If not for rediscovering music, Billy Hunt doesn't think he'd be here now
- Credit: Billy Hunt
A Suffolk songwriter is hoping to prove a few doubters wrong by forging a successful career in music after turning his life around.
"I went away for the first time when I was 15," said Billy Hunt, recalling one of five early spells behind bars.
Now eight years older, Billy has a different future mapped out for himself.
"I've been in the East Anglian a few times before – but this time I'll have something nice to show my granddad," he joked.
The 23-year-old, who lives near Leiston with his partner Lilli and daughter Lola, has recently returned from three months of performing in Liverpool at venues like the famous Cavern Club.
He currently has three singles out and hopes to release an album next year.
In a previous life, he was in and out of jail, mainly for drug offences, until a moment of clarity changed his course.
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"I remember thinking everyone I knew was getting on with their lives on the outside – and I was stuck in a room," he said.
Billy first played guitar at the age of eight, but was unable to really stick to it because of ADHD, which he now has less difficulty controlling.
At 18, he went to London for work and ended up being paid to stay in abandoned buildings to deter squatters.
"I remember there was a guitar in one of these rooms. I couldn't even tune it up properly," he said.
Undeterred, Billy started playing again, and began writing songs about a year later.
"I used to write raps at first, but then I wrote a few songs and started doing open mic nights," he said.
"It's only really been in the last year, since the second lockdown, that I feel able to say everything I've ever wanted to say in a song.
"If not for finding music again, I don't think I'd be here now."
The father-of-two's most viewed music video on Youtube, INTOXICATE, was filmed locally around Aldeburgh to accompany a song gaining airplay on a number of radio stations.
"It's a bit of a love song to my missus," he said.
"I have a bit of a name where I live – and I think some people might want to see me fail.
"But I feel like, if I can be with her, I can achieve anything."
To see the full video for INTOXICATE, click here.
You can also follow him on Instagram.