Rising artist Billy Lockett’s story hasn’t been linear.
After the passing of his father, Billy found himself back in the basement of his Dad’s Abington Grove home. While Billy struggled with grief, addiction, and self-doubt, he sought comfort in the catharsis of writing music and used those setbacks as fuel. A decade later, Billy has shared the result of that arduous climb, his debut album, Abington Grove.
Across 12 tracks, Billy confides in his stunning signature falsetto about his journey through “love, addiction, self-doubt, [and] euphoria.” Tracks like his lead single, “Don’t Be Hard On Yourself,” reflect on his progress and celebrate the road ahead.
We chatted with Billy about Abington Grove, his inspirations, and what fans can look forward to next!
Congrats on the release of your debut album, Abington Grove! What is the significance of the title?
Thanks mate. Yeah, the album is named after my dad’s old house. He passed away 9 years ago around the time I started writing the album, I recorded the whole thing in the cellar of that house too so it couldn’t be called anything else in my eyes.
Your Dad encouraged you to have a career in music. What is your favorite piece of advice your Dad gave you?
My dad was a big influence on the music, not the best father in a conventional parent-type way but a massive encouragement when it came to the music. He always said to me if you can make them laugh and make them cry at the same time you’ve cracked it, that’s why I try to keep my songs sad and my personality light and fun.
It has been quite a journey to get here. What was the biggest lesson you learned in the process?
Yeah, it’s been a wild journey but the main thing I’ve learned is that taking your time is okay. I’m glad I didn’t rush things because this album is probably my proudest work yet. I’ve also learned that enjoying the whole process is the key to success, the second I stop having fun making the music or the content is the second it all starts falling flat.
Do you have any favorite memories from the writing and production process?
To be honest, the majority of memories around making this album are good, there were times when some songs were a struggle to get right but it was always fun working it out. My favorite memory would be making “Don’t be so hard on yourself.” I had a good feeling from the start with that song and when you hear it all come together it’s a very exciting feeling.
On instagram, you shared that “Don’t be so hard on yourself” is your favorite track on the album. Why is that?
Don’t be so hard on yourself” is about the constant daily struggle in your brain. It’s about over worrying, overthinking and about remembering that trying your best is enough. It’s a real therapy for me and since writing this I listen to it at least once a day to reset my brain positively.
It’s my favorite song because firstly, I love the sound; it reminds me of early Coldplay which I’m still obsessed with. Secondly, I like the message, it feels nice to have actually written a hopeful song for once! Haha
If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to the album, what do you imagine it looking like?
I think the great thing about the album is it works everywhere. I tried to make something universal, something that isn’t a cult or a fad. I just tried to write the best songs I possibly could. They work in a party vibe, at the gym, chilling at home, and eating dinner, so to be honest the aim was that it fits all settings.
How do you hope people feel after listening to the album?
I hope people feel good first and foremost, but I don’t really mind what that is as long as it’s something. I also hope people press play at the beginning and don’t stop till the end, I wanted to try and make a body of work that just flows and before you know it you’ve heard every song.
What can fans look forward to next?
Next is a lot of touring and promo, I’m trying hard to get to America and Europe! Then focusing on doing acoustic versions of the album and then straight onto album 2.
What is one quote that you have heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world?
My favorite quote would be “Take your work seriously, don’t take yourself too seriously”