A Delaware man who released his first full-length album last month said he’s looking forward to touring and recording again.
JT Hillier said Wednesday he recorded the album last year and spent most of the year working on it and raising funds to release it. His eight-song album, “Elevate,” was released Nov. 12 and is available on all the popular streaming and music stores, Hillier said.
“It was a process,” he added. “I worked on it in 2018. I had it finished in April and then did a kickstarter to recoup the cost of recording, and once the money was there, I released it. I’m trying to get myself a tour in spring of next year, but I’m still playing gigs locally and in Columbus.”
Hillier said he’s been playing music since he was a student at Hayes High School, and the album was inspired in part by the acoustic singer/songwriters that were popular when he was younger like Jack Johnson and John Mayer.
”Relief” was the first thing that came to mind, Hillier said, when he finished “Elevate,” and he’s thankful that modern music listeners don’t stick to just one style anymore.
“A lot of new artist any more don’t seemed to concerned about picking a genre,” Hillier said. “A lot of stuff is really all over the place. People are more tolerant of artists doing whatever they feel and that’s the direction I’m hoping to go. I really put a lot of time and energy into making the album. There’s a lot of anticipation there and build up, and now that it’s released, it’s like ‘Wow, I’m done.’ It’s validating.”
He said “Elevate” contains some songs in that style, but he couldn’t really pick a genre for the album and experimented with a variety of styles.
“This is my first full-length album, so I kind of wanted to give myself a lot of leeway. I just tried to write everything I liked and didn’t really get too hung up on picking a genre,” Hillier said. “It’s kind of nice, because I feel like I have a lot of things I can do now; when I follow it up, I can go a lot of different directions. I’d say it’s a mix of pop-singer/songwriter, a little bit of alternative country, alternative rock, and neo-soul stuff that’s on the radio. So, it has a mix of everything.”
Hillier said the album’s diversity is a strength, and he hopes to reach a variety of listeners.
“I think there’s something for everybody on this record,” he said. “For me, it’s nice to have a mix of songs because honestly, I get tired of hearing one style for too long, and I like to mix it up. I think most people like to do that. Fortunately, I have enough songs on the record that people can try and listen to all of it and see if they like any of it. Hopefully, they find something they enjoy. That’s my goal, to mix it up and keep people interested and keep myself interested.”
Hillier said he got his start in music performing at Ohio Wesleyan University, around Delaware, and in Columbus. Even with a potential tour and follow-up album, Hillier added he wants to continue to be a part of Delaware.
“Hopefully, I’ll continue to record and make more music,” he said. “It’s pretty cool. I went to Hayes and grew up in Delaware, and it’s always been part of the whole thing for me is being close to my home and the community. I certain had a lot of other goals to follow up this record, and it’s kind of reinvigorated my goals. It’s part of what I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”
More information about the album and Hillier can be found at https://www.jthilliermusic.com/.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.