About Hilary – The Musical Hat
About Hilary – The Musical Hat
A Brief Background
I am Hilary, The Musical Hat and I am a singer based in the UK. In my childhood, my musical journey really began when I started to play the clarinet and quickly moved to playing in bands and orchestras where I developed a love of the saxophone. It seemed a logical progression and I took up the tenor sax first of all, this later developed to the alto sax and the bass clarinet. The sounds are mellow and mirror my singing style. Throughout my childhood, I would go with family to listen to various concerts with full brass and woodwind sections. I always knew I would be on stage but my main passion lay dormant and hidden for many years, the passion for singing. I was always too nervous to sing in front of anyone, so much so that even when singing in the car alone I would stop the vocals when passing a pedestrian or when stopped in traffic in case anyone heard me!
For the Love of Jazz
My main musical genre love is the great world of jazz from the 1940’s. Mainly Julie London, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and their contemporary singers. In later years I have taken inspiration from the glorious Michael Buble, Joe Longthorne, Liza Minnelli, Dame Shirley Bassey and others like them. My other love of music stems from Big Band, Rat Pack, (Sammie Davis being a particular favourite) Robbie Williams and his fantastic Swing When You are Winning album, Richard Skelton singing a Big Band version of the Top Cat theme tune! It is certainly varied. I also loves to sing power ballads such as If I Never Sing Another Song, Don’t Cry Out Loud as well as some Whitney Houston & Madonna greats. I will also sing some of the more powerful emotive Musical Theatre songs that have graced our stages over the years but my main comfort genre will always be the 1940’s jazz and Big Band.
The Singing Journey
Not so long ago, I found the courage to record a few tracks for personal achievement and the bucket list and, dare I say, my main motivation was for my voice to still be around when I am dead. Cheery – but true. I decided to name the album, “If I Never”. I plucked up the nerve to allow family and a few select friends to hear it. Their responses were indeed humbling and unexpected. Of course, with these close people only hearing my voice, I was very grateful for their positivity yet still the demons that had cemented themselves in my self belief nagged away at me. What if they are only saying it because they are so close and don’t want to upset me? I knew, deep down, that wouldn’t be the case, but for years I had this gnawing self doubt and instead of letting that beat me this time, I physically felt myself square up to it and I decided to let other people I knew hear me sing. People that had no reason to say things as a well meaning friend or family member. I also let people I know are musicians hear it, people who have known me for years. That was a huge test for my courage more than anything else. The reactions I had have powered me forward. Not only am I bringing my voice out into the open, I hope to encourage people who have the same fears around singing that I had. Singing is fabulous. Whether you are a shower-singer, a car-belter, a quiet-hum-to-yourself-person or a carefree-out-of-tune-but-loving-it-person, singing brings us joy and uplifts our spirits.
I have brought my passion for singing out into the open and I hope you enjoy listening to what I do and I thank you for allowing me to share this musical journey with you.