Material: Up-and-coming pop/R&B artist Billy Lawler has gained recognition for his profound and heartfelt songwriting, and it shows in his debut single “Casualty.” Lawler successfully conveys the kind of earth-shattering heartbreak that most people experience on the way to finding their other half, with lyrics so realistic that the audience had experienced his pain with him. Lawler is willing to strike a deep chord straight out of the gate. Choosing “Casualty” as his first release is a clear indicator of this new artist’s boldness.
Musicianship: Lawler has strong musical characteristics that are reminiscent of Donny Hathaway, Ryan Tedder, John Legend and Sam Smith. His beautiful fluency on the piano combined with passionate, reflective lyrics give Lawler free range to take his vocals and overall musicality anywhere.
He tastefully fuses R&B/soul with contemporary pop and a hint of indie alternative, a task so rarely achieved with ease. It’s clear that he knows exactly what kind of music he wants to release and he’s determined to make his name known without being too forceful.
Performance: The artist has an incredible stage presence for a singer/songwriter pianist. He makes it a point to scan his crowd and make eye contact with every single person in the audience, something that tends to be difficult when playing the keyboard.
Despite being a new artist, Lawler proved to be fearless on stage, showcasing his emotional side through his somewhat dark, moody original songs.
His performance style was a perfect fit for the Hollowbody Lounge inside The Viper Room, as its great Surround-Sound feel served to intensify his music to the point of being able to actually feel the song’s subject matter. It was utter delight to be a witness to Lawler’s soulful and incredibly moving performance.
Summary: It’s always commendable to see a performer who’s able to air not only his grievances but his darkest thoughts. Billy Lawler is not afraid to tell his stories for the world to hear. A deep passion is apparent in both his recorded music and live performance.
At the same time, he has a humble demeanor that suggests he might not even realize how talented he is. He’s got the qualities to be the next best pop/R&B star and it will be exciting to see how he progresses.
Photo by Heather Allen
Venue: The Viper Room
City: West Hollywood, CA
The Players: Billy Lawler, vocals, keyboard.