billy lemos
Other / Darren Dai

Billy Lemos is the type of artist that colorfully enriches your life in ways that you didn’t even know you were possible through his uplifting music that vibrates on a different frequency. The 19-year-old Iowa native brands himself as a curator and producer, and has already collaborated with breakout singer-songwriters like Omar Apollo and Maxwell Young. Today, we’re premiering an advance of his AWKWARD EP ahead of its official release. Lemos told us that he’s been working on the project since he made his debut last year with the Self EP.

“I felt more pressure making this because I knew that I needed to live up to and exceed my first effort,” he told us in an email. “With AWKWARD, I have worked with all new artists (save for the legend, Juto) and made something that I consider a more cohesive and complete EP. I try to make sure everything sounds as colorful and diverse as possible, though my production can come off sort of spontaneous and reckless at times.”

Lemos describes AWKWARD as a “curation collage of artists” who are “incredibly talented and deserving of more exposure” such as Victor!, Family Reunion, Kopano, Xavley, Junior, Ralph Castelli, Ethan Kerr, and Juto. As you’ll soon hear, Lemos operates his own wave within the abyss of the sound spectrum. He adds that “these are tracks that have held up for days, weeks, and months after their creation.” While you stream the entire EP, scroll down and read Lemos’ breakdown of all the tracks.

“BURB”

“Burb” is something I made with VICTOR! quite a while ago. I turned these demos he had into something different and started experimenting with drum sounds and change ups more. (BURB)

“STUCK”

“Stuck” is a collaboration with Chicago artist Family Reunion. I heard her stuff through my friend VICTOR! and laid drums and new structures around her beautiful guitar work and vocals. I wanted to make something that sounded intricate and almost mechanical with percussion sounds. It’s summer-y but retains a gritty and hard-hitting texture.

“RAIN”

I tried to make something that sounded both catchy and earthy. Kopano and I have had this song done for a while and we both knew this was undoubtedly something that needed to be released in the summertime. There’s some subtle stuff going on with the production, however, Kopano’s vocals are definitely the highlight of the track to me.

“HOOPTIE // DRUG”

“Hooptie // Drug” is the newest track on this EP. The second half is something very recent. I’ve started exploring sound design and being more selective with the percussion and panning I use. I wanted the song to be sort of Pharrell influenced in how the first half is super bouncy.

“SWAM // REAL”

“Swam // Real” is a super mechanical song. I wanted to put out something that sounds visual in texture, like a kids book, and this is that.

“EVERYTHANG // MOON”

“Everythang // Moon” was a perfect conclusion piece. I knew when I made this thingy that it was gonna tie up my next project. Juto is a fucking amazing artist and has remained far too slept on. This song was heavily inspired by OKAGA, CA off Tyler’s Cherry Bomb project.

For more of our premieres, check out Syd B’s video for her latest single “free” right here.

Words by Sydney Gore
Features Editor

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