Interview by MissCallMeCris
After success as a producer for acclaimed artists like Kendrick Lamar, Nipsey Hussle, and Tank, JoeeBilli found the artist within himself. First, giving us a show of heavy hitting production and the anthem, “Run It Up” with rapper Siya, on his first album “The Billi Show”. Now, Joeebilli is showing us his musical side with his newly released single “Waiting For”, with contributions from R&B/Pop singer and songwriter, Daniel Church.
CREATE. Digital caught up with producer and artist JoeeBilli after dropping his new single. Here’s what he shared. (Interview lightly edited for clarity)
So, your new single “Waiting For” dropped on Friday. It feels really good to hear a nice balance of yesterday’s, and today’s R&B. Where did you draw inspiration for the song?
I say just how I feel when I create. When I created the beat, it came out so smooth that I had my boy, Daniel Church came up with the hook right away. Once the beat and hook was done, now it’s just having a conversation...like okay, what’s the subject? Are we talking to a woman? Okay, I know how to do that. So then it just simplified it and became easy for me to reach that mood. So, that’s how I came up with that one. That one was just a sexy bop in the studio.
Were you and Daniel Church in the studio together when making the song?
Actually, I made the beat. We had a session that next week, and I’m playing beats, and he’s a dope songwriter and artist himself, so I’m like I need to get more records with him. So, I played him the beat and he said “Yo, I got something for this”. He hopped in the booth, and killed it! And now we have “Waiting For”.
There have been many collaborations done between popular male R&B artists over the years, and sometimes you hear stories about friendly competition. Was there any of that between you two? What was the vibe like when creating the song?
Man, me and his vibe is crazy! He’s such a good person, and when we connect, it’s people first. For me, I don’t just like making music with people. If you pay me, then okay. But, off the love, I like connecting with you as a person first because then it’s going to translate into the music. If we’re boys out here, imagine when we get in the studio and focus on something. Also, with Daniel, he’ll literally pull up, hear something, hop in the booth and go crazy. Now, he can “sing” sing. For me, I’ll tell anybody, I am a vibe, I’m not a singer like that. I can set the mood. So, couldn’t have a competition with Daniel Church. That’s like having a competition with Tank. But, I can say working with him has elevated my confidence when I went in to do my part. Once he killed it, I had to meet that level.
As I was listening to “Waiting For”, I was trying to grasp the concept of it, and it sounds to me you’re saying you can read the woman’s mind and you know what she wants. But, it also sounds like you want her to say what she wants. Is that correct?
Why is that important?
It's important because I want to hear it. I want to have clarity. I want to know you want it too. I don’t want to be the only one. I’m waiting for you. You’ve been working hard, you’re an independent, beautiful woman, and you are about yours. But, I know you need that too. So, tell me what you’ve been waiting for.
As I was looking at the album cover, it reminded me of a love story. What did the album represent to you?
Gone with the Wind! I was like, this is the vibe. I need this to sit with people, and see it with the record because it's not just a song. I like to make movies in a sense. I wanted it to feel like a presentation. Like I’m really trying to set a tone, or set a presence with this song in particular. This is a love story, I’m speaking love thoughts. It’s a love vibe. For me [as an artist and producer], it was also important because most of my songs have been Hip-Hop. But, this isn’t Hip-Hop. This is arrangement! Also, when the guy made it for me [the album cover], when I was in the studio listening to the record, I was looking at it on the big screen like yea, this feels right.
Is this song a preview or segway to an upcoming album?
What can we expect from the project?
I’m focusing on just making the realist music I can. Like, my best! I don’t know what that is just yet but, I really want it to be musical, to be Pop, to showcase every avenue that I do well. I want this specific project to do better than my first one. I feel like my first project didn't do as well as it could have because one, I didn’t have the budget to do crazy marketing, and two, I didn’t feel like it had enough diversified vibes on it. It was sort of one-laned. So, that’s what I want to do for the next project. Also, a lot of the bloggers that turned “The Billi Show” down, was due to the writing. But, the beats were tight! So, with this next project, they’re not going to be able to say that. The content, nothing is going to bad. It’s going to be right!
So, I heard as I was listening to previous songs, that there is this outro that you do at the end of some of them. How did that become a thing for you as a Producer?
It was because I only got placements in Hip Hop. From Casey Veggies to ghost producing for Kendrick Lamar and Meek Mills, I was mostly known for the hip-hop, hard, club, uptempo beats. But, I was like Bro...I hate making these types of beats. I come from a musical background. Beyond just me, I can call some of the top musicians in LA to get them in the studio. So, I just want to show my peers not to label me as just a Hip-Hop dude. I can do R&B, I can do Pop. In fact, I got some Pop stuff coming soon. I just wanted to show people it is not just about the “Run It Up” beats. I can do it all!! I’m an artist and can write songs as well. I feel like people in the game who come across my music will respect it. It’s about people in the industry that will back me based on my talent.
As a whole, who is JoeeBilli the artist and producer? If you can wrap yourself into a genre, what would it be?
Man, you know those raffles you put your hand in? I would be one of those. You don’t know what you’re going to get. Unpredictable! A very unpredictable artist and producer because on my next project...I’m going crazy! It’s going to be different, using different sounds nobody is using right now. So, I would say I’m just unpredictable.
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