Based in Florida, USA, Billy Mick has spent his life entertaining audiences at both Universal Studios and Disney World but his latest single sees him feeling like an alien in his own country after time he spent in an entirely different location – Manchester!
The Tourist sees Billy recalling his time on holiday in the UK and especially at Pride in Manchester where he felt true acceptance and togetherness, a world away from his return home where he saw signs of increasing racial intolerance and bigotry on the news when he returned. Taken from his forthcoming sophomore album, Levelling Up, Tourist should come with a health warning – you are NEVER going to get this out of your head!
Please Introduce yourself in less than 10 words…..
I’m Billy Mick, a gay singer/songwriter in Orlando!
What made you want to get into music?
Music is something I have always had a passion for. While other kids were outside playing, I’d be in my bedroom with my head in front of a speaker, listening to records! Eventually I found Variety Shows and fell in love with them…ALL of them! But when I saw Tina Turner’s “Better Be Good To Me” for the first time on MTV, I realized “THAT’S WHAT I WANT TO DO!”
What would be on your rider?
- My husband and our Bostons must have space backstage.
- Water……..lots of water… and more water.
- A double vodka soda with lime in a tall glass for when I get off the stage LOL
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
The ridiculous lack of payment to incredible artists while the streaming companies take all the money. You know, it’s totally different now. Back in the day, the artist may not have gotten a lot off of a record sale but the record companies had to actually print, physically distribute to stores, promote and market the songs/albums. Today, we as the artists literally do everything ourselves (record, produce, promote…) while the streaming companies simply sell the song/album and take the artists’ profits. It’s really sad.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?
My first choice every time would be working with Jim Steinman! I love everything he has ever produced. The epic builds, the instrumentation…just everything about his work!
And in my perfect world, I’d be lucky enough to remake Jim’s “Dead Ringer for Love” with the ridiculously beautiful and talented Adam Lambert! We’d be fabulous!
What’s in store for you when all this is over?
I am honestly going full steam ahead now. “The Tourist” is my 5th song off my second album titled “Leveling Up”. I have five more songs I plan to release before releasing the full album at the end of the year. AND, I have just recorded the third track off my third album!
So, I am just going to keep going! In fact, I have my first one-man show coming up in April at an amazing, and safe, local dining and entertainment venue, HAOS on Church in Orlando. I’ll be telling my life story through my songs, stories and lots of jackets (I’m big into up-cycling garments with glitz and glitter)!
How are you coping with lockdown?
I have to be honest, I actually enjoyed lockdown. We both were just working so much; 50/60-hour work weeks were not uncommon. And once we went into lockdown, we had more time with our family. I so enjoyed being able to spend so much time with my husband and fur babies! We actually saw our friends more on Zoom chats than we ever did at work!
And once things started to partially reopen, we went on great nature walks as a family, we made it a point to get takeout from local restaurants to do our part in supporting local, and most recently we attended some wonderful, socially-distanced local theater. I just really can’t complain about it much.
How is lock down effecting the music scene?
It’s really interesting to see how people are making it work and have been since the beginning.
I really started diving head first into my music in 2019. I got to perform live for Miss GayDay’s Pageant, Space Coast Pride, Inspire Orlando and a Barber Fund Charity Event.
By the end of the year, I started planning to perform at more events. And then, I blinked and we were in lockdown. Events started to get cancelled.
Thankfully, the local Drag Performers, Singers, Dancers, Improv Artists, all got together and started doing all of these virtual events, like 7 days a week. And then the Pride Festivals started to do similar events.
It’s been really cool to see all of these performers, from all around the world, be able to reach so many more people than perhaps they would have if things didn’t go virtual! I was able to perform for Prides in the UK, Canada, California, Colorado…I mean, I would have never been able to reach those folks otherwise! That’s pretty amazing!
What’s the scene like where you are from?
Orlando is the most talented place in the world, I swear!
The caliber is off the charts in the theme parks and in theater. Burlesque is huge and there are several amazing singing duos and bands. Improv is great here too! It’s a very welcoming community for artists of all kinds. Artists from all walks are VERY supportive of each other.
Where can we find out more?
My husband did an AMAZING job with my website and you can find anything and everything you didn’t know you wanted to know about Billy Mick. www.BillyMick.com
I do have a line of merchandise and I would just love for you to wear me. LOL! The link for merch is on my site.
My handle on all socials is BillyMickMusic.
Talk us through the new track & video
My latest tune is “The Tourist”! I really love this one and the video is divine! I watch it and I am like “I’ve never been this cool” LOL.
The song came about after we had gone to Manchester Pride in 2018.
We were absolutely blown away by the amazing sense of togetherness, of community, acceptance and love. I said “we should feel like this all the time”. It was such an incredible experience for us both.
But when we returned, the world started to feel the opposite of everything we’d felt when we were in Manchester. It was as if everyone was becoming divided, unwelcoming to each other, and filled with hate and bigotry. One day, this song just popped in my head as I questioned where I belonged in all of this. If I could just get back to that feeling in Manchester, everything might just be okay and I may not feel like such a tourist.