishment.
He shared with us that he has grown to love and appreciate Australia. He continued by stating how much he enjoys the off-time that he gets when he tours in this beautiful continent. Specifically, he cherishes the precious time that he gets to spend with his longtime girlfriend. He acknowledged the fact that not many artists get to tour in this particular market and is truly grateful for these opportunities. Lastly, he confirmed the third phase of his tour will be underway shortly - a whopping 15 shows in Australia and New Zealand. *Update: see below.
When we asked him about some of the defining highlights that he's experienced on the tour, thus far, he stated, "of course, each destination has something special to offer." However, he dished that the time that he spent with his girlfriend in Whistler, British Colombia, stands out amongst the rest. He had quite the fall down the hill, leaving him with a BIG purple bruise as a memory he could look back on for weeks, quite literally. Billy also recalled the time when he broke both of his arms skateboarding. He was 17 at the time and had to get his mother to help him with simple tasks. We'll let your imagination run wild...
When we touched on the subject of his family, it lead us to the topic of happiness. We expressed how Billy is known for exuding sheer positivity and bliss in everything that he does. He quickly stopped us by stating, "well, I always try to, at least!" We continued by asking him what were some of his keys to happiness in life. After some reflection, he didn't hold back! Billy shared with us that he's learned an important lesson in life. He's come to understand that if someone is getting upset with him, for whatever the reason may be, that it may not be because of the facts presented. He explained,
"If someone is getting upset with you, 9/10 times it doesn't even have anything to do with you. Most of the time it's because something is going on with them. So, don't take things too personally."
He continued to explain that simply shutting off from the world is his ultimate key to happiness. He expressed, "it's something that everyone needs. It's nice to be able to be alone with your own thoughts and take time to appreciate what has happened." He shared that he doesn't get much time to himself, so he treasures the moments when he is alone. "It gives me time to reflect on what I could have done better - I am always trying to improve", he elaborated.
On the topic of personal growth, he shared his recent health improvements with us. He confirmed he's made a conscious decision to watch what he eats. Due to these recent changes, Billy has lost an incredible 23 pounds! He expressed how he is amazed by how much more energy he has and by how it has made him "sharper and faster."
As you could have guessed, music also plays a big role in his overall happiness. When a fan interjected that Billy's music has helped him through some dark times in his life, he instantly beamed. Billy expressed that he hasn't always had the easiest life. He's lacked support, has been flat broke, among much more, but he has always been able to turn to music during difficult times. "Music is all I've ever known", he stated. The room went quiet for a moment. The realization over the undeniable power that music has had in our own lives began to set in...
Our heart felt so full. It was almost a spiritual awakening. It felt only fitting to ask Billy about his newest release 'Take Me To Church' - and that's exactly what we did. We inquired about the first time that he had heard the single outside of the studio. Billy touched on the fact that this single holds a special place in his heart. He shared that it's been a struggle to find a balance between what he would like to put out as opposed to what labels would like to release. That said, he turned to his "mates" Gorgon City to drop the record on their Realm Records imprint.
He confirmed the first time he heard the track played outside of the studio was in Argentina - he was the one who played it. He continued by sharing he'll always remember that moment as it reconfirmed his initial thought that the track was a hit from the beginning. Your gut feeling is your guardian angel, we implied. Billy took this moment to confirm that he took a step back from This Ain't Bristol in 2019, but is looking forward to relaunching the label in full-swing this year! He confirmed the imprint will be completely revamped soon. Fans can expect a fresh look and a more mature sound. "Big things are coming", said Billy.
We could have talked to Billy all night! Unfortunately, duty called and we had to say goodbye to our new flag fam member. It was a true pleasure getting to know the superstar and we look forward to seeing him excel, even more, in the future. We'll be keeping it locked to This Ain't Bristol's socials as well as Billy's - we have no doubts that "big things are coming." From all of us at The Flag Gang, never underestimate the power of music!