Judith Hill opts for a Different Path in Music


Judith Hill, apparently knows the internet and how to navigate it, unlike Prince. The latter may not know anything about Spotify, the hugely popular streaming service, but Hill definitely knows a thing or two about LiveNation.com as she used the website for launching her new album last month, which was produced by Prince and called ‘Back in Time’. Last weekend, Hill spoke about Live Nation before a dress rehearsal late at night at Paisley Park in Chanhassen. She said that it was an unconventional and exciting way of introducing new music to the people and it also has a complete database of e-mails.

She is absolutely right, apparently. While concerts have been promoted for Prince and numerous other stars by Live Nation, it has never been linked with music downloads. However, last month, for two complete days, LiveNation.com offered Hill’s album for free download after making an e-mail pitch to its subscribers. Speaking with pride, Hill said that the first day brought 50,000 and the total number was around 150,000. She said that this was quite impressive as the files were quite large and it would be the number 1 album if it was the service called SoundScan, which tracks the sales of the music industry.

Of course you cannot exactly call Judith Hill a newcomer. She co-starred in ‘This is it’, the posthumous Michael Jackson tour-rehearsal movie in 2009, also appeared in ’20 Feet from Stardom’ in 2013, the documentary about backup vocalists that won an Oscar and was also a finalist in NBC’s The Voice in 2013. The 31-year old is one of the few singers who has had the honor of working with both Prince and Jackson and she took a long pause when she was asked to contrast. Finally, she said that Michael was quite different as he lived in his own world, had loads of dancers and kept the ideas flowing.

On the other hand, Prince works organically so there aren’t a lot of bells and whistles where he is involved. While Hill said that she did most of the songwriting for Back in Time, Prince played a key role in the arrangements of the album. The tunes range from belted blues and big ballads to social commentary regarding police-related killings and horn-flavored funk. Several instruments on the album were played by Prince and the project also includes performances from others in Prince’s circle such as the NPG horns and his drummers, John Blackwell and Kirk Johnson.

Since Live Nation made the announcement of Hill’s album, she has been sued by a New York producer Jolene Cherry as she had worked with them. Hill didn’t provide any information about the case. In 2013, she had signed a deal with Sony, but no album had been released. She doesn’t know the release date of Back in Time nor about the label that will be responsible. Not only will she open shows for Prince, but Hill will also play the club dates along with her band. 
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