Langford singer-songwriter Carmen Hillary is gearing up to release her second and hopefully breakthrough album this Friday.
Her first album, Chameleon, was released in 2003. Her second, Window Seat, has been a few years in the making.
“I know a lot more about who I am artistically now,” Hillary said. “When I was younger I was living up to expectations of what I thought I should do. Now I am much more in touch with myself creatively and emotionally.”
Window Seat is difficult to categorize musically into a genre. Hillary calls it “pop rock, that is also a little more alternative.”
“It’s very textural with layers and has a lot of variety to it.”
While Hillary writes her own music and lyrics, a few of the songs on the album have been co-written with other artists including her husband, musician Tim O’Brian. The song Under Your Sky, for instance, was co-written by Paul Statham who has worked with many artists, including Dido and Kylie Minogue.
Hillary’s songs stem from her personal experiences and life lessons, and sometimes they are based on turmoil other people are going through too.
“I am extremely observant and I am fascinated by the human mind,” Hillary said. “I sometimes write songs about what I have learned so I don’t forget.”
One of her favourite songs on the album is Little Girl. The song is written as Hillary talking to her childhood self.
“It’s me telling the little girl in me that she is wrecking my life at that time. She is creating drama where there doesn’t need to be drama,” Hillary said.
Three of the songs on the album were remastered by Simon Heyworth, a producer who has worked with late Beatle George Harrison.
Hillary grew up in a family of musicians and connected with music at an early age.
“I started writing songs at age seven in my bedroom,” said Hillary, who grew up in Langford.
“When I was younger I wanted a career like Britney Spears or Madonna, now my biggest goal is just to be able to work on songs and write.”
When Hillary is not working on her music, she is helping other aspiring musiicans hone their craft. She works out of her home in Langford as a singing teacher with more than 100 students.
Her next goal is to get her songs features on television and in movies.
Hillary’s CD release party is at Moka House,103-1633 Hillside Ave. on Nov. 11. Hillary will be performing and mingling with her fans from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
For more information go to www.carmenhillary.com.