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Album Review: Self by Billy lemos

The+album+cover+for+Wash+Alum+Billy+Lemos%2C%2717%2C+first+EP.
The album cover for Wash Alum Billy Lemos,'17, first EP.

The album cover for Wash Alum Billy Lemos,'17, first EP.

Photo Courtesy of Tara Byars

Photo Courtesy of Tara Byars

The album cover for Wash Alum Billy Lemos,'17, first EP.

Becca Turnis, Web Editor

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  I’ll preface this by saying I don’t like R&B. I don’t make a habit of listening to it. My whole experience with the genre begins and ends with “The Hamilton Mixtape”. R&B just isn’t my cup of tea.

   With that said, I actually really liked “Self,” the debut EP of Wash alum Billy Lemos ’17. Lemos began making music when he was in sixth grade at McKinley Middle School, and his skills have only grown. His four-song debut only took him four months to make and is less than 10 minutes long, but it’s definitely worth that time. The combinations of different styles along with six featuring artists, make for an excellent listen. “[I find collaborators through] soundcloud, YouTube searches and recommendations,” Lemos said.

My favorite track has to be “Hold Me Down” featuring Stanley Star and Juto. The song has a nice guitar riff throughout and a solid drum beat. The track is also Lemos’ favorite. “I like the vocals my dude Juto did on the hook a lot,” said Lemos.

Another solid track is “Can’t be // How U Feel” featuring Stevan. Both sections of this two-part song are intriguing. The opening section is the lightest part of the album, almost sounding like bubblegum pop, but then settling into a nice beat. The second part goes a bit deeper, sounding more like the standard low groove. The cool thing about this song is the vocals. While there is a big difference in the voices from part 1 and part 2, it’s actually the same artist, Stevan. The transition from high to low is like the difference between Batman and Bruce Wayne.

Another two-parter is “High // Free” featuring Juto and Rei So La, which follows the same format as “Can’t be // How U Feel,” but in reverse going from deep to light. I appreciated the drum pattern in the second part of this song, which is almost reminiscent of Twenty One Pilots. This track also features a neat guitar riff. “[I draw inspiration from] Tyler the Creator, Frank Ocean, Mac DeMarco, The Internet (the band), Pharrell, Wes Anderson, too many people to list.” said Lemos.

The opening track of this EP “12:34” featuring Maxwell Young and Omar Apollo is another one of my favorites, with a jazz-y opening, followed by a simple but effective drum pattern, all accompanied by smooth vocals. The only part I don’t like is the abrupt ending. It’s a good thing this song opens the album because it leaves me wanting more.

Lemos has big plans for the future. His spotify page teases a new single coming out in November. Up next is “probably signing with a management company but staying independent as far as record labels go [to] keep creative control, but gain better promo,” said Lemos.

Lemos has had his share of early success and offered some advice to anyone looking to get into the music industry: “Don’t try to bite other people’s sound and style. Don’t make music if you’re just trying to make money and get into ‘the industry’. Make music for yourself and for fun.”

 

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