British producer, DJ, and co-owner of the highly respected This Ain’t Bristol label; Billy Kenny has created a reputation for topping the charts- his crazy hair and equally unique and unexpected choices as a producer has put his name at the top of the list as he get’s accolades from the likes of Beatport, the BMA’s, and more. Now Billy Kenny is taking to the seas for Groove Cruise LA and curating his own This Ain’t Bristol stage for the voyage. I got the chance to speak with the Dirtybird artist and This Ain’t Bristol co-owner ahead of Groove Cruise to see what kind of outfits, music, and other shenanigans we can expect from Kenny as well as the brand new This Ain't Bristol stage.
Is this your first time performing on Groove Cruise? I was surprised (but thrilled) to see such a heavy Dirtybird presence on the lineup with Campout being the same weekend. Any words to campers who are going to miss seeing you this year?
BK: Yes it is! I’ll be playing on our first This Ain’t Bristol stage on a cruise ship with the gang and none of us can wait! I’d normally wish everyone a good time at Campout, but know that’s inevitable for every attendee. Campout is a special place and I'm really sad to be missing it this year, but there are some very exciting things happening soon with the Dirtybird crew that involves me and I think that’ll make up for it.
Will the infamous overalls be making an appearance on board? A little birdie told me they are getting some major This Ain't Bristol upgrades!
BK: Yes, Farmer Bill will most likely be in attendance with his overalls and parasol, haha! Yeah, a friend in Michigan (Lisa Ansteth, thank you!) offered to make me an amazing custom This Ain’t Bristol Parasol and another friend in San Francisco (Justin leavy, thank you!!) offered to make me some custom this Ain’t Bristol overalls too. I repped both at Nocturnal this year and I looked pretty damn hot so it’d be rude not to wear them again.
Which of the Groove Cruise themes is your favorite? Any plans on dressing up?
BK: Since I'm new to Groove Cruise, I'm improvising, but I'm a fast learner and I'll be bringing a few costumes with me to get stuck into the fun. I’m pretty sure my friends and I are dressing up as various fishes for one of the days too. More news to come!
One of the things about Groove Cruise is that die-hard fans of the ship considered themselves a family. DJ's are often seen partying hard with everyone on board. Any sets you are looking forward to catching when you aren't behind the decks?
BK: Yes, I love that about cruise ship festivals, similarly to festivals like campout where artists aren’t sat in a green room talking about how big their rider is. I’ll 100% be dancing around all weekend like I do at all the shows I go to or play at! Can’t wait to see Green Velvet and Shiba San. I’m actually playing before both for a couple of the performances which I'm stoked about. Also looking forward to seeing Andrew Bayer, BOT Maximono and Josh Brown who’s making his debut on this side of the Atlantic.
If you have to pick one person to bail you out of Mexico... who is getting that phone call?
BK: My manager, Serkan. He’d break me out if he had to!
This Ain't Bristol has seen tremendous growth since its founding in 2014. You recently sold out Exchange in Los Angeles, you had a This Ain't Bristol stage at Nocturnal Wonderland and now you are hosting your own stage on Groove Cruise. Have your goals for Ain't Bristol changed since its beginning? What can fans expect next from the label?
BK: They’ve definitely changed internally as none of us expected this to happen. Ever. It was all just bit of fun! It still is, but of course, we’ve had to step it up in the past year since there’s a much higher demand for our time when it comes to the label. The music will always be weird, bassy, fun and quirky and I doubt that will ever change. We’ve got more festivals and stage takeovers, an EU and second North American tour in the works, plus lots of new merchandise and new music.
How did your recent tour name come about? What's the weirdest or funniest thing that has happened so far on your Planet Earth Tour? And for anyone lagging on buying tickets (You know who you are fam.) Do you have any insights to the tour that they should know about?
BK: I love anything weird. I’m weird. My music is weird and the only emoji I can find that fits me is the little alien one. It’s a world tour covering all the (habitable) continents and my friends often joke and says “you’re not of this Earth” so it stuck. To be honest, every date is weird in some way, I think I just attract it, some people wear those tin foil hats to protect themselves from alien beings, I have this mad afro and shit just comes at me.