Billy2K’s Heir to the Rain vol.1 Extended Playlist was released about a month ago from today. The project was well received widely by those within his camp, and new listeners all round. Between this day and when it was released, alot have happened both in his personal life and in the society in which he lives. Speaking with us as our Radr Artiste of the month, Billy expresses the complications behind the release of the project, his plans for the industry, and a very strong team support both from his music associates and family.
Can you explain the title of the project, Heir to the Rain vol 1., and will there be a sequel to it?
I’ll start by saying that I have 2 personalities. There’s Ebele, the naive, overly trusting nerd who thinks everyone is his friend and means well for him……and then there’s Billy2k, the spoiled rich kid with a vendetta for anyone who’s ever looked down on him. Heir To The Rain is my debut submission to the rap game, my way of expressing the fact that I have arrived, and I (that) have something new to offer. Something different. And to answer your question; yes, there will be an Heir To The Rain Volume 2.
That’s great, and we look forward to it, but let’s talk about the one we have now; Every song on the project Heir to the Rain Vol.1 EP has its own story, and you expressed them in the most relatable ways – and I understand that these stories are from your personal experiences – at what point did it become important to you to put out these songs collectively?
It became important to me to put out these songs after I fell out with the artiste I had initially planned to sign on a record label deal. Those who began this journey with me will tell you that it was never my intention to be an artiste. I wanted to exist behind the scenes as a label executive like Larry Gaaga or E-Money but shortly after he and I went our separate ways, I began to focus more on my career and development as an artiste, which is how I got to this point.
That’s really interesting! We, your listeners have observed from your lyrics that you are not afraid to speak about materialism and how important it is to a young adult like yourself. Why’s that?
To tell you the truth, I started out very afraid. Bragging about my wealth with materialistic lyrics made me very uncomfortable, but it was also what came naturally to me. So it was a big challenge for me to just own up to the brand and just let it flow. I used to second guess myself a lot back then. Now I try to push the envelope as far as I can with my lyrics because I see it as an opportunity to push both myself and my listeners out of our comfort zone.
Hmmm… now to a breakdown of each song, Evil Intentions talks about how unsafe and insecure you are in the face of distrust; a feeling of not completely trusting some of those around, who as the song title depicts, abhor some evil intentions within themselves. What’s your defense mechanism against such people?
I’d rather not mention names, but they know themselves. They know that they can never have a seat at my table. However, there are a few people who have served to protect me from those kinds of situations. The best thing I can do is to surround myself with good, reliable people who mean well and are committed to helping me navigate the murky waters of the music industry.
I now see the place from which you were coming.
The next two songs, House Party and Bust Down take a different path from the narrative Evil Intentions portrayed, and are memoranda of a lavish fast paced living. It sounds like you party a lot to unwind from stressful days or weeks. In what other ways do you find happiness?
I also find happiness spending quality time with my family.
That’s Interesting because Vanessa, on ‘Vanessa’s Interlude’ holds a very high opinion of you; who’s She? And why is her opinion of you so important that she gets to have a place on your project?
Vanessa is the love of my life and her opinion is important because I said so lol…but on a serious note, she helped me through some of the darkest days of my music career till date. The voice note was completely natural. I didn’t ask her to do it and she didn’t send it knowing that I was going to use it in my project. I just felt it really captured the energy that I was looking for in an interlude, so I decided to use it.
Vanessa interlude also tells how much of a people’s person you are if you want to be. How important are interpersonal relationships to you? And what type of relationships do you hold true the most?
Interpersonal relationships are very important to me, but I don’t consider them sacrosanct. The nature of my childhood experiences has caused me to be so comfortable with being alone that I’ve come to thrive on my loneliness. My parents continue to make conscious efforts to help me understand that no man is an island. On that note, I’d like to think that my relationship with my parents is the one that I hold true the most. All my life lessons stem from them.
It’s been a couple of weeks since the project dropped. How well has it been received – below or above your expectations?
I think the initial fan reaction was pleasantly surprising. I had a lot of people reaching out to me, saying they didn’t know I was this good, so that was nice. But a lot has happened in our society between now and when I dropped the EP, so I can’t say I’m expecting more than what I’ve already gotten. But I think with time, people will go back to it and have a deeper appreciation of the project. Especially when they start to experience the full range of my sound.
What lessons have you learnt from this project release so far?
I’ve learned that as an upcoming independent artiste, you can’t do this music thing on your own. It’s not enough to just upload your song on Distrokid and then post the link on Twitter. You need a fully functional team behind you. A team of people who each bring something different to the table. In basketball, you can’t win if you’re playing all playmaker – you need someone to rebound the ball; you need someone to shoot threes; you need someone to defend. The same applies to music. You can’t succeed if everyone on your team is an artiste. If you’re really serious about making it in this industry, you should be the only artiste on your team while everyone else is focused on channeling their creative energy towards helping you succeed.
That’s an intelligent analogy. Going forward, what are your plans for your career, the music and the future of it?
My plan is simple. I want to show everyone that I have what it takes to compete with the best of the best. I believe that my range is unmatched, and I will be looking to showcase that all through my career.
Your project sits at 18 minutes, was that a conscious decision given how music is currently consumed? What are your thoughts on the fast-paced consumption of music now?
Yes, it was a conscious decision. The last thing I wanted was for people to switch off on my project because it was “too long”. I knew I would be dealing with a lot of first-time listeners, so I needed to make sure it was short enough to be consumed in one sitting. The people of our generation have a short attention span. In this day and age, anything longer than 3 minutes is overdoing it. You have to leave them wanting more, and you can only do that by not giving them enough.