Monday, December 14, 2020

Billy Ocean Interview: New Album "One World", Musical Influences, Greatest Hits & More

Trinidadian-born British singer, songwriter and performance artist Billy Ocean best known for 80's classics such as his Grammy Award-winning song "Caribbean Queen (No More9 Love On the Run)", "Suddenly", "Loverboy", "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going", "Love Zone", "There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)", amongst many others, returns with what he describes as his most mature and confident release to date One World, available on CD and digital platforms.

TERRANCE: First, congratulations on the release of your 11th studio album One World.

BILLY OCEAN: Thank you. I appreciate that. It's a blessing and as a creative, I'm forever grateful for the love over the years up till now.

TERRANCE: Growing up, who were some of your musical influences?

BILLY OCEAN: Well, growing up in England we had The Beatles & The Rolling Stones, who were great, but we didn't have black music. We had reggae and calypso, but the American soul music of Nat King Cole, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye to the... Motown, Stax and Atlantic sounds were great training and influences on me.

TERRANCE: So talk about the One World album and how it came together.

BILLY OCEAN: I worked with Barry Eastmond on this album. Barry is a great songwriter and producer. We've worked together in previous years. I had released a double album a few years back called Here You Are. One side is a set of cover songs and the other side is my greatest hits. Barry and I worked on that, but after that, for me to get back on the creative side, it was only natural we write some new material. With the way things are now in the world, we need music to uplift us, put us in a happy space and to cheer us up and that's what One World is all about. 

TERRANCE: Thus far, what has been an achievement that stood out to you?

BILLY OCEAN: To still be married to the same wife of more than 40 years. That's a huge achievement for me. Watching my children and now grandchildren grow up. So just to see them healthy and together is a great achievement, especially in this day and time.

TERRANCE: Talk a little about some of your Hits, starting with "Caribbean Queen"

BILLY OCEAN: So I was living in New York and Keith Diamond & I were writing together and we picked up this vibe and went into the studio and recorded it. That's how it came about. It became my first number one on the charts.

TERRANCE: "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going"

BILLY OCEAN: Clive Calder who was head of Jive Records told me that the movie producers for the film The Jewel of the Nile wanted me to write a song for it's project starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. So I got with Barry Eastmond and Wayne Brathwaite and we went into the studio and everyone liked it. 

TERRANCE: "There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)"

BILLY OCEAN: That's another one I wrote with Barry and Wayne. It was Clive's idea for me to write with them and so we got together and created it, along with others such as "Love Zone" and "Love Is Forever".

TERRANCE: "Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car".

BILLY OCEAN: I wrote that one with Robert "Mutt" Lange. Clive was looking for something that could cross into R&B, Pop and Rock and "Mutt" was the right person to achieve that.

TERRANCE: When you're not creating or performing, what do you enjoy doing?

BILLY OCEAN: When I'm away from the glamour and limelight, I love gardening. It always brings me back to earth and nature. That's what I enjoy the most.

TERRANCE: And lastly, what can you tell us about the upcoming One World tour?

BILLY OCEAN: The One World Tour has been rescheduled for 2021 due to the pandemic. I will be performing all of my hits along with songs from the One World album. You can visit my website for current dates, updates, details and when I'll be in a city near you.

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