22 year old Billy Raffoul has been an artist we’ve been watching closely over the last few months, but who is he really? With a sound best described as “low-timbered rock and roll,” and an artist who has been compared to Neil Young and Jeff Buckley – Raffoul is one of Interscope’s most exciting recent signees.
He may be young in years, but he is wise in the realm of music, having been brought up in an art-centric family environment. His father, Jody Raffoul, is a musician who opened for Bon Jovi, Joe Cocker and many others, and his mom has a career in painting and writing . In fact, Billy claims that his parents are his inspiration all together and are a constant fountain of support. Billy has always been surrounded by music, and even joked saying “the Beatles were like Jesus in our house.”
Billy says that while in high school, he watched his father perform for 4,000 people and thought “this is cool” and that he “had appreciated music and written songs up until then, but [he] didn’t think [he] wanted to be a live performer until that one show.”
We’re happy you realized you did, Billy!
On his inspiration behind his sound, Billy credits his mom for introducing him to U2, and his father for constantly playing his classic rock interpretations around him. As for lyrics, he says:
“A song needs to be about something I’ve experienced or something someone close to me is going through. I find myself going back to moments of time from the past, picking apart these little experiences and building them into bigger things. I want people to know that the songs are genuine, that they’ve been lived in.”
Well, we get just that with Billy’s debut single titled “Driver”. Explaining the inspiration for this track, he says it stems from offering a lift to a hitchhiker:
“The guy was really out of it, so he ended up staying with us for a few hours. [During my writing session] we turned [that] into something a little more sentimental, in that maybe I’m not singing about someone being lost on the side of the road, but maybe someone lost in life who doesn’t know where they’re going or what they’re supposed to be doing.”
Honestly, we think the track is incredible, but we may be biased. You should totally check it out for yourself and keep an eye out for more to come!
Feel free to check out Billy’s personal website for more info and to keep up to date with all things BR right here.
Billy has been splitting his time between his hometown of Leamington, ON and Nashville, TN to work on his debut album! How exciting?!
Driver – Billy Raffoul
So what do you think of Billy? Are you loving his debut track? Let us know by commenting/reacting and tweeting us @umusic! 🙂