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Spunky and Funky Billy Kenny

by Hannah Berney

With a mop of curly hair, a Prince tattoo on his neck, and a devilish look in his eye, UK based DJ Billy Kenny is a fast-evolving artist with a mischievous sense of humour and a sound to match his attitude. Co-heading Germany’s This Ain’t Bristol label, as well as being featured on Claude Vonstroke’s Dirtybird label and Green Velvet’s Relief Records, Billy Kenny keeps himself busy by spreading himself across records and constantly touring- he just finished the last stop of his Another World Tour on November 16th, in Buzios, Brazil, and there’s still three phases of the tour to go, so it seems he expounds as much energy as he puts in his punchy tracks.

His sound is as cheeky as his personality, always featuring groovy basslines but never afraid to take new directions. His summer single “Sweat”, featuring fellow UK DJ Huxley, lightens the hot-and-heavy bass with a saucy little saxophone sample. “Just Came For the Music” features his own vocals and has become a club anthem, with the lyrics “I ain’t here to fuck girls/ I ain’t here to do drugs/ I just came for the music” echoing the true desires of House music superfans. And his latest single from November 1st, “Take Me To Church”, is equal parts funky, soulful, and dirty, inspiring even the greatest naysayers to sing their praises.

Bold Billy | Photo via Geezlovise

Even in his live sets, he’s never one-note. Towards the end of his sets, he’ll usually return to his roots and throw in a dash of UK Speed Garage, switching up the BPM and keeping his listeners on their toes. His music is truly the traceable evolution of a DJ who has listened to many genres, collected bits and pieces from each one, and combined them to form something greater than the sum of its parts.

He’s become something of a hometown hero in my country of Canada. My city, Toronto, Ontario, has been his city of residence since May. It’s fun to have a DJ you love be located where you are- they become a kind of Bigfoot, a mythical creature that you never seem to run into but are always looking for. Friends of mine have run into him at festivals and clubs, seemingly as soon as I had left to go to the bathroom. Despite my own lack of sightings, what matters is that he seems to have adapted to the frozen north, even calling my personal club haunt, Coda, one of his favourite clubs in North America. He’ll be playing New Year’s Eve at NOIR inside Rebel, so all my fellow Torontonian’s better snap up their tickets soon, lest you miss out on one of the most entertaining DJs lucky enough to be in your backyard.

You can keep updated on Billy Kenny’s future tour dates here, and hear his newest tracks on Beatport.

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