Spotlight on Tash Hills

Special Feature 4/6/2021
Tash Hills

Meet Tash Hills: English South American Singer/Songwriter Tash hills draws inspiration from growing up listening to her Dads extensive record collection… August 2020 saw her debut single ‘Stepping on Out’ released. Written by Tash, Samuel Pack and Ashley Hills, then produced by George Holliday from Made on the Road, this song set in motion her sassy, fierce musical journey, bringing together modern soul & funk mixed with house music vibes…’First Breath’ and her debut ‘Stepping on Out’ are taken from her ‘Volume One’ E.P due for release in 2021. Source: About Tash Hills, Spotify.

My Kind of Music, with Tash Hills.

Taking a FIRST BREATH.

Though today’s Spotlight might be a bit smaller than you’re used too, it still took some time to be written. Life Happens, as we all know and I am the first to let the to-be featured artist know, I will adjust my schedule to theirs, as much as possible. Though we all know patience and I don’t go well together in one sentence 😳 Call me Eager. It did not take me long to understand how busy artists can be, since creating and producing their music is mostly an addition to their every day life and there’s only 24 hours a day to spend.

About a month after I started my Some Groovy Medicine Spotify playlist, I was getting better in finding new music to add to my weekly update every Monday. There’s so much new music uploaded to Spotify alone, every day, it’s amazing. And though I love some of the big names in the industry, my goal was/is, to find the ‘smaller’ names. These artists deserve attention and are mostly still building an audience and fanbase and it’s exciting to find music that is still in need of being discovered by the majority. Additional benefit: Possible Spotlight material is out there!

It’s even more exciting, when I find something that really stands out – in my opinion at least – and stands out in such a way, I put the track on repeat while writing. See, for those who don’t know me yet: I usually cannot write on new music, it will distract me too much, since I would want to really listen to it. I also can’t write on music which is not to my taste… Don’t think I really need to explain that 😂 So we’re writing 12/14/2020, when ‘First Breath’ is added to my weekly update and What a Freakin Banger!

The next day, I was in the middle of finishing up my Spotlight on YOU  X-mas special – which was a Big Thing for me – I spend the whole day writing with the song on repeat and decided to share it in my my IG story tagging Tash in it. That’s when I almost immediately found out what a lovely and warm person Tash Hills is: she responded so kind and genuinely happy, it was impossible to not like her instantly. Having dealt with a lot of artists by now, I know they’re only human – yes they are! – and not everybody responds the same way.

First Breath
is pure funky stuff. The beat, the rhythm, the funky bassline, amazing keys and added horns and percussion, guitar riffs culminating in a thrilling solo, all ingredients together make a fantastic track. And let’s not underestimate the lyrics, talking about what true love should be all about. It’s so freakin catchy, I don’t even think it’s possible for true funk/ disco, lovers, to overlook this one. It sure wasn’t for me. When I discovered the song, I was amazed Tash had around 20K Spotify listeners per month, with ‘just’ 2 songs. Quite a feat, which was helped by the add to the ‘Nu Funk’ Spotify playlist. Tash has a very strong, distinct voice – which I believe is one of the most important things to be recognized! – and she is clearly radiating the desire that’s only fueled by true love. First Breath? Uh-oh, she just stole it.

I’m Always keeping in mind messages can give a totally wrong idea of how people actually mean something, but Tash was very clear in the way she responded. Following her on social media only seem to confirm she has a caring, bubbly personality and her loved ones and music seem to complete her life in the best way possible. I love that. Making music takes a lot of time and effort and having people around you to support you is probably one of the most amazing things to keep you going. It’s all about support 💖

Tash’s positive personality further showed, when she not only followed me back immediately, but also showed interest in some of the other artists I have ‘Spotlighted’ and started to follow and encourage them. She actually thanked me, for making her aware of Billy Vena – to name one – and it’s always amazing for me to see when artists are supporting each other without any enmity, but only encouragement. They know what ‘the other’ is going through.

The next weekly update of my playlist featured ‘Stepping on Out’ and on the last day of 2020, I sent Tash a message, asking if she would be interested in doing a little interview. She responded really enthusiastic, as did I in turn, since until then I hadn’t been able to find any women to write about. It’s been a little quest of mine, since I was sure there are enough women in the scene, I just couldn’t find any 😏 (the only other woman I interviewed was part of a band).

Stepping on Out
was Tash’s debut single and has a little different feel from ‘First Breath’. It’s clearly a song with which Tash was going to establish who she is and what she stands for. Powerful lyrics describing a woman who knows what she wants – ‘we gotta say what we’re feeling’. In a way warning the world ‘to better watch out’. Though there is a definite funky beat and influence, the song radiates a bit more rock kind of feel, which supports the fierce lyrics. More than enough opportunity to ‘have a real good time’ and get down to it. Tash’s voice is perfect and giving the song a bit of a rougher edge. The single might have missed the attention and push ‘First Breath’ enjoyed, but it certainly deserves our love.

In just 2 songs, Tash has shown she is up for any musical challenge. If you checked my playlist and you’re wondering why Tash’s songs no longer show there: after the weekly update I move all songs to the Groovy Medicine Archive, where they will stay with all other Spotlights and other favs. I still listen to this list myself and you’re more than welcome to do so too 😉

It became a bit quieter between us, but Tash’s social media showed how busy she was working on her new music and I always aim not to push. Sometimes I have to let go and the Spotlight won’t come to life, BUT, not this time. I was very pleasantly surprised, when I received Tash’s reply just this week, in which she explains they were very busy with a house renovation too, well…enough said.  And yess, it’s about time you’ll hear what Tash is all about!

