Billy Fox is a criminally underrated Australian artist who’s mantra “If it feels good, then do it” has led to a life of surfing, education, football and producing some uber diverse, yet quintessentially feel-good music.
I dream of championing artists like this – well spoken, passionate and so good you wonder why they haven’t been swapped out for one of the cookie cutter producers you hear on the radio. Enjoy our curated Billy Fox playlist with songs from all around the genresphere – from dream-pop, electro-rock and chillwave (complete with saxophone solo). Enjoy!
// An Interview with Billy Fox
My wife and I almost moved to Australia for school. What do you like about living in Australia (that may make us reconsider?).
Obviously my response here is hugely biased as I grew up here, but everything from the surf, weather, cities, landscapes, spaces, people, general lifestyle and the varieties of all of these makes up the basis of why I love Australia. That’s a huge generalisation, and to answer your question fully would take a lot longer and I will spare your readers the boredom. I would suggest to come and check it out for yourself. I would also add that Australia’s relative geographical isolation from a lot of other countries is what i really like- it means we get on with our own thing here.
If you haven’t already, tell us about the local surfing scene?
I live on Sydney’s Northern Beaches at Narrabeen. We have some great set-ups around here that can work on different swells and winds- mostly beach breaks but a few points. Fun fact – Brian Wilson mentions “Australia’s Narrabeen” in the second verse of Surfing Safari. True story.
What do you like to do outside of music?
I love sport, play a fair bit of touch footy, surf heaps, and I also teach too so I have a passion for education.
The Australian indie music scene has always been a powerhouse internationally. Why do you think that is?
I mentioned previously the geographical position of Australia which I think plays a huge role in the “successes” of Australian music, film and arts in general. I think this separation has always afforded Australians to create in their own environment and nurture these things on their own terms which is always going to bring about a unique outcome. This uniqueness may have a certain appeal I’d imagine. This is my opinion, but sometimes it’s hard to tell when you’re on the inside looking out.
How have your non-music hobbies and social circles (surfing culture, etc.) directly influenced your music, and in particular, your newest song “East Coast?”
Oh, I think it all influences my music in one way or another. There are a fair few references to the ocean throughout my songs, including ‘East Coast’. It just comes up without really thinking about it. Most of my music is based on ‘characters’ and their stories which I’ll relate to in my own way and bring some of my own personal experiences to them, but at the same time expand and build on these with creative license.
What gets you excited about 2016?
In terms of music, I’m really excited about getting some of this new material I’ve been building up to. This project is quite new, 18-24 months old, so I feel like I’m now really tapping into a “sound” and, honestly, I feel like i could write endless amounts of music. I have so many ideas to explore, it’s all about how much time you have to work with in that case.
Thanks for your time Justin. I hope you’re well mate! Cheers, Billy Fox.