The name Hilary Mwelwa may not be familiar to most soul music fans. Unless, that is, they’re aware that she is the “Hil” in the duo Hil St. Soul–and arguably the “Soul” as well. Hilary serves as the face and voice of the project that has its roots in England but has captivated fans of urban adult contemporary music stateside and beyond.
As the case may be, Hil St. Soul enjoys more success abroad than they do at home, despite churning out one stellar album after another, including their latest release, Black Rose. The album’s title track bemoans the plight of Black artists on the UK soul music scene. Hilary and I talked extensively about the lack of opportunities that are available for soulful artists of color such as herself to get any attention in the UK because the spotlight is focused on their Caucasian counterparts Duffy, Adele and the ubiquitous Amy Winehouse. Mwelwa is not afraid to voice her feelings on the matter and ask for her and her musical sistren to get their share of the spotlight. After talking with Hilary and hearing the new music on Black Rose it is abundantly clear that it is Hil St. Soul’s time to shine.
Music from Black Rose played during the interview: “Wash Away” and “Black Rose.