In an age where most of his generation are currently glued to their phone screens or playing FIFA or Warzone while we’re all stuck indoors, Billy Menezes is busy dedicating his free time to making magic. Literally.
Despite having his finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to all things fashion and music, Billy has been honing a craft that hasn’t always been considered “cool”. But with everything from hiking to World of Warcraft gaining new levels of hype and acclaim in the last year during the pandemic, hobbies once labelled “weird” or “lame” are now being embraced by new generations.
Billy is at the forefront of breaking down dusty old stereotypes of how magic is seen in 2021. While he’s been at school and studying at college, he has managed to perform his tricks to some of the biggest names in the culture. At the age of 14, he was breaking into VIP parties—underage and uninvited—by impressing security guards with his magic tricks on the door. He’s gone on to send an array of A-Listers’ heads spinning in the process, with Skepta, Dua Lipa and Kate Moss just a few of the celebs he’s left awestruck with his illusive techniques.
Now aged 17, the prodigal magician’s next mission is to become London’s most popular magician, and “change culture through magic.” In his new short film, Street Magic—which was filmed before the pandemic—Billy takes a break from his usual celebrity audience by performing to people from all walks of life in the streets around his local area of Dalston, East London.
Following the release of the film, we caught up with Billy to talk us through his early connection to magic, using his tricks as a universal language and wanting to make as big of an impact with his magic as David Blaine or his childhood hero, Dynamo.