BILLY THE KID
Originally from Chicago's south side, Billy was surrounded by music from an early age, first with his mother's piano and then his brother's saxophone. He picked up the trumpet at age 8 and began studying classical trumpet technique, eventually finding his true love in the sounds of jazz and big-band swing. After attending New York University, Billy was picked up by the Daptone Records family to tour with the "Screaming Eagle of Soul," Mr. Charles Bradley, playing some of the most prestigious theaters and festivals in the world. After spending 5 years on the road with Bradley, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Antibalas, The Budos Band, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Mark Ronson and many others, Billy founded Dala Records and began writing and producing his own soul-inspired compositions.
Using a 4-track cassette recorder, Billy produced and engineered John Fatum's debut LP as well as singles from Camellia Hartman and The Soulful Saints which now serve as the foundation of the Dala Records sound. After acquiring a Tascam 388 8-track tape machine, he pushed the Dala catalog even further with releases from The Rad Trads, Michael Harlen, Emily Rault, The Hook Brothers and his debut 7" single entitled "Pullin' on My Heartstrings." His last single "Honey Bee" dove deep into psychedelia while channeling an inner love for the sounds of the deep country.
Now, BTK is back with his first extended offering entitled "The Stay Strong EP" which showcases his rapid evolution in production, songwriting, arranging and vocal ability. Backed by members of The Extraordinaires, Antibalas, The Dap-Kings and The Rad Trads, Billy crafts songs boasting heavy horn sections, sweeping string melodies and a steady analog backbone courtesy of the Maestro Rhythm King, his trusty vintage drum machine made famous by the likes of Sly Stone and Shuggie Otis.