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Billy Dortch
The
M

Independen
an I
It was apparent even as a child that Billy Dortch Sporting Club and others. But modeling is on the
had a love of the arts. In his formative years, he had back burner for the most part; he wants to take as-
a fascination with ballet and tap, as he will attest. signments that will tie-in to his independent career
“That was my deep dark secret that I’m glad is coming as a singer. Dortch offers his take on the independent
back to haunt me now. It made me fall in love with the music scene, “I have label interest but the way I see
stage. Yeah, my sister started dancing and low and the record industry going right now, even if you do
behold…I wanted to join her. I actually outlasted her get signed to a record label…which is not a necessity
by a few years in the same dance studio. Some of this these days anyway, I think they want a full package
n M
basic training in dance is still with him today as Billy ready to deliver. They don’t want to create anyone
adds, “ The basics are but I think I’m really a freestyle anymore. They want people who have already
dancer so I try not to tell people that I dance. I can just created themselves and have a fan base…and then
basically memorize moves very well but I don’t think they’ll take money from you. You have to be your
I’m that great of a dancer (laughter). I like the per- own press agent too for the first couple years and
forming aspect of it.” Dortch grew up playing piano everything else in between.”
T
as well. Then in high school he tried his hand at acting Dortch has already created a video for his song

in school plays. For such an upbeat kind of a guy, called “Breathe” off his yet to be released debut Sp
otion:
Dortch really went for the dark drama in high school. album. “Breathe” has already been named one the
“We did The Diary of Anne Frank. That’s a nice cheerful top ten videos on Logo for 2009. What’s his next song
one. We did a couple of really dark ones. I was really to be filmed for a video? “It’s a song I wrote called
I
r
into the dark drama stuff. We did a scary one called ‘Heart Clean.’ That’s the song we decided to do the
Hide and Seek, which was like a live action horror film. next music video for. I’m excited about it. The music IT
That was fun.” video is going to be great and that song was featured
The intriguing aspect about the career path that in the movie Eating Out 3, so it’s an easy segueway for
of
Billy Dortch is on right now—a career in the music the next single.” Listening to “Heart Clean,” the song is
industry—is he never sang in high school. Dortch says, very pretty and seems to beg the question…was this
“Yeah. I was a late bloomer. I was always afraid. I didn’t about a relationship that Billy went through? He ex-

have any self-confidence. I just sang in my shower. plains, “I wanted that relationship to progress in that o
I didn’t think I was good.” Yet, for those discovering way. I was just getting out of a long relationship and
this new musical artist who you can check out on bil- I wasn’t ready to…basically I met this great guy who
u
lydortch.com, it is very true that he has a great singing was really into me and I pushed him away because I
T
voice and songwriting skill in the songs presented. was too afraid. Then by the time I realized that ‘Okay,
Dortch decided from the get-go to present himself this guy is really good for me’ it was too late. So that’s
as an out artist when he began his singing career. He where ‘Heart Clean’ came from.” Songwriters go about
explains his reasoning behind this by saying, “I never the process of creating in their own unique way, Billy
wanted anyone to out me except for myself. I’ve always explains what it is that works for him when writing,
been extremely comfortable with the way I was raised “It’s actually poetry. I used to write poetry. I have my
by bill biss
with my family. I never had an issue with it. But I didn’t whole life. I have always thought in my head, ‘this
do this for my career. I wish growing up that I had a gay would make a great song’ but I never thought of me
role model to look up to. Someone who was out and as a performer in it. Music writing comes to me pretty
proud from day one. Not having a celebrity pulled out easily. It’s easier than singing actually. (Laughter) I’m
of the closet unwillingly. I wanted to be that for a lot of in a dry spell right now though. I have to be going
kids. I know that sounds cheesy but that’s the reason through something great or really horrible to write.
I chose to be out from the very beginning. I came That’s why my last relationship was so good for me
out when I was 17. But as I’m doing my career now, it [writing songs] because it was always up and down. A
should be a non-issue. Even in the last year, with the lot of good songs came out of that one!” Photography by
help of Adam Lambert and a whole lot of other artists Billy believes as many do that music has no sexual
who are being recognized for pure talent, it’s paving preference. He elaborates, “My really big inspiration
DENNIS COvEY coveyeditions.com
the way for everyone down the road.” for that mindset is actually thinking about Melissa
The road to a career in the music industry for Billy Etheridge. Growing up, I didn’t know what gay and
Dortch took him to Los Angeles. He’s lived in L.A. now lesbian was but I knew that I liked her music. Now,
for five years. There, he pays the bills, even juggling that I listen to her lyrics, it’s completely asexual most
two jobs at times. He also discovered success in the of the time. I can be an out artist now and I don’t have
modeling business. His natural good looks landed to pigeonhole myself as gay or turn away straight
him numerous print media assignments. He’s done people either. I just want to tell a good story. I want to
campaigns for K-Swiss, Yamaha Motors, Los Angeles prove to myself more than anyone that I can do this.”
MARCH 2010 | RAGE monthly 31
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