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{Interview} Pop Princess Turned Country Music’s Newest Badass…Meet Liz Anne Hill

After lending her powerhouse vocals as a demo singer for top Los Angeles producers, and later touring nationwide as a bass player and backup singer for various pop artists, Liz Anne Hill returned to the reason she initially fell in love with music & songwriting…

Born by the California coast, raised back and forth between a cozy suburb of Los Angeles and a rural mining town in Arizona, the songstress learned to sing, write, and ride at an early age.

While Liz Anne enjoyed commercial success as in Hollywood as a pop musician, she quietly continued writing songs for herself like those she heard playing out of the old radio in her grandma’s Cochise County kitchen.

In 2016, she took a leap of faith, left pop music, and committed to recording a full-length Country album which she co-wrote with her father, Jake Hill. Equipped with a striking voice, and songs that highlight an irresistible ability to wear her heart on her sleeve…Liz Anne Hill is ready to make her mark on this generation of country music fans.

We had the privilege to sit down with Liz Anne recently and we can’t wait for you to get to know her better…this California Country girl is the real deal…from pop princess to country badass!

Country Music Pride:

You are getting ready to release your newest single “The Fish Ain’t Bitin’”…can you tell us the inspiration behind the song and how it came to fruition?

Liz Anne Hill:

“The Fish Ain’t Bitin'” is an tongue-in-cheek anthem for anyone who’s been scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to looking for “Mr. Right”.  Ironically enough, I co-wrote the song with my dad, and he came up with the original concept!  I think he wanted to put a humorous twist on the all-too-real struggle he’s seen my sister and me endure when it comes to dating. He shared the title and a general direction with me, cut me loose and let me run with the rest of the lyrics.  After a few tweaks here and there, we had the song!

Country Music Pride:

Tell us about your approach on writing music? What inspires you?

Liz Anne Hill:

I’ve found that my best inspiration comes from real life; I’ve always used songwriting as a way to process events and emotions, both good and bad, that I had a difficult time fully comprehending in the moment.  I enjoy co-writing, but I’ve found that some of my favorite songs come when I’m writing by myself, for myself.

I wish I could say there was more of a rhyme or reason behind how I write songs, but they all seem to start in different ways!  My primary instrument is bass, and while I play guitar and piano well enough to write, my background in bass always has me looking for the root of the chord progression when I’m writing. I’ll generally hear a melody first, find a progression, and the lyrics will follow, but that’s not always the case for every song.

Country Music Pride:

Who has had the biggest influence on your music?

Liz Anne Hill:

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family of musicians, and that undeniably had a huge influence on my understanding of and appreciation for music. My mom is a vocalist and plays piano, my dad is an amazing guitar player and also writes and sings, and my sister sings, writes, arranges, and plays piano and pipe organ.  Music was always a constant in our family, my parents enrolled my sister and me in church choir at age five, and we were singing in 3-part harmony with my mom by the time I was 7 and my sister 9 years old.  My parents brought my sister and me along to every concert they went to, we saw Prince, Bonnie Raitt, Martina McBride, Reba, Wynona Judd, Heart, Sting and the Police, Stevie Wonder, the Eagles, and Dolly Parton, among others.
My parents were both in a band together in high school, and played professionally until my sister and I came along. They sacrificed their own musical careers and took on steady day jobs to provide a good life for my sister and me, but that never stopped them from encouraging us to take every opportunity we could to chase our dreams and pursue music. I’ll always be so grateful for that.

Country Music Pride:

Have you in turn received any accolades from any groups or persons that you highly value?

Liz Anne Hill:

What a cool question! I’m lucky enough to have some good friends who are successful in the industry, both on the production and artist side.  Being raised for the majority of my childhood in California, I felt obligated in a way to perform rock/pop music, even though I had been writing country for years and felt like my voice (both as a singer and a writer) was so much more authentic in country.  When I finally decided to record this album, I can honestly say I was a little concerned about showing my friends in the industry.  Much to my surprise, the resounding response I received from my friends was that they agreed I’d found my voice. Little did they know it was there all along, I just had to let it out.

