THE STYLE

 

Growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana provided Willard Hill with an opportunity to sample the musical gumbo that the city has always been known to serve.  Being no stranger to the eclectic, his travels and love of cultural immersion would help him to add to that flavor and develop his style— New Orleans Hip Hop/Soul.  

 

Blending Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk, Latin, Soul, and whatever else moves his spirit, he is able to paint vivid landscapes with his lyricism, storytelling, and production.  With a laid back approach he draws you into almost cinematic scenes that are meant to inspire, insight, and immerse the listener in his world—a world that, right or wrong, offers a deeper understanding of humanity, urban life, and everyday people.

 

THE STORY

 

After high school he left New Orleans against his family's wishes to study Jazz at Howard University in Washington, DC.  There he met Wyclef Jean and Jerry Wonda who said they would give him an internship in their Manhattan studio if he ever moved to New York.  Immediately after graduation… he did.  After three weeks they hired him on full time.  While working with them he began to learn the production side of music by sitting in on sessions and studying the methods of the high profile clients the studio catered to.  After all the clients would leave, Willard would stay in the studio and hone his skills by practicing what he heard through the walls.  He eventually went on to make a name for himself by bringing his style to studio sessions with many veteran and up and coming producers and artists throughout NYC.  

 

In 2011 he independently released his first project "Gemini Mood Swings", which featured the self-produced single "Future Fresh".  With his lyricism and production setting the scene, "Future Fresh" began getting airplay on the college circuit and made it's way to light rotation on WQUE 93.3 FM in his hometown of New Orleans.  It even got love on WGCI 107.5 FM in Chicago, Illinois when it was featured on "Download or Delete" (where listeners vote for or against it).  That night it was voted 92% as a fan favorite.  

 

All of this traction was gained with no promotion, no manager, and no major campaign;  a clear sign that he was on the right track.  After the buzz started to grow he even began receiving offers for deals with companies as far away as Paris, France.  He then began performing around New York at places like Mo's, Five Steps Down, and Southpaw before eventually moving west to take care of family. 

 

Now residing in Los Angeles, California he is busier than ever.  In his first months in town he started collaborating as a session writer and producer, found himself on stage at The Roxy as a guitarist, and even worked with the legendary songwriter/producer Leon Ware.  Willard is currently prepping for the release of his latest independent project "Sketches of Spain Street" (scheduled for Fall 2014).  This latest endeavor chronicles his return to his beloved New Orleans; only to find himself a stranger in his own hometown. Feeling out of place, he makes peace with his demons before finally moving on to L.A. to pursue his dream.

 

Now the stars are aligning and lighting his path.  The recent resurgence of musicianship and versatility in the music industry is primed for someone of his nature.  A rapper that studied Jazz Voice at Howard Univ., plays four instruments, and has a strong message will no longer a novelty— he will be a cornerstone of a movement…  stay tuned. 

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