But before we go there, I would like to say: BIG Thank You Tash Hills! Respect for everything you do and the music you so wholeheartedly share with the world. I wish you all the love and blessings on your musical road and I am for sure looking forward to your new song! I will add you to the Spotlight page asap, where you will stay indefinitely and I will update any new release. And to you my readers, if you wish, you can leave a comment at the end of this page, for me or for Tash, I will make sure she gets your message 😇

The Interview

Let’s start with the obvious: Can you please introduce yourself and tell us, Who is Tash Hills? How and when did you get started in the music scene? Apart from singing, do you play any instruments?

‘Hey everyone, my name is Tash Hills and I am a singer/songwriter from the UK.  Music has always been in my life from an early age, I have always loved singing!  In my early childhood I played the recorder, clarinet and then went onto play the Saxophone.  At College and University, the saxophone was the instrument that got me into all my courses, the singing came later!  I have been in the local music scene and bands since I was in my teens’.

Was music always ‘in the stars’ for you? Where do you get your inspiration from and who have been your biggest influences / examples? 

‘Music has always been in my soul and at the very centre of my being.  My biggest influence is my Dad!  I can remember taking his vinyl and cassettes and sneaking off to play them in my room!  Everything from Stevie Wonder, Average White Band, Maze, Prince, George Benson, Steely Dan and Earth Wind and Fire.  I love most types of music, if the song is good, whatever style it is, it will resonate with me. 

In later life my biggest influences were Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Maxwell, D’Angelo, Masters at Work, Floetry etc.  Now, my influences are Tom Misch, Mac Ayers, Honne, Prep, Moonchild, Mamas’ Gun, Marie Dahlstrom and so many others.  One of my biggest influences, who has always been in my life is Omar, he is just the absolute Don of Soul, his voice is like no one else’s’.

With the two songs you’ve released, you clearly laid down a funky, disco sound. Do you feel that this is where your heart lies, or are you thinking about trying other genres maybe in the future?

‘My songs will always have Funk/Disco/Soul at the heart of them, that will never change, its just not me!  My third single which is due for release on the 16.04 has a more modern funk/dance feel but its still represents the Tash Hills sound and brand’.

What do you consider your biggest challenge when creating / producing music? And, this might be silly, but do you feel that it’s different for women to do what you do? (until now I have been interviewing men, except for one of the latter articles, which was a band with one female member and it is a funny coincidence that I have found you) I am very curious how women experience the whole scene.

‘I have been extremely lucky so far with the Tash Hills project that I have had no difficulties but this is because of the amazing team I have who work with me.  Its all about creatively connecting and understanding each other. 

I was lucky enough to find Samuel Pack (BIPHONY) and we started writing together and the process just flowed so well, he brings out the best in me and the lyrics we write.  My partner Ashley, knows what chords/chord changes I like for when we write music together. George Holliday gets ‘Tash Hills’ and is able to bring my songs to life the way that I visioned them. 

There is always a lot of toing and froing, we usually end up with about 18 versions of the song, each time with a new suggestion or tweak by Ash and I which makes the songs what you hear today.  They go from being completely acoustic songs to these big multi layered songs’.

What does a day-in the-life-of Tash Hills, looks like, while working on your music? Do you manage everything on your own?

‘Currently myself and Ashley manage everything in between our normal work and family life.  Its hard at times but the excitement and proudness of what we have done just takes over when were having a hard day!! Lol!’ 

It’s pretty amazing, that with the 2 tracks, you have had 20K plus listeners per month for some time on Spotify, after the add to the ‘Nu Funk‘ playlist. Although numbers have gone down a bit – due to having moved down said list – how does that feel to start with? What is your vision for the near future, what dreams and accomplishments you hope to achieve?

Spotify’s Nu-Funk Playlist

‘It feels amazing! To make the Nu-Funk playlist by ourselves through a pitch to Spotify, still absolutely blows our minds!!!!  To then be played with both our singles on DJ Taro’s playlist just made our 2020!  We will forever be grateful for all the amazing support we have received all over the world. 

The vision is to keep making good music for people to have a party to!!!! I’m all about being positive and fun; as I love dancing so much, its all about that Live Show we will be creating!  My dream is to play ‘the Jazz Cafe’ – London, the US and Japan!!  The rest of the journey we are happy to see what happens, we have already achieved more that we dreamed of’.

 When can we expect a new Tash Hills track? Anything interesting you’re currently working on which you can share?

‘Come On is due for release on the 16.04 and is about being cheated on but remaining a Queen! Its funky, upbeat but a little different which is exciting!!

Single Number 4, I don’t want to give too much away but for all you First Breath fans with it still on repeat – you’re going to love this one!!!!!!!!! 

We will then have Single number 5, which we will start working on in May for a late Summer (hopefully) release; and also a collab with a fellow ‘Nu-Funk’ producer in the US – but ill keep that one secret!!!! Exciting stuff!’

Is there anything else you wish to add / share, with your fans, the readers?

‘We would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported Tash Hills so far, keep with us on the journey, we have so much more to bring!’

And Tash added a very nice message for me too – showing her caring character – which I want to share here, hope you don’t mind Tash, but it’s just too sweet:

Thank you so much Wieneke, thank you for finding artists like me and finding the time to support us, it genuinely means the world and I look forward to hopefully one day being able to meet you in person’.

Well, I can only say: It’s one of my deepest wishes, to be able to meet all the amazing artists I had the pleasure to interview, in real life. And Tash is not that far away from me either, so, fingers crossed 🤞

Again, Big Thanks to Tash Hills! I hope you all enjoyed the interview and if you’re not following Tash yet, here are the links you need to start doing just that:

Follow Tash Hills on SpotifySoundCloudYouTube InstagramFacebookTwitterWebsite

Wishing y’all a very Funky Week, do a little dance, it will make you smile

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Colorfulexpressionsmusic@gmail.com

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