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Billy & Louie

14th September 2023

Interview: Amy Bell

Billy & Louie are a pop/soul, twin duo from the UK. They have been in the industry for a few years now, building their career and their audience. Back in 2020, the twins performed on BBC 1's Little Mix the search. They were named 'the best act of the day' by Perrie Edwards and received a standing ovation from all four of Little Mix. The boys are now 20 and a lot has happened in those three years. They've toured nationally, created their own music and even caught the attention of big names such as Meghan Trainor and Mariah Carey. The last year has been very important for the twins. They starred in their first feature film and are set to release their debut EP, 'Manifesting'. 

They released the lead single 'No Good For Each Other' in late august which was the first song they created. A week after the release came the music video. The music video features the twins singing the song in an 80's, top of the pops inspired studio, almost narrating the story of an unhappy couple. The song has had a fantastic reaction as has the video. 

Hi Boys, lovely to have you on ReVamp, was music something you always wanted to pursue?

Music is something we've been passionate about since a very young age. We've always been musical and having each other to bounce off of meant we could never really escape music. Growing up, we were surrounded by a family who loved music and our love for it expanded from there. We are both very creative people. We love to paint, draw, sing and of course make music so turning that passion into a career has been incredible and to be doing something that we love is so amazing. We never thought things could have escalated the way they have but one thing has led to another and we are now preparing for the release of our debut EP. 

How has your music changed over the years, and would you say, your music has changed in any way?

Our music has changed considerably over the years. Mostly due to age and maturity and life experiences, but working with others has influenced our processes and goals and the things we produce. We love to collaborate with others because it always opens up doors and challenges our ways of working. We are heavily influenced by the classic sounds of Blues, Soul, Jazz and R&B and we naturally use these influences to guide our vocals. More recently we have been experimenting with these sounds and delving into our soulful routes which have crept into our music. Trying to create a catchy song that is saleable is a really important part of what we do but balancing that with our own inspiration and musical heritage is equally as important. It is a challenge to balance the many styles we like to incorporate but it pays off in the end. We know we have succeeded when our songs sound timeless and reminiscent of other genres and eras of music. We've definitely taken a more simplistic route in our upcoming EP 'Manifesting'. There's nothing we love doing more than over-complicating things. We are never happy with just two harmonies. We always have to add more but, we've learnt that simplicity is often more powerful. 

You were on the popular TV show ‘Little Mix: The Search’, how was it, meeting the girls and not just that, but they absolutely loved you!

Ahhh it was such a great experience. It's lovely to think back on. We met so many cool people and gained such a lot of invaluable experience that we were so lucky to have at just 16 years old. Little Mix were so supportive to us and so genuinely concerned for everyone and everyone's well-being which is a very refreshing thing to see in this industry. It was great to perform for them and see their reactions. We had no idea what they would think of us but we performed and they really liked us. After we'd sang, we all got together and talked about all things music which was nice and we talked to each other like we'd known each other for years. We are still in contact with them now and they remain so supportive. It was a very anxiety-inducing experience at times. We were very unsure if the show was the right thing for us to do considering we were a fully formed duo already. We were concerned that being in a band would distort the image and sound we'd spent years creating, but we continued and we are so glad we did. We always say, Little Mix knew what they were doing when they made the final decision not to put us in the band. Whilst it was heart-breaking to leave all our friends that we'd made in our band and the show behind, it was the best career move for us. 

What made you want to audition for the program, and what was the audition process like? 

We knew that the show would be an incredible opportunity for exposure and just appearing on BBC 1 on a saturday night would be a great career opportunity. Having feedback from Little Mix too and working with lots of other artists, producers and coaches would be too good of an opportunity to miss. The pros definitely outweighed the cons and we just had to go for it. The Audition process was surprisingly fun. We didn't know what song we'd be given to sing until a few days prior to the audition, so we were urgently practising the song after college and in the car to the studio. Then we had several opportunities with several vocal coaches and choreographers to perfect our audition before Little Mix saw it and then we finally went on set to film our first audition. Once we'd got our pass to the band room, we were greeted with all our future band members and we all continued watching the auditions on a screen in the band room which was a lovely experience. We got really close with our band members despite the big age gap between us. performing with the band was a very cool experience. It was great to bring our experience in group singing to the table and help arrange the piece we sang. We loved the whole process! 

Since then (it has been 3 years wow!), You have toured, featured in a film, and are now set to release your EP ‘Manifesting’, What gives you the passion to keep on going and doing these projects? 

The drive to continue definitely comes from each other. We bounce off each other in a way that means we motivate each other and come up with new ideas and opportunities. We never limit ourselves to just one thing. We always find new things to do and new paths to follow such as acting. Being cast in a feature film was something that we never comprehended could happen. We sort of accidentally fell into professional acting although it's something we've trained in. 

You have even garnered the support of Meghan Trainor and Mariah Carey, which is amazing, How did you feel knowing this?

We always think of this when we are deflated or demotivated. Knowing we have some real talented, successful supporters gives us a boost. It really means a lot to us that big-time celebrities have the time for smaller artists like us. 

Can you talk a little about your new EP, is it a new sound, and what made you create this EP?

Creating a bigger body of work is something that we have been wanting to do for several years. We write and produce all our music ourselves which often takes a considerable amount of time so the logistics of creating a big body of work almost made it an impossible project to start. Until we found Darren Martyn. Darren is an incredible singer-songwriter and producer who reached out to us last year about creating a bigger body of work. It was fate. Something we'd been manifesting for years! We started recording with him in January and finished the EP in June. We are so unbelievably proud of this project and incredibly humbled by the support we have been shown even before 'Manifesting' is out! 

It's definitely a different sound for us. As we said, we have matured and working with someone else changed our process entirely. Collaborating with Darren opened us up to new ideas and gave us different options to play with. Writing with all three of us has created some very poignant and relatable songs which is something we strive to achieve. The lead single 'No Good For Each Other' is out already and the accompanying music video is out too. We had a lot of fun making the song and the video. We teamed up with some close friends for the video and our recent film experiences sparked a real interest in the filming process. The whole EP is very personal to us. We have collaborated and included so many of our friends and close supporters and we are so excited to share something that means an awful lot to us! 

Have you manifested anything, and what has come true?

We have! We are always manifesting! Everyone does it which is why it was a topic that we were and are still fascinated by. The EP title came from the title of a song from the EP which explores the idea of manifesting, based on a scene from the 90's movie, Practical Magic. We Definitely Manifested the feature film we filmed last year. We were desperate to be cast even as extras in the next series of Stranger Things so we tried our best to slide our way into that. Our attempts were unsuccessful. But... It opened other doors which led to the Movie. We are not sure when it'll come out but we can assure you that it's very fun and worth a watch when it does come out. 

What are you most looking forward to for the release? 

We are both really looking forward to performing the songs live to see the reaction of a crowd. It's the thing we love to do above everything else. We performed the EP at our private launch party for the project and we had a great reaction so it'll be interesting to see what everyone else thinks.

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