Clara Hill: The Newest of Nu-Soul
- Words: Joshua P. Ferguson
While the rest of the world is being buzzed awake by alarms, cinching up their ties, and rushing out the door to catch the commuter train, Clara Hill takes an all-together different approach to life. Hill stops to smell the roses. She listens to the wind rustling the leaves of trees, birds chirping off in the distance, and couples whispering to each other on a nearby park bench. In short, she takes in the world around her and uses it as the creative fuel for her deeply personal musical compositions.
"Nature is always my inspiration: particular moments, words, harmonies, sounds, most of the curious things around me," avows this beautiful native Berliner, who has rocketed up the roster of her groundbreaking record label, Sonar Kollektiv, to become one of their top acts and their flagship female artist. Beginning as a guest vocalist for prominent acts like Jazzanova, Hill now has two albums to her name as well as multiple 12" singles.
"All I Can Provide is more personal, a kind of diary," she says of her most recent album, a rich tapestry of musical colors that seamlessly incorporates musical influences from folk, jazz, and downtempo to deep house and boogie. The record, underpinned by Hill's lilting voice, also boasts an impressive list of collaborators, including Vikter Duplaix, Charles Webster, King Britt, Atjazz, and labelmates Slope. "I had no idea how it would be to work with so many different producers," she enthuses, "but the result is more than I expected!"
Hill goes on to explain that it is this sort of collaborative experience that has helped her grow as an artist. "At present, I get a lot of energy from people. [especially] people I meet when I travel around the world; [by the time] I have to leave them I [get] the feeling I really know them."
Introspective (and a bit shy) by nature, she replies modestly when asked if there is anything else she wants to communicate to her growing American audience. "I think the music that speaks to you is much more important than my words here," she writes via email from Australia, where she's touring. "Music is my platform for expressing feelings and circumstances I can't communicate with real words."
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