Grit and growl are terms Kayley Hill uses to describe her unique voice, and that sound translates to her attitude. Hailing from the birthplace of country music, Bristol, Tennessee, Kayley certainly has the roots of the music running through her blood. Raised on the traditional bluegrass sounds of Appalachia, she found herself in love with music at an early age.
Her parents introduced her to the southern rock sounds of the Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd, but also instilled the sounds of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band into her mind. Those influences translate into her own vocal style. But country music isn’t the only thing listeners hear when she’s belting out the lyrics of her own songs.
One major influence is her technical training from The Boston Conservatory where she studied musical theater, learning more jazz standards and show tunes. That’s where she says her songwriting abilities really took a strong hold. Understanding the story-telling and developing characters in songs was a true test of her skill. Her work as a singer on a cruise ship brought her to a new realm of music, shaping more of the sound her fans hear today.
After appearing on NBC’s The Voice and having a chance to work with coach Blake Shelton, Kayley has been searching to find the sound she wants to call her own. Her playful timbre has been compared to Dolly Parton, while her vocal power mirrors Martina McBride. Throw in Miranda Lambert’s sass, and the unique Kayley Hill sound is easy to recognize.
She says she is inspired by Dolly’s sense of self, Jason Mraz’s lyrical freedom, Alison Krauss’ hauntingly serene vocals, Fleetwood Mac’s poignant melodies and by Michael Buble’s captivating musicality. While each of those are very different artists, each one brings a valuable element that Kayley tries to employ in all facets of her performance and catalog.
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