Hil St Soul + Special Guest Noel Gourdin Live in Birmingham
Hil St. Soul is the moniker used by singer Hilary Mwelwa and songwriter/producer Victor Redwood Sawyer. The duo has received critical raves on both sides of the Atlantic with their amalgamation of jazz and neo-soul fronted by Mwelwa’s engaging voice.
Mwelwa was born in Lusaka, Zambia, Hilary Mwelwa, but relocated with her family to London at age five. Her home was filled with a varied mix of music, ranging from traditional Zambian music to the American R&B of Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. While she loved music, Mwelwa attended London’s Westminster University and earned a degree in biological sciences. However a demo she cut during a break in school became the source of a new career choice for her. It led to the recording, with Sawyer, of 2000’s Soul Organic. The disc took Europe by storm and crossed the Atlantic on the strength of a smooth cover of Franklin’s “Until You Come Back to Me.”
thirteen years since her last album, Hil St Soul returns with Back in Love. “I know people are going to think, ‘Oh, Hils is in love,’” she laughs about the title. “But actually, it’s really talking about falling back in love with making music.” She describes how the album pushes her to new heights artistically. “I’m more self-assured, just because I know what I’m doing when I go in the studio,” she says about her vocals.