Spotlighting Aaron Hill and his band “The Fruition Experience”
Article and photography by Porter Brown, Jr
DC Nitelife had the chance to sit down with Baltimore’s own Aaron Hill before his band “The Fruition Experience” performance at the Capital Lounge on Sunday. Aaron began his musical journey as a hip hop MC at the age of 14 and continued until he turned 22. But he began playing keyboards at the age of 19 after being inspired by Philly’s legendary hip hop band “The Roots.” He wanted to be more than just an MC but desired to learn to play keyboards in order to produce his own tracks and become a well rounded musician. He cut his teeth in the church but did not limit himself to one style or genre. Aaron has studied classical and jazz music as well. With this vast foundation, he began to form his own sound and feel by combining attributes from all of these. Aaron’s inspirational collage comes from many artists like DJ Premier, Hi-Tek, Mos Def, Common, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Tye Tribbett, Fred Hammond, Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis, Yellowjackets, and Robert Glasper.
The Fruition Experience was formed in 2012 formerly known as “New Thought Jazz Group Fruition” which was a more jazz/fusion based band. But as Aaron has grown, he has incorporated the infusion of hip hop and neo-soul. Since, Aaron has added the soulful voices of Micah Smith and sultry Ama Chandra to bring in a wider audience and to grow the fan base.
During our talk, Aaron expressed the importance of formal training, the state of the popular music industry, and what really needs to be changed.
“The best things I could have done was to learn how to read music and learn how to play by ear. These are the foundations of well rounded artist who can be placed in just about any situation.”
“Today I just hear a lot of microwave music without depth or creativity. It’s about being in the lab for five minutes, worried about making the money, and giving people what someone else thinks they want to hear. We don’t need any more imitators, but we need many more innovators to change the state of music now. Even when you cover someone else’s music, put your own creativity to it.”
“The music of today needs to be more positive message driven because you can sell any message you want through music. I feel there is a lot of garbage being sold in planted in people’s minds. People need to wake up on so many tips and get educated about what is going on around them. Music is part of our culture. It is part of what inspires us, and one of the ways we learn from. So I think the hip hop artists of today have the voice and influence that the teachers, counselors, pastors, and in many cases parents wish they had. You have the attention of the people but unfortunately they use that spotlight and influence to spread things that don’t make sense or inspire people. You have power but they don’t want to take responsibility for the outcome of what is spawned from their message.” “Be accountable and responsible for the people that you know are following you.”
Aaron has shared stages with Lia Songbird, Geneva Renee, Eric Roberson, and worked with many, many, local artist to grown. He has also worked with the Oprah Winfrey’s network on the production side for the show “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s”
So look out for “The Fruition Experience” at a venue near you. It’s a musical experience you won’t forget!