Irish DJ/producer Billy Gillies is doing big things, from the 1001 Tracklists top 101 to breaking into the US and Asia — and taking TikTok by storm. We had the chance to chat before his set at the UnKonscious Gathering in Bangkok, covering recent achievements and what put him on the radar as a producer.
We’re actually from the US — you recently had your debut there at the Hollywood Palladium.
■ It was amazing. It was so good to finally get to the States — I was supposed to play EDC in 2019 and it never happened with visa complications, and then Covid came but it made up for it when I played at the Palladium. The crowd was amazing; you could feel the energy and that’s what I like to see when I play. I can’t wait to get back.
You’re heading back for Dreamstate, your second US date. What should we expect?
■ I think I’ll mix it up. Some uplifting trance and some harder sounds. I think Americans love that type. I’ll keep it exciting, so hopefully they like it.
Is that different from what you’re playing tonight?
■ Yes, I always like to change it up. I usually plan the first two tracks and get the vibe of the crowd and what they like.
And tonight is the third stop on your Asia tour. It’s also your first time in Asia?
■ First time in Asia completely. It’s unreal — the food, the people, everything. I love it. The first two [shows] were in Vietnam — first Ho Chi Minh City and then Hanoi last night — both amazing shows. The crowd sang along to the tracks. Coming from so far away and hearing them sing back to you is, like, wow. Witnessing this type of thing is a dream and I need to pinch myself sometimes.
Incredible. Another exciting thing is that you were in the top 101 producers of 2022 in the 1001 Tracklists ranking.
■ I got 97 and I’m very proud of that. I’ve been a producer for about 12 years now. I’ve been working hard over the years and to finally get in a top 101 across all genres is pretty special.
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Do you think there’s a particular track that put you on the radar?
■ I think Lagoon — I put that track out on TikTok and it went viral; every time I play it, I turn down the music and the whole crowd just sings it back but there are no words in the track so they’re just like, da da da da da. I think that track was a turning point for me and I see the difference every time I play.
What’s coming up?
■ I’m working on a few vocal projects with vocalists. Different types of styles, not the same 140 stuff. I’m just trying to keep it fresh each time, keep it exciting with good melodies and banging basslines. Lots of exciting projects coming up in the studio.