Hillary Reese is one of the youngest emerging artists these days. As her brand new single “Wildfires” is coming out, we took the time to talk about life, music, youth and songwriting. Great thoughts and really good music from this gifted singer-songwriter. So, be brave and read on!
And while you are at it, listen to Hillary Reese‘s When the Smoke Clears:
Music Authentic: Welcome to Music Authentic! Let’s begin with our site-traditional question: How did you sleep last night?
Hillary Reese: I have a funny answer for this one! Last night I was in a Rental House visiting my brother for the weekend. And a rat kept me up the entire night! I could hear it running and jumping, I’m pretty sure it wanted to kill me lol!
Music Authentic: And when did you last cook and what?
Hillary Reese: The last time I cooked was probably a couple of days ago and I made fajitas. I love to cook so I try to do it as much as possible.
Music Authentic: How does and average day of a young, rising star like you look like? I guess, in many cases it differs from your peers’…
Hillary Reese: I’m still in school so a lot of my day consist of doing school work. Throughout the day I might have meetings, vocal lessons, or co-writes and I think that’s where it differs a little bit.
Music Authentic: The last year brought a lot of changes in everybody’s life. What changed in yours?
Hillary Reese: I think, I developed my craft a lot more last year. I got to really focus on what type of music I want to make and start the process of making it. It was a great time to just get to re-know myself as an artist.
Music Authentic: Where and how do you write your songs? What inspires you?
Hillary Reese: Each time I write a song it’s different. I might hear a line in casual conversation and bounce off of that or come up with an idea completely from scratch. But the songs that are usually the most successful are the ones were I have no distractions and it’s just me and my piano or guitar.
Music Authentic: Have you ever felt “blocked” and struggling to finish the song as you felt inside?
Hillary Reese: Writers block is a completely normal thing and we all experience it. The best thing I do is just take a break. Songs shouldn’t be put on a time limit, they should feel natural. So going out and just taking a breather can do a song a lot of good.
Music Authentic: You started out as a child, now you are a teenager. Do you think music and art will be present all in your life?
Hillary Reese: I really can’t image myself without music or art. I’ve always gravitated towards creative things and it’s really shaped me as a person. So writing and music will always be with me and apart of me.
Music Authentic: Who was your childhood idol and who is now?
Hillary Reese: I’ve always listened to all different types of music and I think that helped me acquire my love for music. So as a kid I was a fan of Carrie Underwood but also Lady Gaga . And I think I’m the same way now. I’ll listen to Old Country music from 65 years ago but then listen to something very modern. So I don’t think I really had one favorite, nor do I now, I’m just a really big fan of all kinds of music.
Music Authentic: If you had a chance to sing a duet, who would you choose, Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift?
Hillary Reese: I think they’re all amazing but Dolly is my girl! Dolly Parton broke so many records and paved the way for so many women in country music. She is definitely one of my favorites!
Music Authentic: You are appearance is evolving, as well as your voice. As I listened to “Woman Upstairs”, I felt that’s you, the best way you can sound now. Are there songs you’d like to sing, yet still bigger bites right now?
Hillary Reese: Like I said earlier, I listen to all types of music so I’m always looking for songs to sing. And I especially love challenging songs so even if I have to work at it, those end up being my favorite ones!
Music Authentic: Here is a difficult question: what is the role of music and songs these days, especially the youth you represent? For me, it seems there’s been a shift from the storytelling and the feeling of belonging to somewhere. How do you feel about your generation?
Hillary Reese: Music is something that is eternal. Even in the day of social media and iPhones, music is still very relevant. But I do think songwriting has changed because our generation is more open about talking about mental health, and we share our struggles in our songs. It’s a really amazing thing to see songwriters diving deeper and sharing their struggles and it really helps kids feel more included.
Music Authentic: Let’s have some fun! Now space is just like a long-distance flight. Would you be up to a space tour, performing at the International Space Station, the Moon-base and in the Mars colony when the time comes?
Hillary Reese: I’m open to playing a show anywhere! Even Martians need live music haha!
Music Authentic: Superheroes. Which superhero would you rather play in a movie?
Hillary Reese: I think, it would be really cool to play Wonder Woman. I’m not super into super heroes but she seems like she kicks but and takes names!
Music Authentic: Your brand new song, “Wildfires” is more rock than before though still country. What is it about and where did you write it?
Hillary Reese: “Wildfires” is about gossip and lies being spread so I wanted to give it an edge on the production side. I wrote it in Nashville with Liz Anne Hill and I really like the final outcome.
Music Authentic: Do you plan to give more concerts this year?
Hillary Reese: I hope to be doing more live shows this year, I just want to make sure it’s safe for everyone. As soon as things are fully open, then I want to play as many shows as I can!
Music Authentic: How important to understand the lyrics in a song these days? For many, vocals are just another layer, another instrument and interested in the sound. For others, understanding the story is still relevant. Where are you at?
Hillary Reese: Lyrics are everything to me. If someone can’t connect to what you’re saying then it’s pointless. Country music has definitely shown me that 3 chords and the truth are all that matter.
Music Authentic: At last, what message would you like to encourage your readers and fans with?
Hillary Reese: I want to say thank you for all that y’all do and I hope you love the song!
Music Authentic: Thank you for being with us. I do hope we can hear more from you soon!
Say Hello to Hillary Reese and listen to hear on: