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article imageLiz Anne Hill talks 'The Desert,' digital age, and dream duets Special

By Markos Papadatos     Sep 17, 2019 in Music
Country singer-songwriter Liz Anne Hill chatted with Digital Journal about her new single "The Desert," and she spoke about being a musician in this digital age.
On the song "The Desert," she said, "I spent a lot of my childhood in a rural part of southeastern Arizona. Since moving to Nashville in 2017, when I have nostalgia for going home, I picture the desert. The concept for the EP came about after writing the title track."
"I had written over a hundred songs in my first year moving to Nashville, and submitted about 30 to my producer, Louis Newman. He insisted I could dig deeper. After co-writing with writers around town, The Desert actually came from a Skype co-write with my sister," she said.
"I shared the song with Louis the following day and knew we were onto something. I continued to write songs with this southwestern aesthetic in mind - and had a very clear vision for wanting the music to sonically reflect the desert theme. Once the EP was completed, I teamed up with my dear friends at Collective Films and developed a four-part storyline to tie the whole EP together visually. I couldn't be more proud of how the entire project came together," she said.
Regarding her musical inspirations, she said, "The lyrics are all autobiographical and deeply personal. While there's some room for interpretation, I definitely enjoy writing in a style that is genuine to my life and experiences but with enough space to let the listener relate in their own way."
"In writes, I generally refer to myself as a melody girl - as the melody is what comes most naturally to me. The melodies for 'The Desert' and 'Border' in particular rattled around in my brain for a while until I brought them into the write," she said.
On her plans for the future, she said, "As I mentioned, the EP has a four-part music video series, that I'll be releasing one by one. Each episode tells a little more of the story, and I'm excited to see what viewers think about how it ends."
She finds the digital age very "empowering." "More now than ever, artists have the ability to directly connect with their fanbase, create and release content, and develop their brand without the help of a label. I write for and with a lot of new artists, who all have their sights set on landing a record deal," she said.
Hill continued, "Getting a deal is viewed as an end destination, but having many musician friends who are signed to deals, and having had one myself, I know the work doesn't stop there. In late 2018, my friend and I began a youtube cover project half as an experiment and half for fun. Our fans are so fun and engaging, and I am truly honored to have their support with my solo music. Without the power of social media, this ability to connect with so many music lovers wouldn't be possible."
On the impact of streaming services and technology on the music business, she said, "It's a sticky widget for sure. There are some sides to streaming that are unfair to songwriters, and there are some incredible leaders in the songwriting community actively fighting to right the imbalances."
"I feel like the sheer volume of music available can make the music seem like a commodity that's dispensable but at the same time, streaming isn't going anywhere and trying to fight the tide is futile. I've adopted the approach of having an open hand with all of it; you create with your heart, but the best music and the best visuals out that you can. If people love it, awesome. If it doesn't spark, onto the next. Keep creating," she said.
For young and aspiring singer-songwriters, she said, "So many young artists emulate other artists and chase radio. It's only natural to copy what you hear, we all do it as a way to figure out 'our sound.' That being said, with how much music is available on every platform imaginable, nobody wants to hear 18 artists who sort of sound like some other artists they want to hear you."
"Figure out what you want to say. Dial in your vision. Clearly visualize the world that exists in your mind: what it feels like, sounds like, smells like, tastes like, and go create a slice of that to share with others. Lean in to what makes you you, and the rest will fall into place," she added.
She listed country queens Reba McEntire, Wynonna and Martina McBride as her dream female collaboration choices in country music.
For her fans, she concluded about "The Desert," "The song itself is for survivors. It's for those who have had to stare face to face with their demons and didn't back down. It's for anybody who has been through it and come out stronger on the other side."
"The Desert" is available on Apple Music.
More about Liz Anne Hill, Country, Singersongwriter, Martina McBride, reba mcentire
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