Media

Media

Heather Hill Studio WEB-2094
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heather sings
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HH Cantebury Studio Art
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HH One Fire Shot
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HH Dora Keogh in Toronto
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HH Flower on the Wall
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Photo credit: Brendan Albert

Photo credit: Brendan Albert

Photo credit: Brendan Albert

Photo credit: Brendan Albert

Photo credit: Lawrie Ingles

Photo credit: Lawrie Ingles

Photo credit: Michelle Quance

Photo credit: Michelle Quance

 

Bio

 

As I sit at my piano and the night falls on Blue Mountains

I look out my window and I see stars fill the canvas

 

The naturally beautiful, soul-stirring enclave of Blue Mountains, Ontario is where accomplished pianist, vocalist and published songwriter Heather Hill spends the majority of her time these days. She breathes in the crisp, clear days and sensory-peaking surroundings on the shores of Georgian Bay and then, looking out from her piano room window on to an enchanting forest grove, breathes it all back out in moving and inspiring songs. Heather writes heartfelt stories, sings with soaring vocals, and plays haunting piano melodies. Her songs come from her soul’s longing to spread love and peace in the world, and a life and career that have taken her from Toronto to New York City, back to Toronto and now, to the rural Ontario paradise she and her family call home.

 

Splitting time between fast-paced city life and the tranquility of the country provided a good chunk of the impetus for Heather to record her recently released, third album “We are the same”. Encapsulated in the album title’s bold statement, it’s a reflection on how we can see how similar we are in our humanity if we stop focusing on our differences.

 

“We are the same” is a warm hug in an uncertain world.

 

This collection of 12 inspirational, acoustic, piano-based songs is about hope and taking responsibility for one’s impact in the world. As a musician, human rights’ activist, and mom raising two kids in these times of suffering and upheaval, Heather offers a view of humanity that is keenly observant, compassionate and rooted in nature. She sings about being gentle on yourself, reaching out for help, stargazing, acceptance and the undeniable flow of the river of life.

 

Do you ever feel like you’re rowing upstream

You’re tired. You’re broken. You’re ready to quit.

You go within ‘cause there’s no one left

You hear the voice within, it says ‘Let go of the oars’

Let go. Let flow down the river and into the sea

- “The River” from “We Are The Same”

 

“This album is about hope and taking responsibility for my impact in the world. My intention was to offer a view of humanity that is heart-warming, compassionate, and filled with nature. The RIver’ is about full surrender with nature as my teacher. The river winding through the forest that I walk beside every day reminds me of letting go of the worry and fear of losing loved ones, raising teens in isolation and turbulence, and reinventing how I am coexisting with nature and my community. This song gives me hope because the river always finds its way through obstacles and joins a larger body of water with such ease.”

 

Recorded and mixed at Toronto’s Canterbury Sound Company with Julian Decorte (Gordon Lightfoot, The Pixies, Serena Ryder) with additional mixing at Kensington Sound, and with Adam Fair (Sass Jordan, Kim Mitchell, Valley) at Villa Sound in Singhampton, Ontario, “We Are The Same” showcases Heather’s songs in their most unadorned, soul-baring form. Opting for a strictly acoustic approach of just Heather’s expressive piano playing, richly vibrant vocals and occasional extra instrumentation, each track feels like a raw journal entry, captured at the initial moment of reflecting both inward and outward.

 

It’s the simple light of Venus

Casts a gentle stroke of genius

With the five points she leads us

On a journey of soul free-ness

- “Venus” from “We are the same”

“This album was recorded in two parts,” Heather explains.” The first set of songs were recorded live off the floor with Julian Decorte. I collaborated with Harrison Fine on “I Rise” and Alec Steinwall and Orville Heyn on “We are the same”. The second set of songs were recorded in remote Singhampton with Adam Fair. I like to record live off the floor as I can deliver the song story in its most raw and simple form.”

 

From the quiet solace of a Sunday morning prayer to an awestruck moment looking up at the universe’s star-filled canopy, “We are the same” is both a window into Heather’s innermost thoughts and an open book, widely relatable to anyone on their own journey through life, love and personal growth.  

 

While possessing her own, unique sensibilities and style hallmarks, Heather Hill is often compared to esteemed female singer-songwriter and pianist peers such as Christine McVie, Kate Bush, Karen Carpenter, Tori Amos and Fiona Apple. Like Heather, all of these artists share a universal emotional heft to their songs, a masterful command of their instruments and a deeply observant view of the world and the human condition.

 

"Comparisons of Heather Hill to the singer-songwriter Tori Amos are inevitable. The piano-driven and rock-backed compositions are similar, but the content is less obtuse and dark than Amos’s style. Many of the songs are written to be inspiring power ballads or lighthearted major key tunes." - Noah Siegel, New Canadian Music

 

After achieving a classical piano performance degree (ARCT) from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (U of T) and a Master of Arts (English) degree from University of Waterloo, Heather and her husband Duncan moved to New York City, where she performed in some of the city’s most legendary clubs such as The Cutting Room and the Makor Room, and recorded her first album, “Listen” with platinum producer Steve Addabbo (Suzanne Vega, Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan). There, Heather also received her first song cut in the off-Broadway production “Songs of the Century”. While in NYC, Heather studied with revered singer-songwriter, producer, music mentor, teacher and co-founder of the Jazz Foundation of America, Ann Johns Ruckert, whom also worked with legends such as Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, T-Rex, Merry Clayton and Quincy Jones throughout her storied career.

