Billie McCarthy is more than a musician and a country girl with a big heart. She is also a feminist, fat activist and spokesperson for sexual assault survivors.
Billie pulls no punches with activism being at the forefront of all her work and uses her own stories to bring light to the issues society sometimes says she should be ashamed of. She is soon to be featured in the ABC network’s Compass program in a series about overcoming shame. Billie was also a delegate in Canberra at Junkee Media’s Junket 2017 as one of Australia’s 150 Best and Brightest Young Minds.
In 2017 Billie premiered her new cabaret work Billie McCarthy Takes Up Space at the Sydney Fringe Festival, which went on to win the Melbourne Tour Ready Award. The show is about navigating Australia as a fat woman, building yourself as a human, negotiating wins and pitfalls of modern dating and trying to make something constructive out of a bizarre childhood. Musically, Billie is a smoky brew of jazz diva, soul songstress and folk balladeer. The result is soulful, edgy and intimate music. Hailing from Tamworth, and the daughter of a Golden Guitar winning country and blues musician, Billie would spend hours as a child absorbed in her mother’s eclectic vinyl collection. So it’s little surprise she was singing Sophie Tucker blues at three years old and writing to Dolly Parton by the tender age of six.
This filthy fling between country, jazz and soul has paid off for Billie McCarthy, who is now one of Sydney’s most popular singers and workshop personalities, having worked with many international and local artists including Jimmy Barnes, Paul Mac, and UK soul sensation Omar. The accolades keep coming for Billie McCarthy, with her collaboration with Australian hip hop group Thundamentals, on Smiles Don’t Lie, scoring her a number 32 spot on the elite Triple J Hottest 100. Additionally in 2013, Billie was instrumental in putting together the successful RAIN festival at The Basement, which saw 16 artists perform to raise money for Blue Mountains bushfire relief. Billie released a live album Live at 107 in 2014 to excellent critical response.
Readers also enjoyed our story about Aurelia.