Country Music Pride:

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?

Liz Anne Hill:

It’s always been a dream of mine to sing a duet with Reba and or Martina McBride. They are both such powerhouse singers, and they rock the red hair.
 

Country Music Pride:

What is your take on “California Country”?

Liz Anne Hill:

I’m so glad you asked. 🙂 I think a lot of people forget that California has had its fair share of influence on country music. the “Bakersfield Sound” was a formative part of the genre, Merle Haggard was born in a tiny town in Kern County, CA.  The Eagles came out of Topanga Canyon. There are some great artists in modern country artists with origins in California, like Cam and Jon Pardi.  I was actually raised back and forth between a suburb of Los Angeles and Bisbee, AZ, a small mining town in southeastern part of the state. I’m a huge fan of traditional country, and I know that comes from growing up listening to the radio station in the neighboring town of Douglas, AZ.  My interpretation of California Country is a mix of roots and modernity. I always plan to pay homage to the rich heritage of country music, it’s part of my upbringing… however there’s a unique perspective us west-coasters bring to the genre, and I’m proud to represent both California and Arizona as an artist.

Also, to quote my fellow Californian, Cam, I’ll never be one of those girls who are “singing ’bout the country, and putting out the hits, but those boots sure never stepped in horse sh*t” haha. I’ve been riding, training, rescuing and rehabbing horses since I was a girl, and I’ll bet my saddle I can outride just about any country singer out there… except for maybe Reba and George Strait, because they used to rodeo.

Country Music Pride:

What are some of the “dues” you’ve had to pay for “paying your dues” as an up and coming artist? Have any almost pushed you far enough to almost quit?

Liz Anne Hill:

I’d definitely say I’ve paid some dues to be at this point in my career… even though in some ways I feel like I’m starting from the beginning again. I joined my first band at 14, and took on my first job as a stall cleaner at the barn to be able to help pitch in for recordings. My parents have always supported me and helped whenever they could, but the older I get, the more I respect that they let me work for what I wanted instead of just doing it for me.  I continued playing in bands through high school, started demo singing for several producers in college, and graduated a year early from UCLA so I could begin working as a touring musician. I travelled the country playing bass for other artists, finishing up my final college credits from the back of a tour bus.  The entire time, I continued writing for myself and began writing songs with and for other artists.

I was noticed by an LA-based producer and signed to a pop/rock recording deal for about three years, and learned so much from that experience.  Two dance remixes of my songs charted on Billboard, I had my own channel on American Airlines, and my music videos were playing in malls, movie theaters, gyms and restaurants all around the country, but I felt at odds with the music I was making and performing… I grew up on traditional country and rock, so singing to my own EDM karaoke tracks in dance clubs didn’t do much for me. I was equally heartbroken and relieved when I lost my deal, immediately picked up the pieces, and went back to all those country songs I’d written. I knew there was no looking back, I’d spent enough time making music that didn’t feel like me, it was time to just do what I do best, and that’s write and sing country music.

Country Music Pride:

Where would you like to see yourself in the next 5 years as an artist?

Liz Anne Hill:

I know it’s a lofty goal, but I intend to leave my mark on the genre. In five years, I hope to be two or three albums in, have shared the stage opening for some of my favorite artists, and be planning to start a headlining tour. A CMA/ACM or two wouldn’t hurt. We’ll just have to see, now won’t we. 😉

For more information on Liz Anne Hill, visit her website and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Check out the behind the scenes video for “The Fish Ain’t Bitin'” here:

One Response to {Interview} Pop Princess Turned Country Music’s Newest Badass…Meet Liz Anne Hill

  1. Loralie Wilks June 7, 2017 at 3:39 am #

    Very cool! 🙂

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