 

“Heather's debut album "Listen" was an act of bravery as Heather was pregnant with her first child and first album. Her love of poetry and the piano combined in musical stories that will never be forgotten for those in my 3rd floor walk-up in Manhattan's west side."

- Ann Ruckert, Record Producer, 13 Stories, NYC

 

As Heather’s family began to grow, they moved back to Toronto and her passion for songwriting and performing continued to grow as well. She recorded and released her second album “Leuty Station”, live off the floor at Toronto’s Humber College with acclaimed music producer and vocal coach Orville Heyn (Mike Myers, Telma Hopkins, Suzie McNeil). Heather toured across Canada  in support of her sophomore release, highlighted by a particularly memorable show with Greig Nori and Bill Priddle (formerly Treble Charger) at LopLops in Sault Saint Marie and an album release show at Toronto’s Drake Hotel in front of a packed house with her incredible band: Paul DeLong (drums), Russ Boswell (bass), Eddie Paton (guitar), Dave Restivo (piano) and the O'Pears (vocal backup).

 

The “Leuty Station” period also brought forth radio and television appearances for Heather on such outlets as CFRB, CBC Radio1, Rogers Daytime Toronto and several college stations across Canada and the US. During this period, Heather also released a Factor-funded video, “Stupid Happy”, and cowrote "Find your Way" and "She's so Hungry" with multi-instrumentalist, jazz performer and producer, Mark Zubek of Zedd Records (Micah Barnes, Jen Chapin, Gavin Bradley) .

 

“Heather Hill’s Leuty Station is a remarkable and beautiful sounding disc. With strong vocals, imaginative words, music with hooks, expansive arrangements, and sometimes epic production, she presents an interesting strong female image lyrically.”

- Blair Packham, CFRB "In the Studio"

 

“Performing live is one of my greatest joys,” notes Heather. “It is always magical to see how my songs land with an audience. Adding a band amplifies it, and I lose myself in the genius of the other players. Next to performing, writing is my passion. I am a perpetual student of songwriting. Writing with others is an intimate and powerful experience of combining talents and experience.”

 

In addition to composing for her own releases, Heather likes to co-write songs with diverse artists. To name a few, she has co-written several songs with Chris Antonik, a #1 charting, Maple Blues Award nominated artist, award-winning singer-songwriter Henry Lees, Canadian rock powerhouse Jess Speziale, Matt Gerber, a quirky, heartwarming solo artist, Meghaan LeBlanc, a Nova Scotian Celtic troubadour,  and Kat Leonard, a comedian and entertainer.

 

Heather has also led the Toronto Songwriting Guild for the past decade – a group of 10-15 professional songwriters who are working on their song craft and sharing their talents. Additionally, she’s a member of One Fire Movement - a grassroots group of artists spreading peace through their art and activism.

 

Never one to rest long from creating new works, Heather Hill is currently working on her fourth album, tentatively titled “Twilight Mist”, aiming for a release in the spring of 2023.

 

From the skyscrapers of Manhattan to the majestic mountains and forests of Ontario’s Georgian Bay, Heather Hill’s soul-stirring and life affirming music transcends, uplifts and remains steadfast in its joyful celebration proclaiming no matter who we are and where we are, we all belong together because, truly, “We are the same”.

HH "We are the same" album cover
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HH "Leuty Station" Album Cover
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HH "Listen" - album cover
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CA Morningstar Album Cover
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CA "Monarch" - Album Cover
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"Willing Heart"
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Short Bio

Heather is published singer-songwriter living in Blue Mountains. She writes heart-felt stories, sings with soaring vocals, and plays haunting piano melodies. Her songs come from her soul’s longing to sing her truth and bring love and peace to the world.  She recorded her first album “Listen” in New York (2004), her second album “Leuty Station” in Toronto (2012), her third self-produced album “We are the Same” in Toronto (2022) and several solo and cowritten singles in between. She has a Factor-funded video, “Stupid Happy”.

 

She is now working on a full album release of songs called “Twilight Mist” to be released in the Spring of 2023.  Heather has a classical piano performance degree (ARCT) from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (U of T) and a Master of Arts (English) degree from U of Waterloo. She has led the Toronto Songwriting Guild for the past ten years – a group of 10-15 professional songwriters who are working on their craft. She is also an original member of the One Fire Movement, an organization spreading peace through the arts.

Dora Keogh with the TSG
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One Fire - Jess/Heather Recording
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ONE FIRE Gang
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Lop Lops Gig
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Leuty Station Band
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