BILLIE RAY MARTIN

BILLIE RAY MARTIN

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"The singer is Billie Ray Martin and she’s one of the living legends in modern music history and one of the best voices on planet earth." DJ Hell "Billie Ray Martin is a... read more
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Biography

“The singer is Billie Ray Martin and she’s one of the living legends in modern music history and one of the best voices on planet earth.” DJ Hell

“Billie Ray Martin is an absolute revelation.”

Ken Hollings, The Wire

“She’s one of the most intelligent, unique and principled artists to have graced the charts.” Stewart Who, QX

Billie Ray Martin describes herself as “a kid from Hamburg’s Red-Light District, who wanted to be a soul singer, but ended up playing repetitive machine music, while still trying to be a soul singer".

Dubbed the “queen of electronic soul”, Billie first came to prominence as a guest with S-Express before leading the acclaimed deep house act Electribe 101, her unique voice hitting both the house scene and the charts with a strong infusion of soul.

Electribe 101 scored a brace of hits including the classic “Talking With Myself” before Billie departed to continue exploring fusions of electronic music, pop and soul. After releasing the thoroughly scary “Persuasion” with Spooky and the monumentally beautiful “Four Ambient Tales” with The Grid, Billie found herself with a worldwide number 1 in “Your Loving Arms”; now considered one of the all-time classics of dance music. Three more hits and the album “Deadline for My Memories” followed.

Billie then realised a dream by travelling to Memphis to work with Ann Peebles, Carla Thomas and members of Aretha Franklin’s band on her next album “18 Carat Garbage”. She followed this with a series of cutting edge electronic productions, including hit collaborations with DJ Hell and Slam and solo releases such as 2008’s “Undisco Me” which hit the top spots in the UK and US dance charts.

Her epic “Crackdown Project” released in 2010, featuring Billie’s takes on the Cabaret Voltaire classic album “The Crackdown”, reinforced her unique position as an artist who appeals to the both the uber-cool mags like Flux, Wound and The Wire as well as the pop mainstream achieving ‘Song of the Day’ status at PopJustice. 15,000 downloads in a matter of days, plus overwhelming press and DJ feedback confirmed her vision.

2011 proved to be a vintage year for BRM releases, beginning with the solo single ‘Sweet Suburban Disco’ being Billie’s new vision of Italo disco. With mixes by Vince Clarke of Yazoo fame amongst other greats, it quickly attracted support from the world’s key DJs from Black Strobe to John Digweed.

A shared love for old-school Chicago and Detroit house brought Billie together with underground darlings Hard Ton, and the “Sold Life” EP was the result. Featuring a new song “Sold Life” and a cover of the Pierre’s Pfantasy Club classic “Fantasy Girl”, the collaboration brought Billie back to her house beginnings and her famed Electribe 101 roots. It created a serious buzz, charted by everyone from Laurent Garnier to Kim Ann Foxman from Hercules and Love Affair.

And then in Autumn came The Opiates – a project with Norwegian musician Robert Solheim, dubbed ‘The Carpenters of electro’ such is the quality of the songwriting. The ‘Rainy Days & Remixes’ EP, served as a prelude to their long awaited full-length album ‘Hollywood Under The Knife released in October. Turner-prize winner Wolfgang Tillmans, who has photographed Billie twice and selected her as ‘most influential woman’ in i-D Magazine, supplied nine previously unseen images for the cover art and booklet.

The album met with massive support from DJs, press and blogs alike including a four star review in Metro and many ‘album of the year’ entries in major publications. Eight amazing music videos and a UK tour, including a gig at HMV Oxford Street, played their part in gaining The Opiates a growing fan community.

Next from The Opiates in March 2012 was ‘Hollywood Cuts’ – a stunning double CD Deluxe remix collection including contributions from such talents as Aerea Negrot and Kim Ann Foxman of Hercules and Love Affair and Throbbing Gristle legends Chris & Cosey.

Spring 2012 saw the release of a series of collaborations including the darkly sexy ‘Make Me Feel’ on Terranova’s ‘Hotel Amour’ album, and ‘Hyper Lust’ on the new album from Motor – both making impressions on buzz and other charts when released as singles across the Summer.

And just out is a limited edition DVD entitled ‘Five Takes (A Song About Andy)’, featuring five movies inspired by Andy Warhol‘s Screen Tests. The song ‘On Borrowed Time’ is presented in five unique takes, with music by electronic producer and soul singer Waterson.This unique project was greeted with a fanfare of press and online acclaim.

Billie is currently working on her next solo album and a variety of exciting collaborations. She runs her record label, Disco Activisto, in Berlin and DJs around the world with growing success.

“Billie Ray Martin is the Nico of the rave generation…” Ben Wood, Bearded magazine

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