In this day and age it’s hard to find artists that truly study how to be a complete musician. CJ Hilton’s sultry voice and skill on the piano are a testament to true musicianship. Ready to lead the next group of soulful artists, he is taking it upon himself to be the leader. “I don’t feel like there are any young soulful dudes, like Musiq Soulchild, John Legend — I feel like a lot of young cats are scared to do stuff like that. So I wanna be the ringleader and make it happen,” said CJ.
Connecting with Mario… Basically me and Mario grew up together. He is from Baltimore and I’m from Baltimore, so we went to school together and ironically we ended up being on the same [record] label now, RCA. He actually helped me on some writing on my project.
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Blessing in Disguise… I met Raphael when I was signed to Capital [Records] but that did not work out but one of the great things that happen was me meeting Raphael Saadiq. We did a song together.
Surreal Moments For Family… My mother still can’t believe it all. For my sisters and my dad its weird to them. It’s weird to see myself, so I know it’s weird for my family.
Making Daddy Proud… Every time she [my daughter] sees me on TV she just runs around really happy and proud of her dad. So that makes me happy to know my daughter is proud of me.
Staying Focus After Losing Deals… Music is what I always wanted to do, there was nothing else I dreamed about doing so I felt like a record deal was not going to stop me from proceeding in my music career. Capitol was not my first record deal, I was under Tommy Mottola before that but something happen at that label so it kind of messed up. I signed a couple of production deals before that. I wasn’t new to having deals so that definitely was not going to stop me.
The Perfect Machine… My home, RCA, they understand me as an artist and they give me freedom creatively. I feel 100% they understand who I am as an artist, so that makes the situation 100% better. Then I have great management on team – Bystorm [Entertainment]. I feel like the whole team is really strong. It’s what I need to get to where we are trying to go.
Success Looks Like… Success to me in my head is just putting out good music. Music that I feel is going to last like a Marvin Gaye or like a Stevie Wonder. I take pride in my music, I feel like a lot of feedback I’ve been getting from people is that ‘your music is so different, it is so soulful. It is what’s needed right now.’ Success to me is just putting out good music.
Cold Summer Love… I am talking about a lot of love. I have been through some love situations over the last couple of years. I am talking about being hurt. The title of my album is called ‘Cold Summer.’ I got the title from a little situation I went through with my girl, she left me two summers ago.
Struggle of the People… I’m from Baltimore so things I have seen in Baltimore – girls growing up trying to take care of their children [while] still going to college; dudes on the block still hustling. I have a song called “It Ain’t Easy” and it is talking about the things I have seen in Baltimore and not just in Baltimore but in different places and different hoods. It has not been easy for me in my career so I understand that it is definitely not easy for other people doing what they’re trying to do.
New Genre… A new kind of music I came up with, I call it ‘young soul.’ At the end of the day I am very soulful but I am young. It is coming from a young person. I am twenty-three years old.
Ballads in the Club… I feel like they should be playing some ballads in the club. That is when you get to pull that young lady close and hold her close and dance with her. Right now, I’m not mad at it but there is a lot shaking and moving which is cool but you want that moment when you can hold your lady close to you. I feel like honestly, not to sound crazy, but it will stop a little violence too.
—— By: Interview By Staff