The songs Billy Lemos makes are short and ever-changing, a spinning kaleidoscope of warm melodies, crisp drums, and smooth vocals. The simplest way to describe his sound, he says, is like "Tyler the Creator, Mac DeMarco, and Zack Villere having a three-way," and while that's certainly not something we want to envision, their imagined sonic union has some intriguing results on Lemos' debut EP Self.
Billy Lemos is a young artist who grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and recently moved to California. His four-track debut is less than ten minutes long, but he packs in a multitude of ideas as well as features from seven other artists. "Generally, I just go on SoundCloud and try to find really slept on alternative artists," he says. "It’s not super challenging to find some wild talent these days."
With a youthful energy and a creative approach to creating songs, this debut project from Billy Lemos is a great entry point into his world, and we're excited to hear what comes next. Listen to "Can't Be // How U Feel" now and check out the full Self EP and an interview with Billy below.
If you're in L.A., Billy will be at Elysian Oark at 7 p.m. tonight holding a listening party for the EP. Roll through.
Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Billy Lemos, an artist that grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and just recently moved out to California. Iowa’s definitely a funny place to grow up. There’s not much of anything to do aside from hanging out with friends and working on creative shit.
How long have you been making music and what inspired you to start?
I started making music in the sixth grade. The stuff I made in sixth grade was generally trashy dubstep, electronic music. Freshman and sophomore year of high school a bunch of my friends put me onto Tyler the Creator and the rap genre in general and that’s when I got deep into producing. I would watch videos of Knxwledge, 2000’s era Kanye, & Tyler just working in the studio and try to emulate their creative processes.
What do you look for in a vocalist to collaborate with?
Generally, I just go on SoundCloud and try to find really slept on alternative artists. It’s not super challenging to find some wild talent these days. YouTube channels like Willy Pete and Alona Chemerys curate solid artists and list their SoundCloud profiles. These artists are usually easy to contact and open to collaboration. If I hear a track that has crazy vocal harmonies and decent songwriting, I’ll message the artist.
Recently I’ve been trying to set up and work on more in person, studio sessions. So far though, it’s usually just me bouncing ideas with people through DM’s online.
What does this EP mean to you and what's the ideal environment to listen to it?
Self is the sum of four months of attempting to establish a unique sound. I’ve been slowly rolling out singles on a monthly basis and this project just came together out of those. Self should be listened to with friends while driving somewhere you’ve never been. It’s gotta be a nice ass day outside and y’all need to be bumping this thing out of your speakers with the windows down. Just definitely be on some goofy, adventurous shit.