CJ Hilton – Savior of Soul

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Baltimore Bred vocalist, CJ Hilton, is being declared the Savior of Soul by not only Parlé Magazine, but by fans and new listeners alike. With singles like, “Cold Summer” and “So Fresh,” which features Hip-Hop legend Nas, Hilton is able to show off his sweet silky vocals that many have come to know and love. Like many who’ve come before him, CJ honed his singing talents in church at a very young age. Since then, CJ has had unions with a few production companies/labels such as Backwoods, Captiol Records and his current label home, RCA Records. With his new found home CJ plans to jump into the R & B circuit by binging going love back to the club. Here’s a slight look into the mind and heart of CJ Hilton, the way only parlemagazine.com can bring it to you.



Parlé Magazine: I know you started pursuing music at a very young age, what were your beginnings in music?
CJ Hilton: Well I’ve been singing since I was 7 in church. My dad was also a local artist in Baltimore so I learned how to sing from his as well. He taught me what he knew about singing and instruments such as  the piano and  I took it from there.

Parlé: Do you remember the first song you ever sung?
CJ: It was probably “What’s Going On?” when my sister was born. My mother told me that was the first song I ever sung. That was around age 3.

Parlé:  Besides the piano do you play any other instruments?
CJ: Yeah, definitely. I play bass, guitar and I’m learning strings as we speak.  Except for bass I learned on my own.  Raphael Saadiq taught me a lot about the bass. A lot of my music on my album is live instruments so I really use these skills in my music now.

Parlé:  Who were some of your favorite singers coming up?
CJ:  I love Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Sam Cook, pretty much all of the greats. Right now I like Miguel and Frank Ocean I think they’re both dope.

Parlé:  Let’s fast forward to “So Fresh,” take me through the creative process on that track.
CJ:  Well the executive producer for my album had a track and sample and left it for me. I wrote the lyrics the hook and everything and sent it to him. He loved the song and he works really close with Nas. Nas and I really didn’t get to work together because he was overseas but everything worked out great.

Parlé:  How exactly did it feel to have Nas on your first radio single?
CJ:  It felt crazy to have Nas on my single. Nas is a legend in the game so it felt great to have him on my single. Couldn’t ask for more.

Parlé:  You and Mario did a couple songs together how did you guys even connect?
CJ:  Well Mario and I grew up like brothers. We actually went to the same high school but we didn’t know each other in high school. He then got signed to a production deal by a guy by the name of Troy Patterson, then he released “Just A Friend”. Maybe a year after that I got signed by Troy as well so that’s how we first met. To tell you a funny story Troy took both of us and put us into an attic and we were pretty much forced on each other. Troy said to us,”You two guys are my two artist and this is how it’s going to be whether you like it or not.” Ever since then we have been like brothers.

Parlé:  Is he going to be on the new album? If so, how is he involved?
CJ:  Yeah, he’s on there he’s actually helping me with the writing of one of my favorite songs on the new album titled, “Bass Drum.”

Parlé:  Whats the concept behind this debut album?
CJ:  The new album is titled Cold Summer. I was going through a really rough time in my life. I had never experienced love before and I had just had my daughter. I thought we was going to have a family, some things happened and my girl decided she wanted to leave. It was summer time and for me it was a cold summer, so that’s where the title derives from. The only way I could got through it was writing and singing about it. The studio really helped me through it all. I recorded about 60-70 songs in about 3 weeks.

Parlé:  There was a point where you label hopped, were you discouraged at all?
CJ:  I was never discouraged, I knew this is what I was destined to do. I’m
never going to stop. I’m determined to be successful so I was never discouraged. Through every opportunity I got a chance to meet a lot of people and develop my artistry.

Parlé:  You have a song titled “It Ain’t Easy,” that reminded me of Tupac’s “Keep Ya head Up.” What inspired it?
CJ:  It hasn’t been easy for me, I’ve been going from label to label and it hasn’t been easy to do. It’s kind of hard for people to except me for the soulful music I do. Then again I have friends back in Baltimore who are still in bad situations, so I really wrote just looking through everyone’s situation and realizing that it ain’t easy.
Parlé:  How do you describe your sound?
CJ:  I describe it as “young soul.” Its very youthful and soulful at the same time.

Parlé:  What would you say CJ Hilton brings to the industry?
CJ:  I feel like we are missing the soul, I love some artists but we are missing the soul. That’s where I come in. I’m bringing that mix of soul and R & B back.

Parlé: Any last words?
CJ:  Definitely download the mixtape, The Package. Follow me
On twitter and Facebook.
Twitter: @IAmCJOffical

The essence of R & B is soul and that is what CJ Hilton brings to the table. With competition like Miguel, Frank Ocean and other talented artists CJ had a huge workload to get this point, and an even larger workload to overcome to rise to the top of the game but this workload is something he’s ready for. In the years to come his music and work ethic will be the instruments to the success he wants to obtain.  Readers, be prepared, CJ Hilton, the savior of soul.


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