Check out our interview with singer, songwriter & philanthropist Hilary Roberts.
Hilary “The Red Songbird” Roberts has a story of unimaginable troubles, traumatic circumstances, survival, and redemption. When her life was upside- down and disease-ridden, Hilary turned to music to survive. With the support of some close friends, she was connected to help, and eventually given the tools to explore a music career, which ultimately saved her life. Hilary now dedicates her life to paying this deed forward; trying to help those in need, spread her message, help save lives, and ultimately make a positive impact on society. Also Hilary is the founder of The Red Songbird Foundation.
Just Let Go - Hilary Roberts (Official Music Video 2020)
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Vivacious, Giving, Loyal
Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
I cannot say just one person. There have been some very special people that have raised me up out of the darkness of alcoholism, drug addiction, childhood abuse, and pain who loved me until I could love myself. And for their guidance and support I am eternally grateful. I would not have the beautiful life I have today without them.
How did you get started in the business?
Well, there were two different starts in the business. One when I was younger and I was a mess in the middle of my dysfunction and ruined four major record deals. Then, I got started back in the mainstream music industry three years ago when I met Grammy award winning producer and songwriter, Damon Sharpe, and because of him my music career took off.
Did you go to music school?
I’ve had music education in a variety of ways. I have studied opera so that I could learn the incredible breath control and range that opera singers have. I have sung in gospel church, where those beautiful women really showed me how to pull from my heart and soul. And I have studied voice with teachers that have helped with learning breath control singing pop, dance and ballads. I have studied music theory, some piano and guitar which helps with my song writing. As far as melody and lyrics, I have worked with different songwriters co-writing, but Damon Sharpe has helped me take it to a whole other level.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Anthemic, Heartfelt, and Diverse
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
My grandmother played the organ in the church and also would play the piano so I could sing along with her as a child. I grew up with my mom’s side of the family being very musical. My mother introduced me to Opera and Classical and my father introduced me to Blues and Jazz. Also, I grew up watching a lot of the old musicals on film.
Now tell us about your new single “Just Let Go?”
It’s an upbeat fun song that was written about a time when I came out of depression and heartbreak. When I was in pain I couldn’t see the next hopeful aspect of my life, but after I got through that with the help of those few special friends, it was like wow…”it’s not the end of my story. A brand new day begins in the morning and everything can change.” With our world hurting, I pray it will remind all of us that This Too Shall Pass. And for those who have lost loved ones during this time it’s absolutely excruciating. Our thought is, how can we love them?
And about the huge success of your single “Good Man?”
Good Man is a song written about the guys that make a difference and have honesty, integrity, and loyalty. They’re the men we can depend on. They work hard for their families. They’re just all around decent human beings. I wanted to have a song that really gave a shoutout to all those men that give their all. It is a fun song that is very memorable and it has a little bit of a throwback feel to the early 90’s.
Do you ever get nervous?
Oh yea. I get stage fright for the first ten seconds and then I get settled into my groove on stage. I try to remember that I’m here to share my heart and my music with the audience.
What is your next goal as a musician?
To continue song writing and become better and better at my craft. To study voice so that I can have even more voice control and to continue to work and implement choreography. All of this to prepare an amazing show so that when we are able to go and be amongst each other, we are ready to give the audience the best experience.
Do you have a tour coming up or where we can see you performing?
That is a great question! We don’t know…lol. We are chomping at the bit to be able to tour as soon as possible. For now my shows will be online with my Facebook watch live and Instagram live. Please keep checking my socials for anything coming up online.
Now tell us about your “Let The Journey Begin” podcast?
The podcast is an extension the Red Songbird Foundation. My co-chair, Jason Wahler and myself interview people from every aspect of life that have experienced either alcoholism, drug addiction, co-dependency, and or mental health issues and how they have overcome in those different areas. It’s released every week on Thursdays on Red Songbird’s Facebook and Instagram, as well as iTunes
What we can expect of Hilary Roberts in 2020?
To continue to bring more music, try to be of help to humanity, and connect the music and the message with my fans.
What is your favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
The song that I sing the most is me being silly with my friends when I sing happy birthday to them in the most country way possible and adding some yodel to it.
Name one your strengths?
My ability to uplift people.
What is your own definition of happiness?
My happiness comes from living in the moment and taking each moment as it comes. When I veer off too far in the future or start regretting past mistakes, that’s when I’m in trouble. All we have is this moment.
Any loves other than music?
I’m absolutely codependent with my puppies. I’m totally obsessed with cars and I love racing at the track. I’m a foodie. I like comedy. I love visiting places and learning about the history of them.
Any exciting news you want to share with us?
As soon as we all can be together in full force, I have the most amazing Sci-fi music video coming out!
How’s a typical day in your life?
Well, pre-covid, music writing 2 days a week, voice practicing 6 days a week, dance rehearsal 4 days a week, business meetings for the foundation and for music preparation, connecting with people that are in recovery and sober face to face.
During this pandemic, wake up, go all the way from my bedroom to the kitchen, have my coffee, and figure out song concepts. Reaching out to people that are elderly and lonely. Exercising different days of the week, walking the dogs, and reaching out to my friends in sobriety through Zoom. I also sit on the deck to pray and meditate and enjoy listening to the birds and feeling the sun on my face.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
If the beaches were open, it would be getting in my car and driving to the beach, walking on the sand, and making sure I put my toes in the water. Coming back, popping some popcorn, eating some candy, and watching a great movie.
What is your favorite healthy food?
And your favorite cheat food?
Nachos with cheese.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
Anybody that was rude to the waiter or the valet, or really to anyone.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to go back and meet either Mozart or Beethoven to experience their genius.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
Having a whole lot more music out that has changed lives and helped people. Hopefully, married with children. That tons of people are experiencing healing from Red Songbird Foundation’s help.
How would you describe your fashion style?
What do you think of Social Media?
I think it’s a great tool to connect with friends, family, and fans. It’s a wonderful platform to make a difference.
Where can we follow you?
Quote: “People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” -Mother Teresa
Song: Fight To The Other Side, not because it is my song, because it is a song that saved a life.
Movie: I can’t name just one, so I’ll give you my top three. Rudy, Life is Beautiful, and Wedding Crashers.
Travel Destination: Hanalei, Kauai
Food: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, homemade by me 🙂
Sports Team: Well, since I grew up in Denver and I was forced to sit in the bleachers getting frostbite growing up watching the team… I have to say the Denver Broncos because those fans are the most loyal along with the Green Bay Packers. I’m probably going to get flack from every other sports fan about my answer…lol
ABOUT THE RED SONGBIRD FOUNDATION
Founded by Hilary Roberts in 2009, the Red Songbird Foundation celebrated its 10-year anniversary this May. A survivor herself, the foundation aims to help survivors of trauma caused by sexual, physical, and verbal abuse, by providing counselling, assisting members to enter treatment, and by integrating members into support groups that specifically address their primary issues.
On May 4, Hilary’s foundation, the Red Songbird Foundation, launched their very first #GiveGriefAChance campaign where they’ll be gifting up to 12 Therapy Session Packs to 20 people who have lost a loved one during COVID-19, through June 1 2020.
The #GiveGriefAChance campaign is just the most recent of dozens of campaigns Hilary has launched in the past year alone to help those in need. Her last single, “Just Let Go”, which came out April 24, donated 50% of proceeds towards helping those affected by COVID-19. Last year, Hilary initiated a $100K scholarship towards helping for treatment for someone in need.
Photo Credit: Glenn Campbell