Liz Anne Hill is a country singer from California released her latest single, “The Fish Ain’t Bitin'” in late June of 2017. Liz Anne has toured the nation playing packed concerts, sharing her incredible vocal talents with audiences. Moreover, she is also an equestrian rider who specializes in jumping. Liz Anne recently made the full-time move into country music and we got the chance to talk with her about the new music and her hopes for the future in an exclusive interview.”
Meagan Meehan (MM) of Entertainment Vine: How did you get into country music and how would you describe your personal style within the genre?
Liz Anne Hill (LAH): I’ve been a voracious fan of country music since I was a little girl- I grew up back and forth between Orange County, CA, and a small town in Cochise County, AZ. Regardless of where I was, the radio was always on, and both places had killer country stations. At the time, I wasn’t aware of how vastly different the playlists of each station were: KZLA (in California) played the newest Shania, Reba, Martina, Faith and Wynona hits. KDAP (in Arizona) played the classics, like Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Patsy Cline, and Dolly and Porter. I loved them both, without any idea how special it was to have exposure to such a broad spectrum of the genre.
Even though country was closest to my heart, my first bands were all California-based, and my friends were wrapped up in pop-punk, ska, pop-rock, and emo music. I figured playing with other musicians was better than playing by myself, so I picked up bass guitar and began performing every genre but country… but when I was by myself, I’d sing, write, and listen to the country music I knew and loved.
Ironically enough, I think those rock, pop, and alt. influences seeped into my writing, and once I finally decided to start recording the country songs I’d been writing, I kept pulling both traditional country elements and infusing those with alternative influences. It’s a little edgy, and I’m into that.
MM: When did you decide you wanted to make music for a living and what have been some of the big the highlights so far?
LAH: Oddly enough, I don’t think I ever seriously considered any other career aside from music… I entertained the idea of working in the horse industry or being a large animal veterinarian, and held a position for several years as a full-time horseback riding instructor. Even though I was passionate about the horses and my students, I still was daydreaming about music all the time.
While it’s definitely had its ups and downs, I’ve been fortunate enough to have some really cool opportunities and experiences as a musician. I toured internationally playing bass and singing BGVs as a hired gun for other artists, I’ve had two “Top 20” songs on the Billboard Club Dance charts, and written songs for animated children’s movies.
MM: Have you had any really special interactions with fans so far?
LAH: What a cool question. I’ve been playing in bands and releasing music since I was fourteen years old, and I’ll still get tweets and pm’s from fans from every project I’ve been a part of. Even if I was the last person on earth, and there was no one to hear my songs, I know I would still make music because it’s a part of me. However, there’s something so incredible about sharing your music with others and them connecting to it. I feel really lucky to have fans from all over the world write me, send artwork and personal mementos. I keep every single letter and gift, they’re very special to me.
MM: How many songs have you written in total and do you have any tunes that you consider special favorites?
LAH: Holy smokes, we are talking about over a decade of music here, haha! I can’t begin to count! I’ve easily written several hundred songs, but to be completely honest, the singles that I’ll be releasing over the next few months are some of the most special songs to me.
MM: You’re set to release a new EP soon, what inspired the direction behind that?
LAH: I’ve actually recorded an album’s worth of material, but I wanted to put my best foot forward as I step into country. I picked the five best songs and will be releasing them one at a time over the next few months.
MM: What’s your favorite song from the EP?
LAH: “Head in the Clouds” because after I finished writing it, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the song was special.
MM: You also ride horses, so how did you get into that and what’s your favorite part about it?
LAH: I started riding back at our neighbor’s ranch in Arizona when I was five. I’ve been riding western, dressage, hunters/jumpers, and even tried my hand at eventing (although I’m probably too chicken to do it now, haha). Working with horses requires patience, humility, and a steady hand. It’s a great way to refocus and clear my mind. Also, horses are some of the coolest animals to hang around with.
MM: What is your plan regarding balance between your music career and equestrian riding? What are your goals for each?
LAH: When I’m home, I find time to ride and work on music every day. It’s of course harder when I’m traveling or on the road because I can’t take my horse with me, haha. I’ll always train and compete with horses whenever I’m home, but music is my primary focus. I have pretty lofty goals for my musical career. I love touring, and I plan to spend the next few years on the road building my fan base and connecting with crowds all across the country. It’s nice to know that no matter how long I’m out, horses will always be there when I come home.