“I’m not sure who said this first, it might have been me, but one of the themes or sayings among my band and crew is ‘keep moving forward,’” said Billy Wright when talking about the best music advice he’d been given. “It’s a saying that has helped us stay focused. Working in this industry there can be many great plans and hopes for something but, after you put in the hard work, there’s nothing more you can do. If we don’t arrive where we hope to be today, we ‘keep moving forward’ because you truly don’t know what can happen in the next hour or day from now.”
The Orlando based singer/songwriter has been building a steady fan base for several years. Wright has been in a few bands and has been working as a touring and studio musician for 15 years, but he has only been working as a solo artist, fronting his own band, for the last three years. He released his debut CD, “Sunrise,” in 2011 and has been working on new songs for an upcoming CD.
Wright's music is an appealing blend of pop, rock and soul. His musical influences cover a wide variety of genres and styles. “I’ve found that I’ve been moved by all kinds of music, styles, artist and bands,” said Wright. “Even the jingles and sounds from music played in commercials.” Growing up there was always music playing at home from Patsy Cline, Randy Travis, Dolly Parton, Ashford and Simpson, Prince, early Motown of the Jackson Five, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and many more.
Later on he was introduced to Metallica, Guns Roses and glam rock bands like Slaughter. Then came music from Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Gin Blossoms and Weezer, “It was the music of the early 90’s that had a huge impact due to their passion, incredible melodies and wonderful recordings,” said Wright.
These days, his musical inspiration comes from Lenny Kravitz, John Mayer, Dave Matthews and classic pop, rock and soul such as Jimi Hendrix. When talking bout Kravitz, Wright had this to say, “He seems like a very liberated artist in both his work and just as a person. He knows who he is as a person and artist. They are one in the same. That place of freedom produces passionate music that showcases his voice and style clearly.”
Wright is known for his charismatic vocal style and guitar playing, but that’s not where he began. He started out on keyboard in school and switched to the alto sax in middle and high school. “I eventually picked up the electric guitar in high school and I couldn’t put it down,” said Wright. “I never imagined I’d be a singer, but once I started putting bands together during high school, I found that no one else ever wanted to sing, so I just started doing it.”
“I like to write songs that I hope will move others to passion, empathy or any form of facing life,” said Wright. “Most often music and media is an escape from facing a long day, week or month. I like writing songs that can meet people where they are at.” He does sometimes find inspiration in unusual sources. “I wrote a song recently, inspired by a porch light. Really, the whole song is about someone caring for you, welcoming you and always having a place for you in their life.”
He is very encouraging about the local music scene. “There is a lot of great music here in Orlando, and it seems to keep growing,” said Wright. “It’s been great seeing other artists and venues being so supportive of one another.”