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Bill Kaulitz talks to us about painful love
& the attraction of power women

Bill Kaulitz has always been a fictional character. The hair, the makeup, the styling and then eventually the tattoos – in Germany there is hardly a musician with such an extravaganza, with more glam factor and with more talent for transformation. Just recently, the artist has reinvented himself again: For his solo project, a black and white short film by Shiro Gutzie and Davis Factor, a fine-art photo book and the album ‘I’m Not Okay’ called Billy – and is unusually approachable and private in the Ref29 interview . So a fictional character may also be down to earth and sow-sympathetic …

Billy, are you okay?

Now yes [laughs]. I have processed on the EP a relationship that was painful in many ways. When you leave, then there is only anger and aggression and then you go on to the phase in which one is sad and vulnerable. Sometime you just go to the point where it is believed that one should try again. All these different phases I went through and I wanted to put it on this album.

So all five songs are autobiographical?

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Tokio Hotel’s Bill Re-emerges As Billy,
Drops New EP ‘I’m Not OK’

Bill from Tokio Hotel rises from the ashes as a solo artist under the new moniker Billy. Heartbreak has a funny way of killing your former self and forcing you to come alive as someone else entirely. After releasing 2014’s Kings of Suburbia LP with Tokio Hotel and performing songs from it on a world tour, Billy decided to go rogue for his next project, and it’s personal. Last month, he released a song titled “Love Don’t Break Me” from his debut EP I’m Not OK out today. Billy tells the song is about his last relationship. “All my songs on my solo EP are pretty much autobiographic,” he said. “When I wrote the songs I was at a pretty dark place mentally. Someone really fucked up my heart and I didn’t feel like myself for a long time. I guess I needed to get it out of my system and turn it into something good so I went in the studio and wrote and sang about it.” His favorite lyric off the record is the opening line: “I’m tired of fighting. It really messed me up this time.”

On going solo, Billy saysit just felt like it was long overdue. I had these songs that I could only sing on my own because it’s about something that happened to me. It would have been selfish to put that on a Tokyo Hotel record and music wise it wouldn’t fit. The songs are way more pop and danceable than what I do with the band. It’s a whole different side of me. Also I think that the timing was right and the energy. I felt like I’m ready to do it.” Along with the EP, Billy shared a multi-media hybrid art project which includes a fine art photo book. “I wanted the freedom to explore the other areas in my life that I am passionate about like Art and Fashion and felt that a pure music project wouldn’t fulfill my vision as a solo artist,” he said. “I felt like it needed more than just the music.” Billy says the EP “shows all the different phases and moods of a heartbreak,” adding “I really just hope it gets to the people. That it touches them and makes them cry, laugh and dance.” One of the more emotional songs fans can cry, laugh and dance to is “Not Over You.” “I feel like it takes guts to admit that you are not over someone and to be that honest,” he said of the song, “and at the same time dance to the beat while you admit that you are still not ok.”

original article

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Tokio Hotel’s Bill Kaulitz:
I write better songs when I’m not OK

He has sold over seven million albums with Tokio Hotel. Now singer Bill Kaulitz, aka Billy, launches a solo project that goes way beyond music. He told DW how a painful breakup allowed him to create the EP “I’m Not OK.”

Deutsche Welle: How did the other band members react when you told them you were recording a solo album?

Billy: They’re totally cool. We’re all like brothers anyway. We’ve known each other our entire lives, we grew up together and they support me in everything I do. None of them would say, “No, we’d rather do a Tokio Hotel album.” They support me and think it’s great.

The EP “I’m Not OK” is about love and being lovesick. Does it reflect your current situation?

The entire EP is about this one relationship; it was painful and it was long, and the songs helped me deal with it. It’s been a while, but I really did write it when I wasn’t doing too well. When I wasn’t “ok,” so that’s how the album got its name. It’s about these different phases you go through when you split up with someone. Everyone who’s ever had a broken heart knows what I’m talking about.

Your relationship broke apart last year before you started your South American tour. Why did you decide to deal with the breakup through your music?

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An Interview With BILL KAULITZ On His New Solo Project Away From Tokio Hotel!

Bill Kaulitz recently embarked on a new solo project under the artist moniker BILLY. As the singer of the band TOKIO HOTEL, the international superstar has sold over 7 million records worldwide, performed for 500,000 people in front of the Eiffel Tower, won hundreds of awards and gone platinum in 68 countries.

In the midst of this enormous success, he is venturing on his own for the first time to release a 5-song EP I’M NOT OK on May 20, to chronicle his life experiences and the rollercoaster ride of finding and losing love. Available on all digital platforms worldwide and physical product in selected territories via Los Angeles – based De-Code LTD, distributed by Chapter One/Universal Music in Europe, Caroline in the US and Kontor New Media in selected territories.

“Love Don’t Break Me” is the EP’s first official song release. It is a minimalistic/electronic ballad–which reflects a new sound and impressive growth in BILLY’s musical palette.

The song is just one part of the multi-media hybrid art project which also includes a stunning Black and White short-film directed by Shiro Gutzie and Davis Factor and an accompanying fine art photo book with selected images from the film and other original pictures by the directors. A series of large format art prints complete the ambitious art project.

I didn’t want to do a traditional music release for my first solo projectBILLY saysI wanted the freedom to explore the other areas in my life that I am passionate about like Art and Fashion and felt that a pure music project wouldn’t fulfill my vision as a solo artist”.

For the new project BILLY wrote the songs in collaboration with music producers Pionear, Shiro Gutzie and his own twin-brother Tom Kaulitz. “I wanted to go in the studio and experiment with new sounds and not be creatively held backBILLY addsI created an environment for myself where I had no pressure and was able to just try new things without worrying about sales, promotion or marketing plans and just focus on creating”.

Future extensions to the project include other art-driven initiatives as well as fashion related activities, a field BILLY is familiar with, he has appeared on numerous lifestyle covers including Interview Magazine, L’Uomo Vogue, L’ Officiel Hommes and many others. “Fashion is an extension of my music and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in that world. I believe they go hand in hand and can’t wait to make that a reality” said BILLY.

The fine art photo book which includes a limited edition 7” white vinyl of “Love Don’t Break Me” went on pre-sale unannounced on March 30th, with the first 300 copies individually signed by BILLY. The $50 book available exclusively through the official BILLY website sold over 1,000 copies in its first 12 hours.

Thanks for your time today! So, how’s 2016 been treating you so far? What were some of the highlights of 2015 for you and your music?

2016 has been a crazy busy one so far. I actually can’t believe it’s almost May but I like to be busy so it’s been pretty good so far. 2015 was an amazing year music wise. Probably the best I’ve ever had. I was touring with my band almost the entire year. We played all around the globe and shared the music with incredible people. It was an adventure. I drank a lot, I partied a lot, I worked a lot. It had the right balance. Most importantly I’ve been finishing up my first solo project including my EP which is very exciting and nerve-racking too. This year I spent most of my time setting everything up for the release. I wish I’d have a million more years for that.

Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you remember the first time you realized you wanted to make music for a living?