Acclaimed actress, singer-songwriter and graphic artist Gillian Hills comes full circle with captivating new LP, LILI and podcast: A Life in Art, Film + Music | News


LONDON, March 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —

Gillian Hills

… At fifteen, she was the original “Beat Girl” who has had a remarkable life, combining her progressive vision of art, music, theater and international culture. Now, in its final years, Hills continues its innovative and unconventional journey through a truly artistic life with the release of Lily, her first album since bursting onto the scene as the first Ye-Ye French pop star of the 1960s.

Lili is an autobiographical account of her years as a naive young girl and later as an influential teenage celebrity at age 14. Hills has collaborated with the famous musician, composer and producer Peter John Vettese. Together they have created an album of recordings that are at once secretive, seductive and uplifting. Lili is an autobiographical account of his life from age 11 to 19.


To coincide with the release of Lily, Hills released their own four-part podcast titled: Gillian Hills– A life in art, cinema and music. The extensive audio documentary features intimate and revealing interviews between Hills and film critic and broadcaster, Anna Smith. GILLIAN HILLS PODCAST: A LIFE IN ART, FILM AND MUSIC

She also released a new music video. “Mary’s Soldiers” is an anti-war song Hills wrote and performed with Olivier Mellano in London, at St. Giles-in-the-Fields Church. The performance was filmed but never shown…until now. Recent events in Ukraine deeply moved Gillian and encouraged her to put the video on YouTube. GILLIAN HILL’S “Soldiers of Mary”

Born in Cairo at the end of World War II, Hills was the daughter of a British author, teacher, traveler and adventurer Denis Hills, and the granddaughter of the Polish poet Boleslaw Leśmian. Discovered in 1959 at age 14 while living in Francea photo of her was sent to the director Roger Vadimthen known for And God created the woman. He chose her to play Cécile de Volanges for his film Dangerous relationships. So many scandals ensued due to Hills’ young age that Vadim had to let her go. Still wanting to include her, he wrote her a small part.

At the age of 15, she was cast as rebellious teenager Jennifer in the 1960 British film. beat girl next to Christopher Lee and Olivier Roseau. The British Film Institute (BFI) recently remastered the film from the original negative and released it on DVD.

Features of Beat Girl by John Barry remarkable first soundtrack. At the age of 16, she started recording songs and quickly became the first YeYe star in his adopted country, France A new wave of young singers had begun…

In 1965, she decided to return to England focus on her acting career, appearing in iconic films such as Antonioni Explode, by Stanley Kubrick A clockwork orange and John Osbourne Inadmissible evidence, directed by the Emmy award winner Antoine Page. She will later live in new York as an in-demand illustrator. Throughout her life, Hills has progressed through her continual need to explore her artistic dreams.

She returned to the recording studio in earnest in 2013, which resulted in Lily. While making the album, the recordings she made as a teenager in France resurfaced in two landmark television series. “Zou Bisou Bisou” was chosen for the premiere of the fifth season of the hit American television series Mad Men in 2012 and 2020, “Tut Tut Tut Tut” was featured in the Emmy Award-winning Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit.

Lili is unusual in that all of the arrangements were built around Hills’ acapella vocals recorded in Peter’s studio after she sang her melody and lyrics. Before recording, Vettese had the foresight to ask Hills what each song was about. “It allows him to think about where his arrangement would go. When I sing the song, I just come alive because it’s all true.”

Hills connected to Vettese in Havana, Cubawhere she had traveled in mid-2012. “I met Peter in Havana where he had come to work with Zucchero, which my husband directs. Here, I met all these incredible Cuban musicians, and suddenly I wanted to be in the studio, to observe the arrangements, how they evolved. I was homesick.

“I used to have breakfast every morning with Pierre Vettese and it helped. After about two weeks, Peter said, “You know, when this is all over, you should come to my studio and see what we can do together.

The record opens with “Nefertiti”, positioning Hills’ ethereal vocals against keyboards, strings and rhythmic drums. “Blue Dress,” tells her story of unrequited first love, and ends with, “There was a girl wearing sundrops, curled up in her shine, loving to love her love, even though it was borrowed from her.”

While Lili remains a very personal artistic statement for Gillian Hills, its subject matter and celebration of the human spirit is clearly universal. From the melancholy of loneliness to the joy of discovering true love, Lili is meant to connect and touch all who come to embrace it.

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