For all his UK garage roots, Billy Kenny isn't afraid to reckon with pop sensibilities. The Producer/DJ from Leeds has crept into the dance scene's consciousness with snaking, dirty bass grooves and minimal, but striking melodic elements. It's no surprise that he's found a home at Claude VonStroke's Dirtybird label, where the house music is a bit filthier and a generous bit of booty-shaking is never too far out of the periphery.
Billy Kenny's latest track, debuting today (and available for free download) on THUMP, "Flashin' Lights," is thumping tech-house ditty casually reminiscent of Tiga's cheeky 2015 offering "Bugatti." The eponymous "Flashin' Lights," however, feel much less like club strobes than they do blurred neon silhouettes on the vegas strip. The lightly slowed vocals and jarring sirens of the chorus only add to the feeling that there's something discernibly unsafe at the heart of the mid-tempo jam.
Billy Kenny recently spoke to THUMP via email to talk about some of his favourite songs alongside the release of his latest track.
What's the first song you ever loved?
Although I was already nine at the time this came out, it definitely sticks in my head as being a childhood favourite.
What are the first two songs you ever mixed together?
I was a huge garage, speed garage and UK bassline fan in my teens and loved anything over 130bpm with bass! These two were the first two records i bought from a store called "Pusher Records" in Leeds after buying a second hand pair of 1210s from a drug addict that just wanted rid of 'em. I got them both for £250!
What is your worst guilty pleasure song?
I'm not really guilty for this; I can just imagine that most people into my music, wouldn't be into this. I loved this whole album as a pre-teen and still think it's cool now.
What song have you had on repeat in the last month?
This came out early last year, but I only found it a few weeks back. It's such a beautiful, feel-good production.
Which track of your own do you love the most?
For me, this track shows when my sound really matured. I never studied music at all, but always played around with instruments. I was new to Logic 9 and still finding my feet, but I was so happy with this when I made it. I still like to hear it now to remind myself of how I should feel when I finish a track. Having said all that, it was the B side, "Work" from the EP that got all of the attention and really helped me get me a foothold in the industry.
What track of your own do you hate the most?
I did an edit of The Kooks' "Naive" about three years back and it's still circulating. The only reason it's still on my Soundcloud is because it still racks up 500-1000 plays a week.
What track are you most excited to drop in a sets?
Right now, an edit i've done of Justin Martin's "Gettup." Nobody expects it to be an edit until about 2 minutes in and people just go nuts!
What's your favourite track that you wish worked in a set?
Clare Maguire – "Ain't Nobody" (Breakage Remix), this track is epic from start to finish. It's the kind that a producer, as well as your average listener can admire.
What's the last song you want to hear before the lights go on?
It's gotta be a 90s classic, something that either people won't expect, or something that brings back a memory. Nightcrawlers – "Push The Feeling On (Dub Of Doom)" is one I've closed with recently at our This Ain't Bristol events.