Photo Credit: Brittany Bell

All About Family — Hillary Reese’s “All The Good Ones Are Crazy”

From the heart of Mississippi, 16-year-old songstress Hillary Reese is a triple threat — singer/songwriter/instrumentalist.

Eight years ago she emerged on the music scene through a series of viral Facebook videos, which fast-tracked to millions of views and a loyal following of over 300,000 fans.

Old school country/rock with an edge. “All the Good Ones are Crazy,” co-written with Josh Courson and Jason Hamor, was produced by former Little Texas member Jeff Huskins. What is the backstory to your new release?

This song is all about my family. My family is the most important thing to me so I figured I’d write about it. All the stories within the song are true and you will definitely be interested to hear them! I figured everyone has a crazy family but mine might be a little extreme haha!

You have shared that you are not the biggest fan of having other people write songs for you because it is hard for you to sometimes connect with those songs. How did you come to co-write your first releases rather than do solo writes?

I’ve always loved co-writing! Co-writes are amazing when it comes to teaching yourself new ways to write and think about a song. It’s a really neat thing when several people can look at a song in a completely different way. This song came from everyone just coming together and sharing their thoughts on crazy family and we all just got to go around and share our different stories.

Traveled to Nashville, worked with Dolly Parton’s producer Kent Wells. From station interviews to the first time hearing your song randomly on the radio. Can you describe the impact that moment had on you?

I bawled! Hearing your song on the radio is a surreal experience. When you put so much work into something and finally get to experience the impact, it’s an emotional thing. I cried, screamed, and smiled bigger than I think I ever have.

Wanting your music to leave someone with a perspective they didn’t have before. Pay homage to the icons of the past. Trust your gut. How does the business side of the industry influence your career choices?

The business side of the industry can be really stressful and honestly take the fun out of creating some times. I’ve had to tell myself in the past that none of this matters unless the music is your priority, and that really helped me. The business is full of ups and downs so you can’t base your happiness on it, you’ve got to be grounded in your passion.

“Country music was all around me growing up.” Fellow Tupelo, Mississippi, singers include Elvis Presley, Gene Simmons, Diplo, Paul Thorn and Harold Williams. An up-and-coming artist from your hometown should we be adding to our playlists?

When I lived in Tupelo for a year, it was such a learning experience. You got to see music all around you. Fun fact, I was almost named Presley because of my dad’s love for Elvis, so I definitely appreciated the history there. I currently live in Lucedale, MS right beside Mobile, AL. You should definitely check out Muscadine Bloodline if you haven’t already. Their music is what country music is all about — honesty!

Discovered music through the radio and shows like Hannah Montana. Favorite artists include Carrie Underwood, Adele, Lady Gaga, and Lauren Daigle. Dream performance - the Grammys. Which of your favorite songs, that won a Grammy, has the best overall composition in your mind?

I would say “I Will Always Love You.” In my opinion, that is one of the best thought out and written songs of all time.

“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.” What have the greatest challenges been on your career path?

There have been many challenges but honestly just earning respect from some people. Being a young girl in the industry, it can be tough walking into a room and feeling welcomed and approved of. So learning how to be confident, and have other people pick up on that, was key.

“Some people accuse me of being too serious, but I know what I bring to the table, so trust me, I am not afraid of eating alone…” How has God impacted your journey?

God is the only reason I get to do this. I don’t come from a wealthy family, and God provided. I didn’t have knowledge, and God gave it to me. I came into this industry knowing nothing, and God showed me the way. Everything I have I owe to him.

You’ve described yourself as a nerd. Math. Books. How do you make sure to find balance between teenage obligations and music?

I’m still in school, so it can be tough to balance. Having my priorities in check is the only way I can find that balance. At the end of the day, my education and career comes first, so I just have to remind myself of that.

Giving back. Music Beats Cancer. Stand Up, Own Up, and Speak Up. Can you share how fans can also get involved with organizations like these?

Giving back is so important. I would encourage my fans or anyone I know to find a charity that is close to their heart whether that be local or online.

Favorite concert you’ve attended as a fan?

I’d say it’s a tie between Carrie Underwood and Hardy. Both of them know how to put on a show! That’s something I appreciate so much because showmanship is a quality that seems to be rare. They make you feel so included and their shows are a blast!

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