My name is Bob Hillary, and I make music that is earthy, spiritual, rootsy – and from my heart.
I believe the world is now, more than ever, in need of authentic HUMAN spiritually conscious music – to help ease the challenges & difficulty of these times we live in.
I make music because I see the world is in need of it. I see – and feel – music to essentially be LOVE. And I see this world to be sorely in need of more Love…
I’ve been making music since I was very young – about five years old. My first experiences of music were discovering that my ancient cassette-player (remember those?) could in fact record and layer tracks of sound…so my first experiences of making music were going out into nature on the farm where I grew up and recording bird sounds and the sounds of nature, then playing guitar (pretty badly) on top of these sounds.
I was always drawn to nature, and now decades on…nature continues to be the thing that inspires me creatively. The sheer BEAUTY of nature…seems to cause music to pour through me… and I write songs from this place.
I’m like seriously into World music. It has, and continues to inspire the music that I create. I’m a bit of an adventurer – I’ve spent time in deepest Africa – playing and learning tribal African music, India – where I’ve been studying Drupad – an ancient form of devotional chanting, Morocco – where I’ve studied middle-eastern mystical music – and I’ve spent time with the Maori people in deepest New Zealand… learning about their spirituality and their ancient musical practices. I’ve actually done four Nationwide Tours of New Zealand now – such is my resonance with that land. So on each of my albums I have drawn upon the influence from my travels and what I’ve picked up musically, energetically and spiritually… and each album has a particular feel to it. Tribal indigenous music has touched and affected me very strongly.
I’ve made five albums so far. And Sacred – an album of Gospel-infused funk soul folk blues for these times – is my new offering. This is one of my favourite songs from the album.
Spirituality is also a big part of my music. I had a very profound Spiritual Awakening at the tender age of twenty-seven… I went, overnight, from being the leader and singer of well-known touring signed band The Ruffness – to becoming bedridden for two years – with ME, fibromyalgia and depression. I was – at the lowest point of it – sectioned and put in a mental hospital (luckily my mates came and rescued me and dragged me out – thank god!)
Up until that point, I was like most other people… drinking my socks off on the weekends and living ‘in avoidance’ of my pain. But everything changed literally overnight – healers and spiritual people started showing up in my life, and I found the spiritual path. I discovered meditation, yoga, Shamanism, Reiki, and Plant Medicines. So I stopped drinking and started cleaning up my act. For the next five years I committed myself to the spiritual path…and to healing.
As I did, so my music started to change! I started writing songs about healing, spirituality and positive change. I stopped writing songs from my pain and started writing them from INSPIRATION. I started to ‘channel’ songs. As I cleared my personal traumas – so I found my ‘channel’… and it started to open up in a very powerful way.
Now All of my songs are ‘downloaded’. Not from the internet – but from Great spirit!
This is the theme of most of my songs. This is what motivates me. The Spiritual. The ‘Sacred’. The sheer beauty of life. The Goodness. This is what spirituality has shown me. Continues to show me – day by day.
I like to channel the power of the Earth up through me and use myself as a vessel for that Power. Its a humbling experience to channel the power of the Earth – and I feel these times are calling for more people who can stand true in the power of the earth and stand up and say what needs to be said. And that is what I try to do through my music.
My new Album – SACRED – released in December 2022 and recorded in the incredible Rockfield Studios in the Welsh mountains – carries this message in the form of conscious modern soul, gospel, blues, & folk music. This album is here to bring some change! That’s why I’ve made it. And that’s why the album cover is of a Lion. Because lions are STRONG. And strong times call for strong music!
We worked with legendary producer Matt Butler, who has worked with Pink Floyd and John Martyn, on this album. We pulled out all the stops. I’d love it if you would check it out as I’m just supremely proud of this music. Its just a really HUGE soulful & positive sound. Medicine music for these nutty times!
I live in Somerset, UK, and the long-standing folky musical ancestry of this country has also been a huge influence on me. In particular the 60/70’s era. I grew up listening to my parent’s record collection: Pink Floyd, Paul Simon, Bob Marley, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Bob Dylan. What an era! These singer-songwriters have made a huge mark on me.
I have made five albums so far in my career. I always work with a full band – drawing upon and calling in my best mates and creating a rich musical ‘tapestry’ on each album. I love to work with other musicians. Its just such an incredible experience being inside a recording studio CREATING. Nothing beats it. Sex comes close. But nothing touches making music. Its just a very deeply rewarding and healing thing to do.
I’m a full-time committed musician. Mainly because I just can’t bear to do anything else! I hear music in my head most of the time… and it doesn’t make me very ‘employable’ haha!
Its not an easy life, but its a lot of fun… never a dull moment. And I’m super grateful for being able to do what I do.
Here are some recent Comments about my music:
‘In a World that increasingly assaults our ears with glitches, beeps & ringtones there is need for something that grounds all this electricity. Bob’s music does just that.’ – Music Week.
‘Good medicine for pretty nuts times..!’ – Jamie Catto. (founder of One Giant Leap)
‘Bob is a folk artist pushing a positive message. Its the combination of funky folk with meaningful lyrics that makes his music so engaging…’ – Tim Ferrone EMI RECORDS
‘Standout music with heartfelt, clear messages from one of our most charismatic and committed of troubadours.’ – Permaculture Magazine
‘Change-maker, song-carrier, writer and earth-protector Bob Hillary has come up trumps with his new album ‘Sacred’. It’s a mature work, uplifting but at the same time vulnerable in its audacious baring of the soul. There’s a strong sense that Bob’s time has come. At a time when most of us would surely agree that change is needed like never before – Bob steps up a flagbearer for how we might do that.’ – Pete Laurence – The Big Chill founder