Billy Winn has been busy this past year. Releasing Dreamland I July 20th nearly a year ago, Winn’s recent release, appropriately titled Dreamland II follows the thematic and resonating heartache from the previous record. With an energetic EDM sound, Winn unveils the video for “Another Broken Heart”, the debut single from Dreamland II, which simmers in sensuality and confusion, a complexity Winn portrays with effortless cool.
“‘Another Broken Heart’ is inspired by a series of events, but there was one in particular where this guy was completely irresistible to me. Our physical attraction was incredibly strong, but we were totally incompatible emotionally,” Winn says, speaking honestly on the volatile irony in magnetism. “It was almost as if we hated each other if we weren’t having sex. The situation continued because of our physical attraction, but became emotionally volatile because neither of us could get what we really wanted.”
The video inspo is pure 80’s homage, Flashdance with specks of Janet Jackon’s “Pleasure Principle” and modern edges brought forth in a Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” studio song belting lineage. Winn decided to return to a pure dance format yet kept with the saturated neon of Dreamland I’s “Seal It with a Kiss”. Using an interpretive approach with accompaniment for a stripped down story, “Another Broken Heart” was originally a mid-tempo composition, which was then transformed by production team, Johnie and Eliot, who experimented with the song’s bones to flip it into an infectiously catchy dance track.
Winn’s rich R&B vocals with his signature electronic essence gives an uplift to many subject matters, but whereas most artists lean towards songs about lovers, either falling in or losing love, and all the sexual desire or relationship betrayals in between, Winn’s range is much more multifaceted. Both Dreamland collections follow Winn throughout the trials and tribulations that have revealed themselves in his life, the storytelling within also including a particularly profound life event: the death of his father.
“My father’s passing came at a weird time in my life. I was in the middle of parting ways with my record label and going through a huge transition personally and professionally. Before taking care of him in his final days, we hadn’t really spoken,” Winn explains. “We were never very close and so once I left home, I focused on building the life I wanted and finding the support system that suited me. I went back with a lot of resentment from when I was a kid, but in the time I spent with him at the end, I was able to let a lot of it go—realizing that they (he, my mother, and my family) just didn’t know better. It was a turning point for me, and helped me to better understand myself. It changed my perspective on life and on the way I approach relationships.”
Winn landed the Billboard 20 Dance chart with his song, “Future X Boyfriend”, propelling this DC-based artist into his career, though felt a lack of control working with certain industry entities. Now he is in a place where he is able to embrace what he loves the most, proudly, without the pretension of others interjecting.
Enjoy Billy Winn’s Dreamland EPs via Spotify.
Sunni Johnson is the Arts Editor of WUSSY and a writer, zinester, and musician based in Atlanta, GA.