Billie Ray Martin once described herself as ‘a kid from the red light district of Hamburg who wanted to be a soul singer and found herself making repetitive electronic music, while still trying to be soul singer’.
New Single : Off The Rails / Digital Release Date 19th October
Thanks to Billie Ray Martin
Odd. Social Media behaviour has changed. When you don’t have large budgets to hire promotion companies you depend on social media. People don’t share any more, they don’t support. So I feel I need to find another avenue to go down in future to make music, and leave all this behind.
Having said that, the club pro company Your Army are doing a great job promoting, and we are getting amazing feedback, so I suppose things are good.
What’s the story behing your new single « Off The Rails »? How is born your collaboration with Aerea Negrot?
The song is about when Grace Jones thumped a eurostar employee for wanting to kick her out of first class. It needed to become a song.
Aerea lives in the same neighbourhood as me in Berlin. I came across her work through a friend, Kim Ann Foxman.
I felt there was a Grace vibe there too and i saw that she is a huge talent, both in performing and singing. I felt I’d found my match.
Waterson from the UK composed and programmed the music and he also co-wrote the song. He is such a talent.
How would you define your current style? who is Billie today?
I am going through a big change. So right now I can say, all I know is things are going to change. I’m tired of formula in every way. I will change the way i am involved with music, with collaborations, I might change my location. Dark french noir Jazz, sizzly soundtrack music….who knows. Whoever I am today, I won’t be tomorrow, that’s for sure.
What are the major influences of your life at the moment?
I like Burial, King Britt and people who break the mould. I want to feel music, not run after a running file in Logic, or any other software.
I just did a show in a big church. That was satisfying.
In life i look for Presence, Consciousness, as opposed to numbness.
Eckhart Tolle has changed the way i applied that, so that is my priority in life.
You’ve been travelling a lot over the last few years, how much of an influence does that have on your music and where have you been?
It only has an influence when I meet inspiring people. In Paris I just hung out with Bart and Baker, for instance, and they took me on a car ride across Paris. At the end I felt I had inspiration for a few songs. We looked at the house where ‘Last Tango in Paris’ was filmed, the house where Oscar Wilde died, and so forth. All inspirational places, that spark an emotional response.
You were recently in Paris. What do you enjoy most about our city? Any favourite place?
Always the Eiffel Tower. It is my favourite sight in the world. I cannot even say why, but it is. Other than that I just like to sit in Bistros and look at people.
Your single « Your loving Arms » was coverd by many artists. What do you think about the « Bright Light Bright light’s one »?
I like it a lot. He is such a sincere artist, and there is integrity in everything he does. So, his cover and the one by Sagi Rei are my favourites.
In recent months you fed your bandcamp with all your catalog. Are you going to put new songs, remixes, demos?
Yes there will be more. This has been a very satisfying experience for me actually, writing all the stories on there on how the records were made. People were surprised to find things they didn’t know anything about. And all those rare demos etc. People are lapping it up. And the support I get on there is wonderful.
Speakin about demo you once told us sending one to Kylie that was unfortunetly not selected. Will you still send some to others artists?
Yes i do this frequently. Not too much but when someone is looking for a song, and i have something i feel might fit, i’ll send it.
Are you reading any book at the moment that you’d suggest as you loved it, or did you see a movie that you would like to recommend?
The power of now by Eckhart Tolle.
I don’t watch movies.