Willard Hill is a rapper, singer, and musician known to blend Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk, Latin, Soul, and whatever moves his spirit into his own unique sound. Growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana provided him with an opportunity to sample the musical gumbo that the city has always been known to serve. Being no stranger to the eclectic, his travels and love of cultural immersion would help him to add to that flavor and develop his style— New Orleans Hip Hop/Soul. He is able to paint cinematic landscapes with his lyricism, storytelling, and production. With a laid back approach he draws you into vivid scenes that are meant to inspire, give insight, and immerse the listener in his world—a world that, right or wrong, offers a deeper understanding of humanity, urban life, and everyday people.
After high school Willard Hill left New Orleans to study Jazz at Howard University in Washington, DC. Although he enjoyed the program he dropped out and moved back to New Orleans looking for an in road into making music. Hurricane Katrina forced his family to leave the city and after a brief stint in Texas and Cleveland, he found himself back at Howard. This time he met Wyclef Jean and Jerry Wonda who offered him an internship in their Manhattan studio if he ever moved to New York. Immediately after graduation… he did. After three weeks they hired him on full time. While working with them Willard began to learn the production side of music by sitting in on sessions and studying the methods of the high profile clients the studio catered to. After all the clients would leave, Willard would stay in the studio and hone his skills by practicing what he had absorbed that night. He eventually went on to make a name for himself by bringing his style to studio sessions with many veteran and up and coming producers and artists throughout NYC.
In 2011 he independently released his first project Gemini Mood Swings, which featured the self-produced single Future Fresh. With his lyricism and production setting the scene, Future Fresh began getting airplay on the college radio circuit and made it's way to rotation on WQUE 93.3 FM in his hometown of New Orleans. It even got love on WGCI 107.5 FM in Chicago, Illinois when it was featured on "Download or Delete" (where listeners vote for or against it). That night it was voted 92% as a fan favorite. All of this traction was gained with no promotion, no manager, and no major campaign; a clear sign that he was on the right track. After the buzz started to grow he even began receiving offers for deals with companies as far away as Paris, France. He then began performing around New York at places like Mo's, Five Steps Down, and Southpaw before eventually moving west to take care of family and continue to chase his dream.
Now residing in Los Angeles, California he is busier than ever. In his first months in town he started collaborating as a session writer and producer, found himself on stage at The Roxy as a guitarist, and even worked with the legendary songwriter/producer Leon Ware. In February 2015 Willard released his latest independent project Sketches of Spain Street . This latest endeavor chronicles his return to his beloved New Orleans; only to find himself a stranger in his own hometown. Feeling out of place, he makes peace with his demons before finally moving on to L.A. His album release performance/party was held at the House of Blues in New Orleans to commemorate the closing of one chapter, and the opening of another. Since then he has been booked around Los Angeles at places like: The Mint (twice), The House of Blues, and WitZend to name a few.
Now the stars are aligning and lighting his path. The recent resurgence of musicianship and versatility in the music industry is primed for someone of his caliber. A multifaceted lyricist and singer, that plays four instruments, and has a strong message will no longer be a rarety— he will be a cornerstone of a movement. Stay tuned.