Five Questions With Billy Newton-Davis

Toronto, ON-based jazz artist, Billy Newton-Davis has released his five-song EP, Have We Met?. The EP is a jazzy, soulful, gospelicious offering recorded live-off-the-floor and features some of his favourite classics from the great American songbook. The release features Juno-winner Mike Downes on bass and arrangements, Stu Harrison on piano, Ben Ball on drums and was recorded & mixed by Brad Nelson at Cylinder Sound, live-off-the-floor.

Check out the EP below and find out more about Billy via our Five Questions With segment.

Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.

I started writing on my first album. I got a publishing deal with April Music and was just thrown in and started writing with people here and in New York. My style has always been R&B coming from my roots of Gospel, with a Pop Rock edge. I had a great writing partner, and mentor Canadian writer Tim Thorney. He just helped me with the process of learning how to do it and how to think about it.

How are you keeping creative without shows?

I have been lucky, and been invited to do some virtual performances. Some which I have done at home, some in the recording studio, and some with social distancing and protocol in several venues. One at Koerner Hall and several at Metropolitan Community Church Toronto.

What are you spending your time on?

I am working on the launch of my EP “Have We Met”. With a great push from the Kensington Market Jazz Festival team.

I am also writing and recording with a young House Music producer in Vancouver by the name of Kardano on several dance tracks.

If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?

All of the songs are songs I would want to perform every performance. But… “Grandma’s Hands” speaks and sings loud about who I am and what I come from.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?

I would like to give a big shout out to Molly Johnson and Micah Barnes for their recent projects and recordings.

The work of Drake, The Weeknd, Shaw Mendes, Alessia Cara, and Justin Bieber to name a few make us Canadians so proud and proud of their international success. At the end of the day Joni Mitchell is one of the most poetic writers in the world and has a gorgeous instrument!

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