Grammy, multiple Stellar and Dove Award winning songwriter and producer Billy Dorsey has already achieved more in his life than most musicians dream possible. As a songwriter/vocal arranger/engineer for the Christian Hip Hop artist Lecrae, Billy began his chart run of major success with his work on the international best-selling album Rehab: The Overdose, which went on to win the 2012 Stellar and Dove Awards for Best Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year. Billy has worked on albums for Maino (Atlantic Records), Day26 (Atlantic Records), 2 Chainz (Def Jam) and others. Billy is poised for his first Grammy win in February 2013 for his work on Lecrae’s “Gravity”. Dorsey, also known as Billy D Lyrics, produced the second best-selling track “Higher” featuring gospel group Tenth Avenue North.
Billy has “Enough” music video from his “Marathon” album. He has been featured Fox 26 TV in Houston and a covered as news on “The Isiah Factor” with Isiah Carey, a front-page cover story in the entertainment section of The Houston Chronicle (Hearst Media), ABC 3 News coverage in Texarkana/Louisiana Market with Reporter Rick Rowe, and the Dr. Bobby Jones Gospel Hour to air on Impact TV nationally, potentially reaching over 60,000,000 which aired in late 2013 and February 2014. He currently serves as Outreach Pastor at Lakewood Church (the nation’s largest evangelical mega-church), producing a soundtrack for “Girly Girls” by Zulema Nall.
He just completed “Second Wind” (in post production), a documentary about his life testimony called “Marathon” is in pre-production, and he just completed showcase with Hungry Fish Media, reviewing product merchandising opportunities (recently signing a deal with Sikkshades by Eddie Bauer, Jr.), and is working his next album “Masterpiece”. Billy is a savvy musician, business person, and pastor who is utilizing his mantle for greater works.
From There to Here
Born Billy Lee Dorsey, Jr, in Blythesville, Arkansa on February 28, 1978, Billy D began his musical journey using the world’s oldest instrument, his voice. He grew up in a variety of churches singing for the Lord, from Maranatha Faith Center in Columbus, MS to his father’s church, Bridge of Hope Ministries in Bossier City, LA, always striving to be the best singer he could be, in the vein of his musical heroes Fred Hammond & Marvin Sapp (formerly of Commissioned), K-Ci Hailey (from Jodeci), and John P. Kee. Before long, Billy earned a full musical scholarship to Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA to pursue his dream of becoming a professional vocalist. But God had other plans…
During Billy’s third year in college, the Mississippi Mass Choir came to perfor m at LA Tech, and Billy’s gospel group, Serenity, was called upon to be the opening act for the concert. By the end of the performance, the group was approached with the opportunity to sign a professional recording contract and move to Houston to begin work in earnest on their debut album. But, as often happens in the music industry, the deal took a turn, which led to the contract being locked out and Billy being unable to sing on recordings for 7 years. During this time, he began using songwriting and music production as a creative outlet. “Switching my focus from singing to writing and producing was the best decision I ever made,” said Billy.
After years of producing local talent in Houston such as Killa Kyleon (from Slim Thug’s Boss Hogg Outlaws), Lil KeKe, Hawk, and a host of other prominent Houston artists, Billy and his production team LifeLine were discovered by Nick Velo, an A&R for Jonathan “J.R.” Rotem’s boutique label Beluga Heights, home to multi-platinum artists such as Sean Kingston (“Fire On The Dancefloor”), Iyaz (“Replay”), and Jason DeRulo (“Whatcha Say”, “Riding Solo”). Within the first month of their first visit to Beverly Hills to work with J.R., Billy was doing songs for major artists such as T.I. and B.o.B. (“Not Lost”) and Plies (“Runway”), and began networking with many other top tier producers and writers around the globe. “Working with J.R. gave me the resume I needed to be able to work with anyone else in the industry. It was the “keys to the kingdom”, so to speak,” he said.
One such producer, John “CheeseBeats” Williams, was already a multiplatinum producer who’d done work with artists such as Cherish (“Do It To It”), Yung Joc (“Coffee Shop”), and Jagged Edge (“Good Luck Charm”), but who was then working with a burgeoning label, Reach Records, and an artist who was then on the verge orbreakout success, Lecrae, who had seen his previous album, Rehab, hit #1 on the Billboard Gospel and Christian charts and been nominated for a Dove Award. “Cheese” reached out to Billy to invite him to contribute to a song called “Strung Out” on Lecrae’s follow up album, Rehab: The Overdose. That contribution and the album from which it spawned went on to make Billboard history, as Lecrae became the first Christian Hip Hop artist in history to simultaneously hold the #1 and #2 spots on any Billboard chart when Overdose hit #1 and the original Rehab album re-ascended to #2 on the Billboard Gospel Chart the week of Jan 28, 2011. The Rehab: The Overdose album then went on to win the 2012 Stellar Award for Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year, and to be nominated for the 2012 Dove Award for Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year as well.
With this success, Billy has been on the move constantly, working now on records with Cheese for the follow up to Rehab: The Overdose, and other artists under the Reach Records banner, as well as writing and producing pop records for multi-platinum Russian pop star Sasha Gradiva, Ken Christopher, and working on Pretty Ricky, 2 Chainz, and Roscoe Dash’s new albums as well. With a production focus on hard, edgy drums and rhythms and a lyrical focus on creative, witty, and introspective hooks and concepts, Billy will continue to break new ground as he continues to write and produce new music; music that is timely, unique, and impeccable.