Tell us your real name, country of birth, and childhood experience.
Hillary, USA… I was born and raised in the Bay Area, Northern California, specifically Oakland and Berkeley. That was a pretty dope experience because there’s nowhere else like it… I’ve never been to a place with such integrated diversity of people, as well as landscape and options for lifestyle. It’s also a pretty intellectual place. All of that has definitely factored heavily into who I am.
Tell us about your music career, band name, musical background, experience, and skills.
I started writing songs as a little kid. It was so second-nature to me, I thought every kid wrote songs in their spare time… I would spend hours locked up in my room writing and recording on top of tapes I had. (Yes, tapes.) I studied piano, violin, classical voice, and songwriting, and then some studio engineering.
I’ve had my own studio for a long time now and have spent thousands of hours there, writing and recording for other artists. I finally ‘came clean’ that I have a voice—both literally and figuratively—and decided to do my own artist project in the past year or so. I started that part a bit later than other people but that just means I have more experience and more stories to tell.
Tell us about your genre, concept, and idea behind your music video and the song.
My genre is definitely Pop, but I think I have my own lane within it. I can’t help that I think in a different way and my lyrics usually come out a bit more complex and maybe more raw when I’m writing for me. “Loved & Lost” is super stripped down—it tells a story of personal transformation throughout the course of a relationship, as naiveté and optimism turn into maturity and character.
Tell us how to run a record label independently and successfully based on your experience as an artist.
This makes me want to take a nap. It’s exhausting, haha. I would say focus on music that moves people in one way or another and build from there. Don’t follow trends just to follow them. Do something. Change things. Build from a core of artists who have something to say and let the right people hear it.
Tell us how you are promoting your music.
I’m working with several great people and companies to get the word out—we have gotten love from some blogs and curators, and also are working on some creative angles with film and TV, as well as some new content to be shared on social media.
Tell us what makes you happy and what makes you sad.
What makes me sad is feeling small. What makes me happy is writing about it and transforming it into power.
Explain clearly the story or concept behind the song.
Well, this song is about youth and entering into something—whether it is a relationship or any experience—with optimism and total vulnerability, but feeling the opposite—feeling invincible. And then, over time, how pain or disappointment can tarnish your shiny exterior. It can leave you feeling duller and more jaded, but it can also turn into strength and authenticity you never had before.
Give us links to where the song can be purchased.
Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience, and your future goal.
I’ve been in the business for about 15 years since I moved to LA. I have worked on many different sides of the table. My future goal is to continue honing my focus—I am excited about the success we’ve started having on a couple outside projects I am working on and even more so, about people starting to hear my own voice and what I have to offer. I can’t wait to connect with more people by way of my music and I hope it helps them feel more understood.
Tell us what makes you unique from others.
There’s a running joke between me and my co-writers that everything with me has to be “emotional”. This stems from the fact that I am much more emotional than your average person and all of that has to find its home in my music. I am expressive and honest and not afraid of sharing weird, dark, and conflicting feelings through my lyrics.
Tell us your weakness and strength pertaining to music.
I’m not the best piano player in the world, and probably not the best singer. But I use everything I have and give it my rawest, realest self. I only care about people feeling something when they hear my music. If they do, I’m satisfied with my work.
List your five favorite songs including the artists.
“Landslide”- Stevie Nicks
“In The Embers”- Sleeping At Last
“The Way You Make Me Feel”- Michael Jackson
“Juicy”- Notorious B.I.G.
“Can’t Feel My Face”- The Weeknd
Tell us your position on “DIY” Do It Yourself” and signing to a major label.
DIY has many pros and cons… Unfortunately, it means that someone who has specialized in becoming an excellent music-maker has to become a graphic designer, a digital marketer, a stylist, a promoter… But, it means that we get to learn all those skills and we ultimately, make creative decisions that will define who we are as artists. On a bigger scale, it means that the artists themselves have more power to shape the music, fashion, and cultural attitudes of a generation. That’s pretty cool.
Tell us the instruments put together in this song.
That’s easy. Piano and voice. I actually tried doing a produced version of this song with more instrumentation. What I realized is that the beauty of this song is in its simplicity and nakedness. It forces you to focus on the lyrics and vocal performance.
Tell us other activities you will like to pursue apart from music.
I sometimes wish I could go back to school and study all kinds of interesting stuff. Everything from coding to botany. Learning is such a cool luxury.
Tell us about gaining the confidence to sing in front of a large crowd for the first time.
This is an ongoing process. And it’s not linear—you don’t just “get it” and then continue upward from there. I think you zig-zag your way to finding your own identity as a performer and, the more you can incorporate nerves and insecurities into your performance, the better you do. It sounds cliché, but my best performances are when I just own my nervousness and try to have fun.
Tell us the best way to make money in the music business.
All of it, together. I think that’s the only way, short of scoring a Top 10 radio hit. I mean, that’s #1. After that, it’s using every income stream together – be it as a writer or an artist or both, songs online, songs on TV – to add together and create a real income.
Tell us your experience pertaining to TV/Radio plugging.
I was fortunate to get plugged into Film & TV licensing a long time ago and to have some success with it. It’s such a great way to gain exposure, while making a bit of money from your music. Radio is tough, but very exciting when it starts to happen.
Narrate your recording experience.
It always takes me a long time to get into my ‘space’ and start expressing myself the way I want through my voice on the mic. I have to suffer through not being satisfied for a while, and then I finally get what I’m looking for. Singing is so personal to me, especially when it’s my own song; it feels like reading out my diary, naked, haha. So I am really happy that I can record myself in my own studio. I’m starting to open up about that, but I really prefer to be alone.
List your various works.
As an artist: “Drum” & “Loved & Lost” are my official releases so far. I have an original song on SoundCloud called “Shirt That I Don’t Like” that got some love.
As a writer, some are Tyron Hapi feat. Mimoza “Anyway”, Thomas Gold “Dreamer”, Mimoza “Big Girls Cry”, Brandon Skeie “So Bad”, MIIA “Dynasty”.
State links to connect you on social media.