Billy Currington Finds the Perfect Wave in Hawaii
Billy Currington, who's riding the wave of a new No. 1 single with 'That's How Country Boys Roll,' has been catching waves of another kind in Hawaii, the place he calls his second home.
The Georgia native has been vacationing in Hawaii for the past few years. In fact, he was there for an extended period of time over the holidays. "The thing I get from going to the Hawaiian islands is definitely peace," Billy tells The Boot. "It settles me down, and I do nothing but surf every day. And that in itself is very relaxing to me. Other than that, I feel so far away. I feel like I'm just lost out there, and I get satisfaction from that feeling. I don't know why."
To jump on a board and hit the waves is something that you don't just pick up, and for Billy, it's been something he's been doing for several years, but never felt he was good enough. "When I was a kid, I grew up on an island called Tybee Island, so it was small surf, it was mostly boogie board surfing and things like that, or body surfing," he explains. "But it was about four years ago when I first went to Hawaii that I actually really learned to surf on a real wave. So, it's taken me up to this past year. This year, I finally feel like a real surfer. I can handle it pretty good. it was something tough to learn how to do."
Tybee Island, by the way, serves as the backdrop for the new Miley Cyrus film, 'The Last Song,' scheduled to open in theaters nationwide on March 31.
Billy's Hawaiian trips have also given him a sense that he's beginning to fit in with the natives. "It is different," says the singer-songwriter. "When you first go there, there is etiquette and there's rules. There's a lay of the land that you need to know. I think someone who's gonna visit there for a week, they don't need to know all of that because they're not really gonna be a part of what I feel like I've become a part of -- like the secret surf holes and secret hikes and all these things that you really only see the locals in. So, you've gotta be good for them to even give you a wave. So I'm not good yet, but I'm stealing waves still at the moment. But they're letting me have them. They're like, 'There he goes again!'"
Billy also counts many of the locals among his friends. "This year was my year that I got good enough to look back and smile and say, 'I told you I'd get here,'" he jokes. "And they've been helping me along. I've met a lot of people over there that were born and raised over there that have been inspiring to me, and we became really good friends. You learn a lot from those people that are so far away and so secluded. You learn how to keep it simple."
Billy also hints that we might hear some of that island influence on one of his future albums. "Since I started going to Hawaii and learning the way of life over there and kinda becoming that lifestyle, I've learned to play the ukulele. And that's been very interesting -- four strings and they're tuned different. I've had a couple of people teaching me that, and I started writing my first song on it the other day. I've got seven chords now, so enough to write ... and I wouldn't doubt that the [island sound] would show up eventually in the music on an album. I'm starting to love it a lot, and it sounds so good and it's so simple and so broke down. I'm gonna keep at it and see where it goes. But definitely, the laid-back island-y music, it's always been a part of me, but more now that I've been going over to Hawaii."
Billy is set to go back into the studio next week to begin work on a new album, so we may get to hear how well he's learned that ukulele and absorbed those island themes sooner rather than later!