Get To Know... Blackaby

There’s a lot of new artists out and about, and sometimes one comes along who really sounds and feels like something a little bit special. Blackaby is exactly that.

Having spent the past few years in various cities and bands, William Blackaby launched Blackaby as his own solo project; something which has led to the creation of some exceptional new music and a signing with independent label Hand In Hive

What’s On The TV? is the London based musician’s debut EP, and a thing of true beauty. Its title track and opener alone, a frenzied Vaccines-esque blend of 2000s indie pop and pop-punk could well be one of the strongest single releases of 2020; add to that three tender and intimate feeling tracks, Semolina, Bubblegum and My Paula and what you get is an eclectic mix of genres and influences so cleverly put together that Blackaby’s sound feels both new and familiar at the same time.

Truly gripped by both his sound and potential, we simply had to learn more about Blackaby and how he came to create such a captivating collection of songs.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been making music for?

My name is William Blackaby. I’m from Maidstone, Kent. I’ve been making music since I was a kid. I got a drum set when I was 13 and I played non stop. I moved to Liverpool, started playing in bands and toured a bit. Moved to London, started writing songs, tried various band lineups which eventually resulted in doing a project on my own which is Blackaby. I live in North London and have a needy dog.

At what point in your life did you decide to make a career out of your music, and what influenced that decision?

There wasn’t an exact point. I didn’t do well academically and music has always been a hobby which has just kinda blurred it’s way into being a way of life and a source of income (I teach kids instruments in schools as a day job). If I can make any money out of writing songs and playings gigs then I feel very very lucky and happy.

What is the main source of influence for your songwriting?

Lyrically it’s often the state of things around me and I sometimes use it as a way of venting frustrations. I find it cathartic and sometimes easier than having conversations.

I also like writing about whats happening to friends and people I know. They’re usually more interesting than me.

Musically I guess I try and copy the greats… Paul Simon, Judy Sill, John Martyn all influence me along with loads of others.

What is something you’ve learned about yourself through making music?

That I need to work on my patience.

What is something you wish you’d known when you first got into the music industry?

To be patient and follow your gut.

Who are some of your favourite upcoming artists from the city you live in?

I’ve been really enjoying Rosehip Teahouse - they’ve just released a song called ‘Regretting It’ on Sad Club Records (who are releasing my EP on cassette). It has such a lovely melody and great lyrics

I also dig Welsey Gonzalez. Saw him last year at the Windmill and was a really fun live show. His new album ‘Appaling Human’ is awesome.

I also have had the latest Drugstore Romeos song playing on repeat atm - it’s called ‘Quotations For Locations’.

What would your dream tour & rider look like?

I’d tour with all my mates’ bands and eat veggie sausage stew or pizza for dinners. No plastic bottled water please! Few beers and soft drinks would be great and obviously all the shows sell out… maybe a little mosh…or two… can I bring the dog??

If your music was to soundtrack any film or TV show, which would you choose?

I’d love to soundtrack a whole film with songs like Cat Stevens did for Harold and Maude. TV - Buffy The Vampire Slayer