BILLY – Interview for BreatheHeavy


Bill from Tokio Hotel rises from the ashes as a solo artist under the new moniker Billy.

Heartbreak has a funny way of killing your former self and forcing you to come alive as someone else entirely. After releasing 2014’s Kings of Suburbia LP with Tokio Hotel and performing songs from it on a world tour, Billy decided to go rogue for his next project, and it’s personal. Last month, he released a song titled “Love Don’t Break Me” from his debut EP I’m Not OK out today. Billy tells the song is about his last relationship. “All my songs on my solo EP are pretty much autobiographic,” he said. “When I wrote the songs I was at a pretty dark place mentally. Someone really fucked up my heart and I didn’t feel like myself for a long time. I guess I needed to get it out of my system and turn it into something good so I went in the studio and wrote and sang about it.” His favorite lyric off the record is the opening line: “I’m tired of fighting. It really messed me up this time.

On going solo, Billy says “it just felt like it was long overdue.” “I had these songs that I could only sing on my own because it’s about something that happened to me. It would have been selfish to put that on a Tokyo Hotel record and music wise it wouldn’t fit. The songs are way more pop and danceable than what I do with the band. It’s a whole different side of me. Also I think that the timing was right and the energy. I felt like I’m ready to do it.


Along with the EP, Billy shared a multi-media hybrid art project which includes a fine art photo book. “I wanted the freedom to explore the other areas in my life that I am passionate about like Art and Fashion and felt that a pure music project wouldn’t fulfill my vision as a solo artist,” he said. “I felt like it needed more than just the music.” Billy says the EP “shows all the different phases and moods of a heartbreak,” adding “I really just hope it gets to the people. That it touches them and makes them cry, laugh and dance.

One of the more emotional songs fans can cry, laugh and dance to is “Not Over You.” “I feel like it takes guts to admit that you are not over someone and to be that honest,” he said of the song, “and at the same time dance to the beat while you admit that you are still not ok.

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