Hilary Duff Talks About New Album, Her 7-Year Break, and Leaking Songs

Yesterday Hilary Duff called up Pop Justice for an exclusive interview about her new music – she went in depth describing her new music, plans to leak her leftover songs, and why she took a 7-year break from the pop world. This is just the first of surely many new interviews, so get ready to learn all about Hilary’s upcoming new album, featuring her lead single “Chasing The Sun.”

Hilary had a hard time decided what would be the first single from her new record. She mentioned that “it was a close tie between ‘All About You’, ‘Chasing The Sun’ and ‘Tattoo’ probably.” (Those are new song titles! We can expect to hear “All About You” and “Tattoo” on Hilary’s new album!) She went on to describe “Chasing The Sun”:

It’s a really carefree, summer song and I guess I didn’t really know what people were expecting from me. This song is definitely a top-down, carefree, super catchy singalong song and so I guess we thought that would be a good move.

She also talked about writing songs vs. recording songs written by others. While she co-wrote 13 of the 14 tracks on her last album, 2007’s Dignity – in contrast with her first two albums in which she had very little creative input – this time she was more open to accepting songs from other songwriters. She did a little bit of both:

I’m not a snob, like ‘I have to write everything’. There are so many amazing writers out there and one of the best things about this record for me was that I did get to write as much as I wanted and work with other people as much as I wanted. Some of the best work comes from when you’re collaborating with people and then sometimes a song comes along and you hear it and you’re like ‘okay, I think that’s a smash, don’t give it away!’.There has to be a balance. Some of the biggest pop acts out there love to write, but a lot of their singles aren’t things they’ve written.

When Hilary started working on her new album last September, she started with an EDM sound. But that’s “all gone” now:

Even though that’s where I started. A few songs I came up with were really cool and you kind of get heartbroken when you realise no one’s ever going to hear them and they’re going to be trashed.

She continues to describe her vision for her record:

When I first started recording, the album was a lot heavier. It was a lot more serious. I started to steer away from that because as part of my personality, I do like to have fun and I do like to live as carefree and big as possible and do things that make me happy and be a positive person. So the album took on those kinds of legs and I got inspired by some of the folkier-type music (!). I love Mumford & Sons and I love The Lumineers. It’s definitely a straightforward pop album but with a bit of that influence in there. When I came to the label I just kept saying ‘I want it to feel a little earthy and authentic’ because I’m from Texas, and they were like ‘earthy? What does that mean?’. But that’s the best way I can describe it. It’s definitely pop – I wanted to have those melodies that get stuck in your head – but also have some foot-stomping and claps that bring me back to my roots.

It’s been great to see how Hilary’s vision for her album has changed over the last year. It’s unfortunate most of the earlier songs probably won’t make the record, but luckily for fans Hilary is open to leaking them!

After the album’s at the end of its cycle that would be cool to let the fans see a different side, but it wasn’t the push that I wanted to have out there.

We hope she follows through with this idea! Fans would love to hear the rest of the songs that were recorded for her album – especially the tracks she mentioned early on, such as “Better Days” and “Outlaw”!

While those heavier and more EDM tracks may not be heard for a while, it’s good to know that Hilary is proud of her new record.

Well to date this is definitely my favourite album but who’s to say  what’s a classic? Hopefully my fans will think that it is and I think that it is. The thing that has always drawn my fans to me is that I am authentic and I am reachable to them and I am honest. I’ve done everything I can to accomplish that on this record and it’s taken me a long time – I started in September and I’m here now.

Hilary also talked about how she’s an “all or nothing kind of girl – I need my plate to be either completely empty or completely full.” Right now she’s in “completely full” mode, based on her busy schedule. (Not only does she have a new album coming out, but she’s also returning to TV for the first time in a decade too – Younger will be shooting from September to December, and will be on TV starting in January.) However, as she says, “I’ve been in hibernation for seven years so I’ve got a lot of energy!” She did speak at length about why she decided to take a break at the height of her career:

I’d taken such a long break. It wasn’t like I was totally gone – I was doing a little bit of acting here and there, and if you’re living in LA it’s kind of hard to hide so my life was definitely still on display. It’s not like people haven’t seen me in seven years, I just wasn’t interested in doing music. I had a lot of time to grow and become the person I want to be and not be exhausted with work and on tour. I got to remodel a house, which was amazing, and I met my husband. I got married, I had a baby, I travelled all over the world. A lot of it was really hard. I shut down a business [Lizzy McGuire] that was making a tonne of money and everyone thought I was crazy at the time, you know. That was a tough challenge for me at a young age to decide to do that and be like ‘I need a break and I need to hang on to my sanity’. That was a really scary thing to do. I learned a lot about my strength and fighting for what I needed and there’s some of that on the record. Obviously I’ve had a little bit of heartbreak and troubles in my relationships, so there’s some of that on there too, plus, even though I’m a mum, I like to let loose and get a little wild sometimes.

I guess everyone’s different but for me, I had toured for five or six years pretty much in a row and then when I wasn’t touring I was squeezing in filming a movie and I just got to a point… Well, I love my fans and I’ve loved all the travelling and being on stage, there is no bigger reward to have that feeling of people who don’t even speak the same language as you screaming the words of your songs back to you, it’s so ridiculously rewarding. But it is isolating and it was lonely and once I had turned twenty I was like, ‘I’m going to go crazy’. I needed to learn what I liked and who I was and make normal people decisions, not these epic and crazy [ones]. There was a lot of pressure. I was also struggling in my acting career and trying to get people to see me in a different way. There are lots of routes you can take to try and convince people you’re not the same as you were and I think my choice was to take a step back from everything and then just deal with the consequences of that fact that I might never get it all back again. But I’m going to try damn hard!

We’re glad Hilary had the courage to take a break when she needed it. Growing up in the spotlight can be hard, and it’s important to make time for yourself and know who you are and live a little. This 7-year hibernation was just the thing Hilary needed to recharge!

That was the bulk of the interview, particularly in regards to Hilary’s new album, coming out this fall. Head over to Pop Justice to read the rest – there are some interesting tidbits about how Hilary didn’t want to record “So Yesterday” for her first album Metamorphosis, how she was a big fan of Avril Lavigne, and how Hilary actually does like Charli XCX’s “Boom Clap.”

This is just the beginning of Hilary Duff’s new music era, so keep coming back every day for more news on Hilary and your other favorite artists! Remember that Hilary’s new single “Chasing The Sun” will be out on Tuesday, July 29th (pre-order it on iTunes or Amazon now) – and the music video will be out the same day on VEVO. You can also check out our list of songs that could appear on Hilary’s new album, as well as a recap of the whole recording process up until now.

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