A year in the making, Byron Langley is due to release his debut EP Light On tomorrow (3rd December), which features a number of original songs including Gold and Higher, and is now planning live shows for 2020. Byron is also a YouTuber, and has collaborated with friends Joe Sugg and Caspar Lee on numerous occasions, and last year, along with Joe, was part of the 1 Hour Band who charted with their single You Want My Sister. As an actor, Byron played the role of Simon Brown in all three films of the Spud trilogy alongside Troye Sivan, and also appeared in 2018’s The Kissing Booth on Netflix. Answering our questions ahead of his EP release, Byron talks about writing and recording Light On, playing Simon in Spud and filming with his friends for YouTube.
Can you tell us about your debut EP Light On?
Light On is a collection of songs I have released throughout 2019 compiled into a completed EP. It is quite a mixed bag of sounds as I set out to find the right sound that suited me.
How long was it in the making?
The EP took just under a year to finish. There was a five-month period where I had to go back to South Africa to film a movie which put a spanner in the works time-wise.
How did you decide which songs to include on Light On EP and were there any that nearly made the tracklist but didn’t?
There were plenty of tracks that didn’t make the cut. It was a simple process of selecting the five songs I thought were the strongest. The ones that didn’t get on this EP need a bit of reworking; some will never be released as they are just bad songs.
What song from the EP took the longest to write?
Gold took the longest to write. It started off as a straight rock song and then 180’d into a dance tune. It ended up falling somewhere in the middle.
Who do you think your music will appeal to and how would you describe your sound?
I’d hope there is something for everyone in there. The songs do vary quite a bit, some are straight acoustic tracks, some have drum and bass elements or big bass synths. I like to think by the next EP the tracks will have a lot more in common but I think having a vary in style works with this modern playlist culture we live in.
What’s the response been like to your music so far?
Generally, the response has been good and all criticism has been constructive. The average person doesn’t tear new artists apart so if there are any haters out there they’ve been kind.
Will you be performing at any events/shows and do you have plans for any collaborations?
I have shows incoming from spring next year which will coincide with the release of my second EP. Collaborations are on the menu too, none that have been locked in but open to suggestions.
How did your singer-songwriting career come about and what instruments do you play?
Being quite new to gigging, singer-songwriter sets are the staple as I don’t have a band, so it’s come about whether I like it or not. I play the guitar and drums and can dabble in piano.
How is it recording YouTube videos with friends such as Joe Sugg and Caspar Lee, and what was it like filming as the 1 Hour Band?
The 1 Hour Band video was just a bit of fun. The fact that the song we made ended up number four on the charts is crazy, not too sure how other musicians felt about that haha.
Filming with my mates down here is always a laugh, we get on well and I enjoy the process of making videos in general.
What do you enjoy about having a YouTube channel and what upload plans do you have?
I like that YouTube allows you to reach an audience without having to prove to a production team through an audition or interview that you’re good enough, you can just do it and it’s free.
My upload plans are usually centred around music. Live streaming on YouTube is going to be heavily on the cards in 2020 too.
What was Simon Brown like to play in the Spud films?
It was a really good time. Simon had very similar interests to the ones I have and we both had a love for cricket. I was quite young when filming those films and didn’t really know much about anything, I was just happy to be involved.
How did it feel returning to the cast for each film?
It always felt like seeing old family members when everyone got together again. It was always amazing to see how everyone had grown up so much too.
Can you tell us about filming The Kissing Booth?
The Kissing Booth was a really great time. No one knew it was going to blow up the way it did, so returning for the second one I noticed an upgrade in production on set. Playing a teenager again was a lot easier when surrounded by such characters in the cast, everyone were such legends.
What came first, your love of acting or your love of singing?
Acting came first, singing in the shower was always there though.
What plans do you have for your career in 2020?
I’ll be playing a lot more shows in 2020 and releasing some new music, hopefully over two EPs if I’m lucky.
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