“Music became a new found love that was not only an avenue for me to write about my life experiences, but also about faith, struggle, joy, confusion and everything in between,” Hillary Hand explained. “I would say life, in general, has influenced me to write music.”
Hillary Gruener, aka Hillary Hand, is a growing Colorado star that has really found herself after making the move from Utah to Colorado. She was born in Logan, Utah, but she was surely raised in Colorado Springs. From the normal growing pains to musical training, Hand has been molding her musical personality since she was a little girl.
Hand started out on the keyboard and stuck with it for a over a decade and then it wasn’t until about 2011, when she finally decided it was time to take on music in a more professional manner. She sat down and wrote her first song, which led to her decision to pursue music, but falling in love and having a baby came first. She moved to Germany, met a guy, took his last name and a baby followed after. After growing homesick while she was pregnant, they made the move back to her hometown, sweet ol’ Colorado Springs.
“After moving across the ocean five times, we reluctantly, but purposefully moved back to America,” Hand said. “It wasn’t until my son was about eight months old when I sat back at my piano and started crafting songs.”
Now, residing in Colorado Springs, she lives her weekdays as a wife and mother, while on the weekends, she’s a musician and hairstylist. The busy weekends keep her on her feet and on top of her game. With her newfound focus to further her career with her band, she has been dedicating most of her time to Hillary Hand & the Roseliers, while never really truly breaking away from her solo career.
Hillary Hand & the Roseliers consists of her brother, Josh Hand, who plays the bass, her sister-in-law, Melinda Hand, who is a back-up vocalist and percussionist, Joel Burns, who is the drummer(and also the “backbone” of her songs) and Joe Degelia, who is the guitarist and has been doing music with her since the very beginning.
“I can’t say enough good things about my band,” Hand exclaimed. “They have been there for me in more ways than I could ever explain. They are so good at making my songs into something I could have never imagined.”
Early on, Hand wasn’t experienced when it came to writing music, so everything was new to her, but it didn’t seem like it when you heard her music. Hand’s music is edgy, creative and addictive, which is exactly how her music has been since day one. In the mix of her earlier music, a track off of her first EP, Paperdoll, got featured on the MTV show, Awkward. Her song “Domino,” which played during a scene on the TV show, just so happened to be one of her first songs as she started her journey into song writing. Shortly after, Hand’s “Tameless Tongues,” was placed on the show “Black Box,” which is a show on ABC.
When the music is good, fans will fall into place and that’s exactly what has been happening with Hand. The great music community in Colorado has gathered around her and she has been able to keep up a busy schedule of shows throughout the last year. From venues all over Colorado, to huge gigs in Texas, Hand has needed no helping hand in getting exposure. Through the Colorado Music Party and SXSW, Hand was able to play to a national audience in March.
“There is nothing scarier than going to an unfamiliar land, not knowing what to expect, and playing a show in the midst of some of the most amazing musicians in the world,” Hand explained. “After that experience, I feel like I don’t get the jitters so much before shows. I also no longer feel like throwing up, either, which is good as well.”
She played for the Colorado Music Party, which was a concert within the SXSW fest that catered to a Colorado music fan base, so she was quick to get some Colorado love. Then, she also played a set for a SXSW official stage and that played a role in allowing Hand to get a feel for traveling for gigs, and it was a good experience to play for a crowd that was so diverse.
Now, it’s 2014 and it has been just about three years since Hand has decided to really go for it. So much has happened and she has had a lot of success. It’s been a very short career so far and there has been a lot of musicians that have tried a lot longer and have achieved a lot less. With many years still ahead of her and her new found passion for a future with her group, there’s a good chance Coloradans will hear Hand’s name in the limelight.
For more information about Hillary Hand and her band, visit her website at www.hillaryhand.com, or connect with her on Facebook for updates.
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