I was fortunate enough to see Hilary Grist for FREE!! at the Maple Ridge Act on the Songstage Nights this event is the first Tuesday of each month.
I had bought her newest Cd “Imaginings” and enjoy her sound very much she was kind enough to give me an interview through email.
Where were you born/grow up?
I was born up in Northern BC in the tiny town of Quesnel. We moved to Maple Ridge when I was about 2 years old and I spent the rest of my childhood years there. It was a great place to grow up.
What inspired you your start in music, also any teachings that had from schools/family?
My parents enrolled me in piano lessons when I was really young, maybe 3 or 4 years old, so I don't remember starting music actually, just that I had always done it. I was really inspired by my Maple Ridge piano teacher Robyn Tremblay, who still lives there. She was always very supportive of me and encouraged me from a young age to write my own songs. As a teenager I started jamming with friends and became really involved with all the choirs at Maple Ridge Secondary. That was when I truly felt that music was going to be such a big part of my path and passion. My family has also always been very supportive.
Your song “Stick of Dynamite” was recently on Degrassi Jr High how did that all come about?
I was lucky enough to be heard by an agent who pitched my song to the producers of Degrassi and it went from there. So far I've had two song placements on that show. It's a real thrill!
Here is her video for "Something Beautiful"
For songs like “Tall Buildings” & “Save you for last” both are VERY artistic. How long did they both take to do?
Oh boy, the videos for these two songs were a lot of fun and a lot of work. 'Tall Buildings' by far takes the cake though, definitely my most ambitious project to date. It took at least a month for us to plan, make all the cardboard structures, film, edit, etc.
'Save You For Last' only took a day, but a lot of advance planning went into executing all the drawings in one take. I love making music videos for my songs. It's another way to be creative and bring the songs to life.
I have compared your sound to that of Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan are they any influence on your writing etc?
I haven't listened to Tori Amos very much actually, but Sarah McLachlan was definitely an inspiration and had a big influence on me. She was becoming really popular when I was a teenager and I remember singing along to her records all the time and going to a few of her concerts.
If people like what they see here, where can they get your music from?
My music is all available on iTunes. Also at CDBaby and BandCamp. And a few stores in Vancouver like Red Cat Records and Zulu Records. Or they can just email me and I'll pop one in the mail for them the old fashioned way. Thanks!
Are you touring at all I am sure allot of people in the Lower Mainland would be happy to know where they might be able to see you. Also any chances you might do a return concert in Maple Ridge?
I am doing a lot of touring this summer and I'm really looking forward to it! We are heading off to Japan and Korea at the end of July and I'm really excited to get the chance to play over there. After that we play in the interior at the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival.
I had first heard your lovely voice on The Vancouver 125 celebration Cd the song was “The City of Green & Blue” I still play that song allot I really enjoy the richness of it all, is that song about where you grew up?
'City of Green and Blue' was written after I took a plane back to Vancouver from Toronto. I was looking out the window and feeling amazed at all the beautiful mountains, ocean and greenery I saw. I love Toronto too, but I was happy to be home again on the west coast.
Where do you record your albums?Also the musicians that are the album with you, where did you meet them do they tour with you?
I record my albums at Creativ Recording Studio in North Vancouver with my amazing husband/producer, Mike Southworth. I've met pretty much all the musicians I know in and around the Vancouver music scene and when I went to school at Capilano University's music program. I have started touring with a band more recently, but before that I used to tour solo or as a duo.
Lastly are you working on anything new, or when can we expect some new music from Hilary Grist?
I'm working on a new album called 'Tomorrow is a Chance to Start Over'. It's a collection of original lullabyes. I'm really excited to share it. And I'm already busy writing for my next album after that one is out.
Here is her "NEW" video "Swallow Me Up" which debuted the end of June.
Thanks so much Hilary I really appreciate all of your creativity
Thanks for the interview! It was totally my pleasure! All the best to you!