Interview: Tadgh Billy King

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Joined: Sep 2022

I had the pleasure of talking to Dublin’s Tadgh Billy King about his creative process, exploring different  genres, self-expression, and the unspoken conversations his music inspires as well as the music that’s inspired him. Take a look below!

Thanks for taking the time and congrats on the release of Raw! Tell us a little about the path to this release.

I started writing some of the songs on RAW back during the first lockdown. The world was kind of falling apart and I was doing a theatre degree over zoom. So, I started writing and the songs just started coming to me. It was all very cathartic. I used summers and breaks that I had from college to finish and tweak and write more, all independently in my house. And then, with some help, strategised and released, still all independently.

With a mix of genres and influences popping up in your music, what did you draw on most for Raw?

Definitely rock and post punky, hardcore stuff. Jazzier and mellower stuff started injecting itself in there later on in the process. I think you can kinda hear that as you listen through the record.

In Raw you address societal frustrations and your introspection. How important was it for you to convey these themes through your music, and what specific messages or feelings did you aim to evoke from listeners?

I just want listeners to be able to feel a sense of catharsis when they listen to my music. I’m not really trying to get listeners to think a certain way about a societal issue. I suppose its actually more personal for me. What I mean is, I’m on a journey to try and convey my feelings and thoughts as wholly as I can in each song, because I believe that then they can become more relatable and cathartic for someone listening. With that catharsis, I hope, comes a feeling of hope for the listener… but that’s all I can ask for.

That said, you have mentioned that you prefer leaving the interpretation of your lyrics to the audience. Is this because of the way it helps each song feel deeply personal or something else?

That’s exactly it. Let the listener create their own meaning and connection to it. I don’t want to put my own interpretation of the work out there because I don’t want it to be my song anymore… I want it to be the listener’s song and space to explore whatever thoughts or feelings they get from the song.

Self-producing an album is a significant undertaking. What were the most rewarding aspects of this for Raw, and how did it shape your approach compared to working in a studio setting?

To be honest with you, I have never worked in a traditional “studio” setting. Its always been an at-home job. The most rewarding thing about that for me is as I learn how to create better sounding things at home, I can start comparing them to other records by other artists that I think sound great and watch as they hold up next to each other. It’s a fantastic feeling.

Your music has been praised for resonating with young adults in pivotal stages of their lives. Could you share a specific song or moment in ‘Raw’ that you think would particularly resonate with this demographic and why?

I think “sit and wait” could be something that resonates with younger people who are aware of the dire state our planet is in, both socially and environmentally. Again, I don’t want to prescribe too much of my own feelings to it, but it is a song of protest and awareness. It is a song of outrage and a song about fighting to preserve what we have left.

What was that song for you as you were growing up?

Waiting Room by Fugazi.

What’s next for you?

At the time of doing this interview I am acting in a play called On Such As We by Billy Roche. Its being done by Decadent Theatre company in the Jerome Hynes theatre in Wexford until the 2nd of December. Then I’m going to enjoy Christmas with my family and get back to working on the next musical project.

Where can readers find you?

@tadghbillyking everywhere else.


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