Extroverted musicians may command the attention on stage, but it’s the introverted ones that have the lock and key on the earthy, down-tempo songs that resonate inside us and get the gears cranking in our psyches.
Like so many other introverts, Norman native and singer/songwriter Penny Hill was a shy kid – growing up minding her own and keeping quiet in her room – and, like for so many introverts, this was all the ideal makings of an artist.
“It still kind of blows my mind that I can even perform in front of people because of how afraid of the spotlight I was growing up, and still kind of am. The stage is still sometimes a mystery to me,” she explains.
“It’s challenging, to say the least – I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable – not completely, but I’ve learned to hide behind the mic or the lights. I’m still the most comfortable in the darkness of the cave of my own room. I generally spend most of my time on weeknights and stuff just fiddling around in there and finding something to work on.”
A little haunting, a little garage folk noir, her music is tinged with jazz leanings and takes listeners to the kind of emotional place that we all tend to find ourselves when we really want to simmer in melodramatic melodies.
“When something sad happens, I’m not the kind of person to go to work and try not to think about it, anticipating that it will all be okay. That’s just not me. My personality would say, ‘Call in if you can, stay home, play your saddest records and purge this all out. Hopefully someone else might eventually get something out of this,’” she says.
Hill anticipates releasing a follow up to her first album, Unbutton Your Heart, sometime around the end of the year.
She says performing her music to connect with audiences makes the “super stage fright” she confronts worth it, since sharing her feelings and emotions with other people as a means to relate has always been the biggest part of why she became a songwriter and artist.
“Dropping my boundaries a little bit and sharing that intimate part of myself with other people is a huge part of why I do this, because if I can inspire someone else to let go too and not feel so alone, that really means a lot to me.”