FEW people can claim they have…
spent time in the studio with Prince! I ask Judith Hill about that experience and what it was like supporting Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder – Hill talks about her musical tastes and how important it is being up on the stage and bringing songs to the people.
The talented artist discusses her latest track, The Pepper Club, and what we can expect from her upcoming album, Golden Child. She recommends a couple of new artists and coming to the U.K. to play – the songwriter tells me what the biggest she has learned is.
Hi, Judith. How are you? How has your week been?
I’m doing great. My week has been awesome. Excited to be preparing for these shows.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Judith Hill. I’m a Soul singer from L.A. I grew up writing, performing and playing since the age of four. I love anything funky, anything with an orchestra and anything that really moves my soul.
You have a new single/video, The Pepper Club, out. What was the inspiration behind the song?
The Pepper Club was inspired by my new show, Golden Child. It is a play/modern ballet that celebrates the diversity of culture as it tells a story about a group of people who overcome societal division. The Pepper Club symbolizes a cultural mecca where all types of people are celebrated. I eventually want to open a venue called the Pepper Club.
It is from the album, Golden Child, due later this year. Are there particular events and themes we can see addressed on the album?
Golden Child, the album, has a major theme of unity. Given the current climate of the world, I want to use music to overcome hate and bring people together. We are all one in spite of our differences. I also wrote a lot of the songs for the young child in me. After tragedy and darkness comes the rebirth of innocence.
You worked with Prince back in 2015. What was that like?! Was it quite intimidating having him in the studio?
No. It was peaceful and wonderful. I miss it.
How has supporting artists like Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder affected you as an artist and performer?!
They are both incredibly inspiring. I’m inspired by their energy. Being a part of the experience taught me so much. It’s not just the excellence; it’s also the spirit behind the music. Every true artist opens the gateway into God’s stage. We are blessed to experience his power and love through music.
Do you think you have changed as an artist since the earliest days? What has been the biggest lesson you have learned?
The biggest lesson is to fall in love with what you do. Always keep the excitement and joy in your heart - that is the fuel for every good performance and song.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
One of my favorite memories is practising Chopin's Nocturnes in college. I loved the harmonies. That’s part of what inspired so much of my music as an artist.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
The advice I would give to new artists: become the best version of yourself. Live in the moment every time you hit the stage and never stop creating. Create every day and share it with the world. Your music may become someone’s salvation or just put more smiles on faces.
I believe you are playing the U.K. soon. Have you performed here before?
This will be the first time I bring my whole band to play in the U.K. Last time I was there, I opened for John Legend. It was an acoustic show - but this is the full band show.
Is it important getting on stage and putting your music to the people? What kind of buzz do you get?
I love performing live. That’s where you feel the connection with people and the songs come alive. Every show is a different experience. When people come to my shows, I take them on a journey. It’s an emotional rollercoaster but an unforgettable experience.
IN THIS PHOTO: Alice Smith
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I love watching movies, going to vintage clothing stores and playing with my dog.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Pure Imagination – Gene Wilder
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