By Angela McLean
The last we heard from 21-year-old Toronto singer Hilary Weaver was “tell the next girl” – now she’s moving on and telling you to let your “heart breakout.” Hilary’s new release, ‘Heart Breakout’, features seven stellar tracks ranging from happy love songs (see “Blind Spot”) to angry breakup songs (see “Shame On You.”)
Recently, Hilary treated a packed crowd at Toronto’s Revival Bar with a selection of songs she’s recorded over the years including ones from her last EP, ‘Tell The Next Girl,’ and her new full-length CD ‘Heart Breakout.’ She introduced each song and mentioned some of her recent accomplishments. This year, she was hand-selected as a Top 10 Finalist in Akon’s Emerging Artist Grammy Contest and was picked as one of the Semi-Finalists in the 2012 Unsigned Music Competition in the Vocal Performance Category for her song “Heart Breakout.”
THE MAGAZINE had the chance to chat with Hilary at her ‘Heart Breakout’ album release show in Toronto.
‘Heart Breakout’ is your second album. How did recording it compare to the recording of your album, ‘Tell the Next Girl’?
Recording ‘Heart Breakout’ was definitely more of a fun experience as we did all the recording in Los Angeles. Most of it was recorded in an old ballroom that was converted to a studio called “The Ballroom Studio.” The studio had a cool vocal booth that I loved because no one could see me and I could just sing away! I absolutely love being in Los Angeles – I’d love to move there! It was like a dream. I am really happy with this second album as I think it shows my growth both vocally and as an artist since ‘Tell the Next Girl’ which was released in early 2010.
The engineer was Mark Needham who has worked with Hedley, These Kids Wear Crowns, Shakira, Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac and many other well-known musicians! The producer was Robin DiMaggio, who is also a world-class drummer and percussionist. He played all the drums but also brought in many well-known musicians to play on the album, including Michael Bearden, who was Michael Jackson’s music director for the tour that didn’t happen.
What is the significance behind the album name ‘Heart Breakout’?
The album name comes from one of the new songs on the album, “Heart Breakout.” As a young innocent girl you fall in love for the first time – it is all exciting and new! However, for me the person that I was in love with cheated on me with my best friend. It was really hard for me not only to get over it but also to accept it. For a long time I was still unsure whether I wanted to get back into a relationship and felt that worry of not being able to trust guys. However, eventually you realize that you are strong inside and you just have to go for it and let your “Heart Breakout.” That song is about getting over your fear of losing yourself, gaining back your confidence, and opening yourself up to love again. That’s where I am now!
What is your favourite song off the album and why?
“Heart Breakout” for sure! It is truly the beginning of a new chapter in my life that I am extremely excited to explore. My song “Never Made It Home” also has a special place in my heart. When you first listen to it, you probably think it is about a couple where the guy leaves her and doesn’t come back home, but it has a special and different meaning to me. It’s about my grandfather who loved to sing and always encouraged me. He got sick and was in the hospital and so desperately wanted to come home. My mother and I were visiting with him one night and laughing and joking but we got a call the next morning – he never made it home. Miss you, Papa!
What inspired the songs on the album?
All the songs on the album are based on real life experiences that I have gone through. “Blind Spot” is about when you realize that a guy who was just a friend is actually the guy for you. “I Can See You” is about that feeling of obsession with a boyfriend where you think about them all the time. “Shame on You” is about your anger at your boyfriend when you learn he has cheated on you. “Lost and Found” is when you finally get over that hurt, anger and loss from a breakup and find yourself and your confidence again. When I sing a song I have to be able to relate to it and then I can put all my feelings and emotions into my singing. For me, it is impossible to sing a song if it doesn’t mean something to me on a personal level.
Who are you inspired by?
I am extremely inspired by artists such as Kelly Clarkson, P!nk, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Demi Lovato. I love the powerful vocals and songs of all of these artists, especially both P!nk and Lady Gaga.
If you could work with any artist, who would you choose and why?
It would have to be Celine Dion. She is such an amazing person and words can’t even describe her voice. I saw her perform at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto – for one song, she stood in the middle of the Centre, all by herself with no back up dancers or special effects, and it was absolutely mesmerizing how she commanded that whole place just by herself! Working with her would be a dream and an unbelievable honour.
Where can fans buy ‘Heart Breakout’?
My album is available digitally through iTunes, but fans can also order an autographed hard copy CD through http://maplemusic.com/.
Check out this promo video for her CD release!