Emerging UK singer-songwriter Martha Hill talks individuality, motivation, musical highlights and her latest release ‘Grilled Cheese’

What inspired you to begin a career in music?

I’d always loved writing songs and singing, and when I left home at 17 I was too young for most of the normal hospitality jobs, so me and my girlfriend at the time began busking on Northumberland Street in Newcastle to make our money. After traveling around Europe busking for a few years, I cam back to the north east and joined local gypsy folk and roll band Holy Moly and the Crackers. I left in 2018 to pursue a solo career in music.

What differs you and your sound from other upcoming artists in the music industry?

I’ve been told my voice is quite distinctive, so I guess that would set me apart. I like to focus on my lyrics a lot as well. I guess my usual aim is to make something weird and then work to make it accessible.

Your latest release ‘Grilled Cheese’ is out now! Can you please describe the creative process and explain the meaning behind the single?

It began with the first verse “my baby messes me around, yeah she don’t love me anymore and I know that for sure”. I liked the way the 2nd and 3rd lines rhymed, rather than the usual 2nd and 4th structure. From that I fleshed out the rest of the song. The pre-chorus was written with Rhiannon Mair and the chorus came out of a production session with Julien Flew, so there’s been a lot of different input in this song. It’s all about daft fights in relationships.

Everyone experiences good days and bad days, as a musician, when you have a bad day, what motivates you to keep moving and look ahead to the future?

I usually find that getting myself out and about is a great way to restart. I love missioning about on my bike or busking or wild camping.. anything that gets me out my bubble for a bit and gives me some time and space to breath.

In your own opinion, what is the most meaningful song you wrote? What makes you say that one?

Most of the songs I write have a strong meaning for me. ‘Blindfold’ was written at a really tough time for me, and the way the arrangement came together really captures that feeling. I love playing it with the band and it always makes me feel empowered when I perform it.

Throughout your musical career, have you experienced any ‘wow’ moments? Those moments that you stop to reflect and can’t believe you are where you are?

Yeah in 2018 I played a gig at The Sage in Gateshead supporting Maximo Park and accompanied by the Royal Northern Sinphonia. It was incredible! One of the best moments of my life.

What is the importance of the connections you make? How can you utilize them?

Every connection is important. You never know what could happen off the back of something! You play a gig in a tiny little pub and think nothing major could happen, but you never know who’s in the audience. Someone might see the gig, who goes on to tell a pal, who goes on to change your life! I always try to take everything the same, chase every opportunity and chat on with everyone.

What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?

Don’t be afraid to ask for things. A lot of people in the industry are out there to help. Ask questions, listen, learn as much as you can. Also just start doing things. Don’t sit around waiting for someone to “discover” you. Get out and play, meet people, write.. something at some point will happen!

What does the foreseeable future hold for you as an artist?

I’m working on a few things at the moment… nothing I can announce right now, but keep and eye on my socials and you’ll soon find out! 🙂

‘Grilled Cheese’ is available now via all major platforms.

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